Near the end of one of the podcast episodes I just recorded (stay tuned for who it was, it’s a surprise!), we were talking about acts of creativity, where I contend we can feel our most vulnerable. My guest said “For this to work, you have to let go of caring if it works.” I’m paraphrasing – but that essential message hit me deeply.
The truth of this statement seems both self-evident and impossible. On its face, it looks like a contradiction and yet there is something magical here if you can balance the two opposing forces.
We live in so many contradictions. This week I had to call a 1-800 number. The company had – once again – made it even more difficult to actually talk to someone. They certainly seem to not care about their customers, and yet I know they are managing costs. It’s a contradiction. Lose enough customers and they won’t have to worry about managing costs. Fail to manage costs and they won’t be able to find enough customers to keep them afloat.
I’ve been thinking about all the contradictions in business life lately. They are absolutely inevitable and necessary. The question is how to balance them.
And maybe what to call them. Contradiction may not be the best word. Paradox is better. Balancing act is even better than that.
In business, we have to balance so many apparently opposing forces: emotions vs logic, being on one team while being the leader of another team, make decisions for the long term vs short term, needing to prove yourself but not getting caught in a proving mindset.
What are the contradictions you are living with? What seemingly impossible forces do you have to balance? How have you learned to resolve them? Which ones seem unresolvable?
At the end of every blog, I ask people to respond and tell me what you think. And I get some responses! For this question, I would love to get a LOT more responses.
This question of contradictions has me very curious. Please comment on this blog and let me know what contradictions you are living with and how you balance it.