Charles Starrett

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Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.

Why don't we do what we know?

For years I have marveled at the reams of books on leadership, culture, and business. I don’t agree with all of them, but many of the more well-known books have great advice.

Advice like: The power of creating good habits. How deep listening can make us a better leader. Developing excellence by giving and receiving candid feedback.

So, if we say that we want to be a better leader, build a stronger culture, run a more successful business, then why don’t we follow all this solid advice every day? Why don’t we do what we know?

One reason is that this “advice” can’t be done. Not directly. What is being sold as tips and methods are the results of developing new skills and ways of being. Just knowing the results we want won’t get us there.

The un-sexy truth is this: We need to do is the hard work of practice to build the skills and capacity which will bring about the results we want.

When we practice strengthening our attention, we become more conscious of our behavior, which gives us more opportunities to choose what habits we want to develop. When we practice being together in an agenda-less space, we develop listening skills that make us a better leader. When we practice open curiosity and vulnerability with others, then we become better at giving and receiving genuine feedback.

It’s hard to sell books, workshops, and consulting engagements without promising quick results. But the faster the results, the faster they fade. The truth is that any lasting change takes time, attention, and commitment.

It’s not about what we need to do better today. It’s about how to build the skills and capacity to become who we want to be, together.

8 July 2022

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