In response to LeadingBlog’s call for GTY stories, Chip Nuttall posted this wonderful comment in which he expands the scope of potential for the Greater Than Yourself endeavor. And he wonders if he may be carrying a GTY gene passed down from his late grandfather. Read on:
“In a nutshell, it’s all about ‘they’ stories. All too often, you hear ‘leaders’ tell ‘I’ stories. Or slightly better, ‘We’ stories. The single biggest game-changer for me was realizing the power of storytelling from the third person in the corporate environment. Now, I cringe when I hear myself telling ‘I’ and even ‘We’ stories as a leader. Describing your team’s accomplishments by telling stories about what they accomplished together is greatly rewarding and acknowledges the power of the group and not the individuals. It acknowledges the possibility for multiple winners in thriving ‘Highlander’ environments where the fear that ‘there can be only one.’ It feeds the GTY philosophy and encourages humility by keeping your personal ego in check.
Each day, the team, ‘they,’ inspires me in new ways. There is potential where previously there were only conclusions. There is energy generated where there was once a perception of inefficiency. The team does that; the team nurtures each member. And better yet, I see the opportunity for the GTY culture to grow into teams supporting other teams. Imagine a team, a vendor, a consulting company, a third party company of some type that charters itself to make another team, another client, another company more successful that itself. That is the stuff of true, long term relationships. That takes love. Those are the seeds of grassroots GTY evolving from individuals into teams, to communities, to cities…
My GTY project is currently [conducting] consulting work with three potential leaders involved in separate projects that all need to succeed for a single initiative to succeed. It started before Steve’s book came out. I am eternally grateful to Steve for his three books, and especially for his latest contribution. It provides the energy, the stories, the vision, and the dream I need to keep at it. After years of seeking better ways to help teams succeed, I realized it was about focusing on each team member’s strengths, not his or her weaknesses. Then, supplementing those strengths with my own. It gives me greater and greater pleasure to see all three of them succeed. Last month, I found out from my Aunt that my Grandfather lived by the following credo: ‘You can accomplish anything in this world as long as you aren’t concerned with who gets the credit.’ Look at the effect my Grandfather is having ten years after his passing! I guess there is a gene for that after all, for which I am thankful, but it takes hard work, honesty, and love to realize its potential.
Be deliberate every day. Choose to be positive. Walk the walk when it comes to knowledge transfer, and having the tough conversations, and in seeking productive conflict, and in striving for continuous improvement. Let your team know every day that you support them, all of them.
And then look what you, errrrrr, I mean ‘they,’ can accomplish.”
Thanks for that, Mr. Nuttall! I don’t know if we can prove there’s a gene for GTY, but no doubt there’s a Chip!
Now if we could just figure out how to install it in everyone…