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observing Differently

by | Mar 18, 2021 | Differences, observe, Van Morrison

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Your brain is an amazing invention, observing and integrating literally billions of bits of information every second.  They measured the bandwidth of your eyes which is close to 9 GigaBytes a second.  For reference, that amazing 4K TV you watch is about 25 MEGA bytes/second… so your eyes can actually send your brain 360 separate programs simultaneously.  Use that when you get in trouble as I do for channel surfing.  One they cannot do well is see a hot pan or in the dark, and in both cases, without other senses, you would get hurt… which is exactly the same in leadership. 

I have multiple leaders living the dream of new assignments, and almost like clockwork, they are in the deep end of the pool with Different information from what they thought they knew.  There is a part of your brain that is not that helpful – intuition – otherwise known as “guessing”.  I am particularly gifted in that area, which is known as “Often wrong, never in doubt”.  That supercomputer on your shoulders races ahead with data that may or may not be true, and most often is based on things it has “seen” before.  It is also known as “experience” and when it works out well, great, and when not, well you learn next time to … slow down… and observe Differently. 

Today’s song, written by Bert Berns, was originally recorded by The Them, but the author/producer pushed out a version released by Lulu based on her following in the UK … and it went nowhere.  The version from Them was then released and went to Number 2 there and eventually to Number 24 in the US, spending nearly 10 weeks on the charts, riding the success that Gloria had been here.  This definitely has Jimmy Page on guitar, and this version has amazing stereo imagery that your brain will enjoy most with headphones 😉 

Them (the band… ) and Van left the Whiskey A GoGo in LA for Hawaii for a couple of weeks of gigs.  If you watch enough Behind the Music, you know that paradise is always Different from what you observe.  The band members got into a fight about proceeds from their increasingly popular music, and that along with their work visas expiring made them return to Northern Ireland and they broke up.  Morrison started writing songs again, and eventually, Bert convinced him to come to New York and record them for his new record company, Bang.  These would be the first recording sessions of Van… and tomorrow will be a Different kind of wonder 😉 

The sense that helps the most in the dark is your hearing, which only processes a maximum of 50Kilo bits of information – a million times less than your eyes.  And, it’s the sense that helps tremendously in leadership, probably because there is a lot of “darkness” that you have to wander through.  My go-to resource is Change Your Questions, Change Your Life, a framework that helps you pay attention to… punctuation.  Questions force you to listen, and to observe, Differently. 

I challenge leaders, and you, to come up with a sentence that is not better (and Different) when posed as a question. Or, modeling this, how do Questions cause you to listen Differently?  How can that be?  Do you mean any sentence? And if that is true, how do you do that?  What would be different in all of your conversations if you attempted this? What would help you try it?

What would make this simple, and not easy? What helps you to step back and really observe?  And what Differences do those things allow for your conversations and decisions?  How could I write one of these using only questions? How can you help me achieve that, and what would it change you?  For now, will you listen to this masterpiece of both composing and recording, an admonition for what lies ahead for most leaders – Here Comes The Night. 

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