What do those three things have in common? Well, two of them; ego and leadership are likely symbiotic but a chocolate bar? You are just going to have to read on to find out.
I attended a panel discussion featuring Mirko Zardini this past week put on by the Daniels Lecture Series billed as Zoning Health: Architecture’s Curative Nature where he, alongside Bridgett Shim, discussed the relationships between architecture and human health and how both have been affected by technology. Throughout the discussion they both expanded organically on their opinions about how technology has, in turn, had a very slow affect on the built environment and the cities we live in.
Mirko, in his beautifully accented speaking voice, made a stunning observation.
He suggested that one of the reasons architecture is so slow to respond to emerging technologies is due to the architect him or herself. To paraphrase “Architects need to better understand that ego cannot solve the complex problems in building. Humility allows architecture to transcend beyond the physical to offer a solution for the good of humanity”.
Possibly a sweeping generalization (do ya think?) but regardless it certainly resonated with me.
Ego vs humility. Brilliant! Thanks Mirko.
Hey, I ‘m not an Architect (Interior Design rules!) but that reminded me about a time recently where I was working on a project opportunity that I had a ton of passion for and I let it go because it wasn’t going the way I thought it should. I spend a ton of time spouting off about leadership and I broke my own rules about leading. I gave up on something because I couldn’t figure out how to deal with it.
My ego cut in.
Fortunately I was able to give my head a shake, get myself in check, jump back in and we plodded on. The team is great and at the end of the day we did a great job and got a fantastic result considering what we had to work with. Did I demonstrate my leadership ability to get us there? Not really. I remember feeling critical about the process because it was not playing out the way I was expecting it to and that somehow lead me to lose the ability to see past what the solution needed to be. I didn’t put in the extra effort, listen and I didn’t do what I needed to do; lead. Hey, my career won’t suffer from this misjudgement but you know the saying “You are only as good as your last “ “ insert project, idea, action, haircut or a multitude of other words. But speaking of action, not taking action does not bode well for someone in a leadership position. I can only learn from this one.
After all, unless you’re dead, you learn from your mistakes, right?
Ego vs humility. Brilliant.
Ego is a pain in the ass and it gets you into trouble, if you let it. I really do KNOW that but I let mine get hold of me. That narcissistic bastard snuck in and before I knew it I got bitchslapped. What have I learned here? I am not infallible. Oh, no! And it might just be ok to f**k up once in a while just as long as you see the mistake and fix it.
It’s not a boxing ring in here.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not beating myself up, I am just recognizing and addressing my faults. I have no fear of being judged, after all everyone, even President Barack Obama, puts their pants on one leg at a time and like me, even Obama, makes the odd mistake. Just ask a Republican.
So, what have I learned?
- Stop being afraid to just lead.
- Believe help is important no matter your position in a situation.
- Stick with it even if you think it’s going sideways.
- Relax and take a deep breath.
- Lead by example.
I hope that you can see some value in the error of my ways. I certainly had fun telling you about them. Yeah, right!
Have I discovered the Caramilk secret? Not even close.
Aha! There’s that chocolate bar reference. Just like the devil who has the answer (old 1980’s ad campaign) to which the competitive streak in all of us elicits that “I would do anything to get that secret” sacrificing everything for the need to win is our ultimate downfall. Leadership shouldn’t be about selling the farm for the Caramilk secret, it should be about putting in the effort and discovering the secret on our own. Signing in blood and selling your soul will only come back to bite you in the ass.
Don’t I know it!
Do you have any leadership tips that you would like to share?
I’m all ears. Literally……