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Patiently engaging…

by | Oct 5, 2020 | engage, Patient, William Ackerman

You may not realize it, but not only have I been working on an artist each week, but these themes have also been building.  So after Virtue, comes Patience… well, after someone who like me didn’t have it, suggested it 😉  I have slowly been telling more and more people about this out of control hobby, and more are starting to enjoy it, and we were kidding each other and I thought actually it fits. It is not something that comes easily for me, and many, many times, that is a good thing. Restless people Never Settle ( a sign my wife made for me ) and I am actually grateful for the ability to get things moving… And, there is a time for resting – being Patient that can prepare us for engaging better… if we can simply… wait for it… 

…Wait for it 😉 Watching my granddaughter I realize that much of Patience (or lack of it) comes naturally I think.  I am not sure why but she is almost never patient – a constant stream of questions, observations, movement – a blur – which her mother was also sorta, and clearly I was/am as well.  Early in my career it really served me.  The statement “if you want something done, give it to a busy person” was true.  It seems odd, but the busiest by nature are able to get a lot of things done – quickly.  Maybe not as well, or as completely, but a lot of things done in a hurry. My leaders saw it and kept me busy, and when they didn’t, I would usually find something else. And it paid off until the things I engaged in, probably were not my “best choice”. 

When I am looking for some quiet concentration music, it is always William Ackerman that I go to.  Guitar – check.  Quiet – check.  Innovative – check.  He had been shown a new approach to the guitar by a roommate at a private school in Massachusetts… open tuning.  It allows you to strum the guitar and it makes a “pleasant sound” – ie a chord, without any fingers.  It allowed him to rapidly get better, and after returning to his home in Palo Alto to attend Stanford, he started developing a following, particularly playing for theater groups.  Friends suggested he could release his music and he paid to have it recorded and came out with an album … that literally changed the face of music.  The term New Age – came from this album, and the label he started – Windham Hill.  

Early in my life, being quick was rewarded … so I was. Always the first to finish my spelling words.  I could 25 of them into 3 sentences – quickly – why bother with more?  And in Debate that certainly was also rewarded – boxing in the discussion so they would end how I would like them to.  In student politics, again moving through materials faster meant you could get to the critical decisions faster, and that was where I started to notice the quieter, slower, off the beaten path people – had better ideas.  They actually thought about what they were going to say, and the trick was to find a way to get them into the conversation, which rarely meant calling on them.  In corporate settings, I noticed that the fast-talking, sales-driven, “always be closing” person – were typically managed by someone who was…. 

Patient is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I would add for “anticipate”.  Communication paths in groups increase as the square of the number of participants – so with two – Four, with 3 Nine, with 4 Sixteen – and each path slows down clear communications and therefore, progress.  Not that you can’t get there… but it is going to test your Patience.  As I got older, I realized that when I saw a problem I had solved before, before jumping in to solve that one, there is likely something bigger, more difficult, being hidden… by my own bias to engage.  As we start the week, consider your own learnings about when and how to engage… and what role Patient my play in making that better for all.  This track is the first track on his first album, and has the arc of my life – slow, then very fast in the middle, and then slower again.  And the title is something that reminds me of my Granddaughter who would certainly be The Pink Chiffon Tricycle Queen.

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