creative solutions mastery problem solving reflection resource utilisation toolbox transformation visual storytelling Jul 10, 2023

Welcome to Whisper #109. 

Stop collecting tools

“Providing a set of tools for their toolbox” is an oft-quoted objective for leadership workshops, offsites, personal development, and skill mastery. I’d take a guess that for many of us, we’ve got too many tools in our toolbox that have never seen the light of day – literally and metaphorically.

Think about your own situation. You’ve got a task/DIY job to do. You’ve probably got a few go-to tools that you’ve used regularly to fix most issues. If your go-to tool doesn’t do the job you might visit the hardware store and ask for the right tool for the job at hand. Job done and you can now add a new tool to the toolbox for the specific job you’ve just completed.

Here’s the thing, that specific job is unlikely to present in the same way again. Particularly when our ‘job’ involves working with humans. I could argue that it will never present in exactly the same way again. Ever.

What’s the point? Stop collecting tools.

Stop collecting tools just in case. It’s attention-draining and is taking up too much valuable real estate in your barely-coping capacity. Why make room for something new that you’ll have to learn how to use for a possible one-off scenario? Maybe there’s already something in your toolbox that might work.

Yes, every situation might be different. Probably only by a degree and nuance. Maybe an 80% solution for now might work.

Maybe there’s a tool that you’ve used frequently. You know your way around it. You know its possible uses and potential pitfalls. You’re familiar with how to use it. Try that first.

If it doesn’t work then perhaps you need a tool just-in-time. Because the tool required is now just-in-time, your attention is more likely to create the capacity.

Of course, respect and fulfill our human need for novelty but not at the expense of taking up valuable attention and bandwidth.

Confession – I’m an avid tool collector too so I get it. Feels good to express it though and hold the mirror up 😊

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

I’ve been struck recently by how simple and effective visuals are at making a point, telling a story, proving insight or simply reminding ourselves about what we already know.

Here are my 2 favorites of the moment. They probably work better on other platforms e.g Instagram but you’ll get the picture 😊

Liz and Mollie

Wisdom Made Easy

What about you – what visual storytelling resources do you use?

Quote of the week:
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times - Bruce Lee

What’s one tool you know so well you could apply it in 100 different situations

Question of the week:
Imagine you couldn’t collect a new tool just-in-case for a month but you had to resolve an issue. What couple of tools that you already have might help?

For example – I’m prone to buying books on one recommendation or for something I’m interested in. For the last month, I haven’t bought any and instead have created a book wish list.

Yes it’s a rather large wish list but the point being I’ve resorted to using the material and books that I already have.

Freedom Fridays Episode 74 Featuring Sharon Seivert

In this episode, Pete chats with author and experienced business consultant Sharon Seivert. They discuss some of the challenges facing leaders now and into the future. Sharon shares the elements of Balanced Leadership – Core | Vision | Mission | Interact with people | Structure | Synergy – based on her latest book and they explore how those elements might show up for every level of the leadership experience.

Sharon shares some key thoughts about how to resist using fear, facts and force to influence and instead how to leverage the Superpowers explored in her latest book.

Sharon generously shares plenty of reference material in the show notes.


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As always, email me at [email protected] to share your feedback or to let me know your thoughts.






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