Richard Maples | 03/10/2017
I enjoy learning and finding new growth opportunities, even when it leads to a discovery of something I don’t like about myself. As a type-A personality, I often have trouble admitting the need to change. Most type-A people struggle to admit this; we just don’t tell anyone.
I recently listened to an interesting talk by Dr. John Hambrick as he encouraged people to “move toward the mess.” His talk was about helping others and included some eye-opening information for me. We, as messes ourselves, need to help other messes when the opportunity arises. Dr. Hambrick’s talk included three emotional, sharply-piercing points on why we (and I) don’t step up enough.
As a leader, I needed to hear this lesson. We don’t step up or step to for a handful of reasons, most of which are centered around self-preservation:
Convenience. We feel that getting involved with messy people and helping them isn’t convenient. Messy people should not be viewed as inconveniences; rather they are opportunities. There is an opportunity to help someone and an opportunity for us to grow.
Comfort. We are often paralyzed by our fears and/or our desire to stay within the confines of our comfort zone. We will never meet the best version of ourselves if we don’t stretch beyond our comfort zone into unfamiliar territory.
Situational Control. We avoid messes because we cannot control them or the outcome. However, people are not projects. They need continuous support without a deadline or targeted completion. People are a continuous work in progress.
As an “I can fix it” guy, my reluctance to getting involved is usually about the control. I want to know that I can help or want to view the person as a deliverable. My revelation here is a simple truth: people are human, too! Everyone is unique and should be treated that way.
What is the real win by moving toward the mess? People will be helped because they know others care, and for you, personal growth. As Dr. Hambrick shared, with a critical mass of people stepping toward the mess, we can influence change and make a difference.