My favorite story in Whit Mitchel’s book “Working in Sync” is about Hans Stander.
This is for three reasons (the first one is silly). 1) I love doing handstands. 2) Hans has a passion for empowering others that I can relate to. 3) He is a master at using compelling stories to get people to agree to unlikely goals. I love that.
Hans works to get funding to people in poor countries to build their businesses. This capital becomes a foundation for their thriving, helping the local economy, and (in my opinion) even strengthening global civilization.
Hans knows that you have to appeal to people’s hearts as well as their minds.
Whit describes this powerfully,
“Small goals, small dreams don’t have the power to ignite people to make the leap from thought to feeling. Only big ideas have the power to align people’s hearts with their heads. And when that is achieved, great achievements are possible because “intellectual and emotional conviction” combine to sustain the effort… So make the linkages clear and understandable between the commercial aims and the larger, more laudable purpose that is built on the shared values and beliefs of the team or community. “
This is similar to what I describe colorfully in “Energize” as ‘getting their ACT together’. I.e., motivating the three critical parts of our brain by “Calming the Caveman” (regarding fears about the goal), “Energizing the Artist” (igniting passion with stories, etc.), and “Convincing the Thinker” (giving rational plans and facts). All three combined are fifty times more powerful than any one of them alone. And the research shows that stories are the most powerful way to do this.
I recommend that you get your hands on “Working in Sync”, not only for the powerful, real life success stories, but also for the wise and pragmatic coaching ideas that Whit proffers. I’ve known Whit for years and his insight, skill, and motivation have been a professional boon to me countless times.
Tagged: ACT Team, appreciative inquiry, change, empowerment, influence, inspiration, motivation, passion