Do you have someone in your life who pushes your thinking beyond what you could ever imagine? Two years ago, as I transitioned into my current role, I was introduced to someone who had a product that I needed. At that time, our board’s work with the FNMI community was a part of my portfolio and I knew that I would need access to tobacco in order to make pouches as thank you offerings. The principal at Antler River helped facilitate a meeting whereby I was going to receive some freshly harvested tobacco and my only “cost” was the exchange of a something meaningful ~ I had chosen a friendship bracelet given to me by a former student. In my mind this meeting would be a quick “thank –you” and I would be on my way. Little did I know that this would become the first of many meaningful exchanges?
So, when I received an email last week stating “Hello my friend. I hope you’re well. Do you have some time…?” I quickly found my first open time slot, picked up a coffee and drove to Antler River. During the last two years, I have stopped asking or expecting an agenda for these meetings. The conversation naturally flows to the intent and today was no different. The intent was to share a new idea (which shall remain nameless for the purpose of this post, as I need to respect that it is not mine to share) which once it goes through the proper channels and filters will be profound and have a significant impact. The idea is still in its infancy, needing more time to develop fully before it is ready to be released. This man’s thinking and the ways in which he pushes the boundaries continue to impress and inspire me. Although I believe that he invites me for a chat in order to get my perspective on his work (as I listen so intently and respectfully craft questions which provide me with clarity and provide him with affirmation) it is my perspective, on so many other levels, which is always illuminated. Connections that I would never have made become clearer and I find myself walking away from our meeting and looking at something as simple and yet complex as a component of nature with a different lens. I find these conversations both mystical and magical in that the only outcome for me is deeper thought.
Most of my day to day interactions (conversations) end with a plan of action, one more thing on the “to do” list or the delegating of a task. Today’s meeting has me reflecting on my conversations with my team members. How often do we have conversations about the inception of an idea and truly take the time to let that idea grow and mature before rushing to action?
Who pushes your thinking? Whose thinking do you push?
Come write with me….