It’s a binary choice.
Do or don’t do.
It is not a question of trying or not. That is a distraction, because the reality is that many things are exceptionally difficult for all sorts of reasons, and we must try in order to finally do.
I have felt the weighty obligation to those who have supported me to continue. My continuing is not transactional, but I am very aware of the responsibility I have to my supporters.
I suppose it might have been possible to shrug my shoulders in the past many years along this Quixotic journey and to say that I tried. I have helped crowdfund a promising book which was never delivered, and the would-be author wrote a note to say he was done trying. So I know what that feels like, that is I know what it feels like to be left with nothing.
And yes, there is risks involved in delivering a project. But I don’t think it is enough to pass this risk entirely on the consumer. In this case, I believe the consumer has every reasonable right to expect an outcome. The problem being in this case is that time has marched on a considerable distance beyond that which might have been anticipated.
So I made a choice to continue. That was a very early decision. The reason I thought it worth to continue was that the reason for championing this cause was important enough to invest my time into, even if that came at considerable inconvenience.
I have learnt an enormous amount. It has been a baptism of fire. Mostly I have learnt lessons about satisfying customer demand.
Yesterday I mentioned that I’m picking up this conversation again here in the public domain through this blog. I made a short commentary of how the satisfaction of the book ‘Life Bridge’ is progressing.
Tomorrow I’ll write more about how I see that occurring. I am well past a point of managing expectations, and appreciate that most of these have been well and truly stretched to the point of disbelief.
Suffice to say three things, especially to my supporters.
Firstly, I apologise for the delay. I appreciate that there may be some disappointment which would be understandable.
Secondly, thank you. Thank you for your earlier trust and support. I write that in full knowledge some may be disappointed in the result to date.
And thirdly, I’m continuing. I’ll deliver. Late. It’s all on me.
Let’s face it: we have unspoken chatter in our heads which is an obstacles to good relationships. Do we see other people as a human being first, or as a threat? Dan Pallotta calls us on this in his recent blog. He quotes: “The unsaid is the most important part of language when it comes to performance,…What’s already there prevents anything new from happening.”
The only way to overcome that is to build a bridge, a human bridge between the two people. Each bridge will look different. In fact, it might not give the physical appearance of a bridge at all. The bridges will enable us to show interest in the other as a person. Our interactions become richer and more productive.
The 10 City Bridge Run focused on a global design challenge of building human bridges to help close the gap on poverty that results in atrocious levels of child mortality. How on earth are we going to reduce child mortality as a problem if we can’t even move past distrust and harboured grudges in our own little communities and workplaces? Building human bridges gives an opportunity for some important self-work in our own lives.
So why care, and why build a human bridge? Dan Pallotta sums it up best in his own words speaking about ‘anti-communication’ leading to misunderstand:
Combine the perils of communication technology with our predisposition not to want to talk about the stuff that’s in the middle of the room, and you have a perfect storm of anti-communication. It is the source of all misunderstanding. And misunderstanding is the source of 99% of our problems.
To me, there is no more important issue in business, or in life, than this, because it is the issue that underlies all others. And the good news is, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to fix it. Fixing it is as simple as the phone call my colleague and I had together. Whether it’s in the construction of a conference call, or considering that there might be a point of view other than our own, the answer is simple: Human beings just have to be human to one another.
Our failure to communicate, and our own misunderstands are evidence of the poverty in our own lives. This has nothing to do with how much money is in the bank account.
As my friend Maureen always loved to say: “Darling, just build a bridge and get over it!”
Visit Dan’s blog here.