Imagine that you find yourself alone in a strange place. This strange place is a forest. You have no idea how you got to this place, where you are, or even where you are trying to go. You simply know that you do not know. This metaknowledge – knowing when you do not know or do not have the answer – is key to business success because it helps us to know when to act alone and when to look to others for support or knowledge. When you are lost; you are fully aware that you do not know where you are or what you are doing. Some people in business never admit this to themselves and it holds them back.
You are still lost. Your senses are heightened, and you notice every noise, see every movement of a leaf or a small animal, feel the change in the air humidity --- everything. The things that go on in your background every day are suddenly moved to center stage. You are fully aware. All five senses are hitting on all cylinders.
This feeling of being lost, particularly the heightened awareness, is a goal to strive for in business and in life. When you are lost you are fully present in the moment. So often our surroundings are so “normal” or the situation so “routine” that we forget to see, hear, touch, or notice it at all. We do this with people, too. We see them regularly and end up taking them for granted or labeling them as this way or that based on a single instance.
Let’s consider how we would feel if someone walked up to us in the middle of the forest after being lost for three days. We would welcome them, appreciate them, thank them, and soak in the direction and knowledge they gave us. We would be fully present and listening to each word they said and would care about them. Wouldn’t this be a good way to greet each person that walks into your office?
Do not worry so much about finding the answer. Simply “get lost” and you will discover answers all around you.
Metaphors for Strategy
Business Policy, Harry Davis
Dawn C. Zerbs