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Who partners with your Retrospective?

by | Dec 30, 2020 | partner, Retrospective, Return To Forever

Particularly as an extrovert, a lot of my energy comes from interactions with other people.  My wife is an introvert… so the rhythm of me being gone every other week for a few days has worked well both financially and mentally for us both 😉  The long drives to Northern Virginia, where there was more money/work, would allow me to charge up with loud music, work with a bunch of leaders up there, and then return a little “quieter” and less charged up 😉  So when everything shut down in early March, how would this work for each of us?  Looking back, there are a couple of key findings that are going with me into Forever… 

… interestingly we had wound down my 12-year partnership at the end of last summer and was mostly coasting through a few things until I sorted out what I wanted next.  Not having someone to bounce ideas off of initially caused me to worry a bit, as I have always had partners, but this forced me to pay attention to my own inner chatter – and some of that was not helpful.  Through each of the workshops on the Brain, I developed a deeper understanding of both how it worked – for AND against you…

One of the assessments helped me name the specific voices that were not helpful for me:  Restless, Hyper Achiever, Hyper Rational for example… and then the other side, Sage voices that can always bring you back:  Curiosity, Explore, Empathy.  And the time away from all of the driving, work, etc, meant I had the bandwidth to actually stick with this every day – EVERY DAY – which is never easy for me (see Restless).  And the other gift of this particular workshop was that it was required for us to get into Pod’s of at least 3 other Coaches.  We know that change mostly happens with partners, and as the person leading the workshops made it mandatory, I embraced it. 

Chick had a consistent partnership with Stanley Clarke through all of the Return to Forever incarnations.  They met in Miles Davis’ Band, Stanley a very tall acoustic bassist who was over 6 feet tall – when he was 12.  His family was very musical, with his Mom, an opera singer, recommending he take up the accordion and violin – but his hands were SO huge, that those instruments didn’t work for him.  In Band at jr. high, no one wanted the big upright bass standing alone in the corner… which of course, he was literally built for.  He studied it deeply and intended to be the first Black player in the Philadelphia Orchestra… until he met Chick.  And realizing that chicks (the female kind) liked electric bass, he picked that up just for the heck of it so he could play “rock”…

… which was perfect timing as jazz was JUST going electric, and Stanley was on the very leading edge of that work.  Chick moved the band to Columbia where they would record their breakthrough album, Romantic Warrior – a concept album in which each band member wrote one of the songs.  It was my first foray into Forever music, and I still cherish it every time I listen to it.  The intricacies of each player’s partnership with the other 3 is something to behold… and the songs through Sunday will all come from this album… which was certified Gold.  Today’s comes from Chick and closes the album, but fit today’s theme perfectly…

Partners are important to pay attention to.  Some bring out your best – and sometimes that is because they are irritating 😉  Either way, it is worth paying attention to what will help motivate you to focus on what is important … for you.  And that is the hardest work, honestly – a lesson I have relearned this year.  It is easy for me to partner with leaders who know what they want… and equally very complicated if they don’t.  Many have been sleepwalking through their career… and this year woke many of them up.  I have enjoyed reconnecting with those who have some clarity, and helping them move forward.

As you do your own Retrospective, look for the partners along the way that helped move you forward, or sideways, or backward – ANY influence is probably worth paying attention to.  And then start to look for what you notice about that pattern that you want to adapt or change going into the Future.  For me, I have noticed in writing now nearly 300 of these, I am still not clear on why I am doing them… and I also have set aside that judgment for later. 

For now, I have noticed that for some reason they help recharge me, and in this strange year, have stabilized me… and that alone is worth it.  And enough of you have commented along the way that it is helpful to you also – so for that I am very appreciative.  The Brain courses have also sharpened a focus on what we are always telling ourselves.  Those little voices from our own internal “partners”… which in my case are often a… Dual of the Jester and the Tyrant…

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