| By Rachel Maskell
The Intersection of Listen and Do
Recently I had the opportunity to be on a boat amongst entrepreneurs, creatives, friends, and some of the greatest brains of today. To be on the boat with my husband too…amazing and yes so very #grateful. With three days packed full of content and incredible music I feel changed, transported, and ready to take on the world…ha! Maybe not the last one but I do feel that through this new experience I have gained wisdom that I would love to share with you.
The two highlights that I took away from all the different speakers, whether it was will.i.am, or Norman Lear, or Roelf Mayer (who helped write the new constitution of South Africa) – was listening and doing. No, this is not a new lesson but the way that I am interpreting now feels fresh for today.
Listening. Listening not just to the population that we serve or want to serve but to those ‘on the other side’ too. What is important to them? Why is it important? By choosing to not listen how are we missing out? Are we limiting the impact we are able to make by only paying attention to the segment of the population that we are already aligned with?
There were no guidelines on how to listen so I will add mine here: To listen deeply without judgement. To listen with enough self doubt that we may be able to change our minds. To read other perspectives, to talk with strangers, to ask questions without waiting for our turn to respond. To reach out with compassion and empathy. To not forget the world is more than black and white.
Doing. As will.i.am shared, we should start the Do Party. The creation of an entity that values those that do. That we should be compensated based on what we are doing to make a difference - not just talking about it. Gary Vaynerchuck echoed this sentiment with the rise of entrepreneurs. We shouldn’t be claiming the title if all we do is give percentages of our buisness away for capital and then spend it on having a good time without building something of worth. Ouch! But yes.
So now what?
If you look at these two concepts they almost seem to contradict each other - should we listen or should we do? How do we balance when to focus on one over the other?
My belief: it is at the interception of these two practices that we will find harmony and success. The mandorla, so to speak, of business bliss. This is when listening is doing and through doing we are listening.
It’s not a static event, rather it’s an evolution, a true creative process. I have not yet come to that place in myself but I feel I have a vision now, a path of understanding of where to go next. New areas to play and tune in to the tribe of mamas and not yet mamas. To the men who are uncertain of marriage and commitment. To the women who chose another path. There is no wrong or right, there is only a commitment to listen and do - do what I can to make a postive difference. Each day a step.
Each day an opportunity to practice.
So I’ll leave with this, what can you share with me? What insight do you have or a perspective I need to see? I am here with open ears.