Subject: It's been a Wicked week... Let's be Evil!

Hey Friend

This past week I was fortunate to get to take my family to New York City for Spring Break. I love that town and get energized just walking the streets. (I am an extrovert, of course). I flooded my Instagram with pictures, walking behind the kids. That was my official position. 

We conquered the city, pretty much doing everything we wanted and then some… One of the opportunities we experienced, was seeing the show Wicked. It’s been on Broadway since 2003 and was a delight. You may be familiar with the story. It’s told from the Wicked Witch’s perspective and unfolds an entirely different motivation, than how you’ve always imagined her from the Wizard of Oz. No spoiler alerts here, but the bottom line is, she’s not so wicked... but she really is green

My friend Phil Wilson said a phrase at the OKHR State Leadership Conference that rang similar and stuck with me. He said “no one is the villain of their own story”. I’m sure he was quoting someone, but I don’t recall who. (In the future when you hear me say it, you’ll probably forget I got it from Phil). This idea that when you fully consider someone’s actions, reactions, responses and attitudes from their viewpoint, it seems “right”. 

As much lip service as this gets, its still VERY DIFFICULT for people to consider. A phrase I like to say is "People are their own center point of right". Meaning, we tend to think the way we see the world is the “right” way… and how differently you see it from me, is how “wrong” you are. Thus conflict is born.

In the spirt of Wicked, I thought I’d remind you to stay EVIL

E - Empathy. Genuinely one of the greatest traits of high impact leaders. The willingness to consider someone else’s being… not judge them in the moment, but truly appreciate the story of what’s brought them to today. 
V - Value Diversity. An old school work-phrase that embodies soooooo much potential. Being able to utter “I totally disagree with you… that’s interesting” unlocks the true potential of a team. Our insecurities often prevent us from being courageous enough to be open to be changed by someone who seems so “wrong”. 
I - Imagine the Best. Could it be something is going on with that person you have no idea about? Could it be they don’t even realize how they are coming across? Could it be they have family/health/financial challenges that have diminished their hope? Could it be at this moment, they are not living up to their best, but wish they were? Use your imagination... for their good
L - Love. As you know, “Love covers over a bunch of wrongs”… The ability to Let.It.Go even if you are absolutely in the right! Love at work is possible. You can choose to give it, whether your colleague deserves it, wants it or not. That’s kind of what makes Love so potent.
I only ever had one perspective about the Wicked Witch. It was because I only had one story to contemplate. Now that I’ve heard a different story, it’s easy for me to see an entirely different reality

Think about the peer, supervisor or subordinate who is the villain in your mind. Is there another story where they could actually be the hero? I dare you to find out. Be EVIL this week. 

As always, just hit reply and let me know how this resonates, stings or is wrong. ;)

Meet Jen Shirkani
I met Jen last year at a SHRM Conference. She was kind enough to let me disrupt her solace to execute a Periscope interview. Of course since then I've just pretended we're friends. She's super brilliant, an excellent writer and gifted communicator. Running the Penumbra company she offers a ton of valuable resources. One of which is her book Ego Vs. EQ. (could help you with being EVIL) That's Jen on the right and her VP of Client Services, Pam on the left. I'm in the middle after a sweaty run in central park. Yes, Jen was in NYC for a day providing training, while I was vacationing.
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