I gave a start: for many years now, I’ve been meeting managers and other professionals complaining about the lack of a clear and shared vision. And, for many years, my first thought was that having a vision isn’t that important in actual practice or, to say it better, that people are more likely to complain about the lack of a vision rather than taking on their own responsibilities.
My gut reply to Evangelina’s proposal would have been something like: “Vision? What vision? We all know well what we want and like to do. Let’s move on!”.
Actually, I just decided to take some time. Yet, Evangelina kept on insisting on her proposal and some others seemed to agree with her. I yielded and we started working. The result was simple and yet extremely stimulating. Since then, we being every meeting reading the outcome of that work, that is actually more a mission than a vision statement. Since then, we also compare every important decision with such statement, wondering whether we are proceeding in that direction.
Here’s our mission.
Torreluna aims to
- activating resources
- overcoming limitations
offering projects aimed at the development of human potential
that make sense for
- the partners
- each individual
spreading self-empowerment and using a workshop approach
- with method and rigor
The deranged exploration of oneself
What did I learn from this episode? Many things, but the main one concerns elaboration. There’ll always be paths and decisions we reckon smarter, better than others. However, if we just stick to those, aren’t we excessively limiting our choices? I believe that each of us can:
- allow him/herself a certain amount of unusual, even irrational or not completely reasonable actions;
- trust others’ advice while we usually listen to their suggestions just to, shortly after, tell them why we are not going to do a certain thing or we did something already;
- explore stupidity, give space to what, subjectively, we consider stupid, refuse before even having tried it, hate or reject.
Thinking of stupidity, while I am writing the 2010 Diesel campaign Be Stupid! and the book on leadership written by Anna Zanardi for the release of that campaign come to my mind. Stupidity as a courageous, daring, breakthrough action. Stupidity leads to running risks and helps not to be stopped by our concerns. Be foolish, used to say Stove Jobs in this video, that has now become famous worldwide.
So, if we are convinced of the value of stupidity, why don’t we undertake some sort of unusual action more often? Try this: list the 10 things you reckon as the most stupid and then, one by one, find a way to try them, at least in homeopathic quantity, at least once. Perhaps you’ll change your mind, perhaps you’ll find out that true stupidity belongs to those who stand still on their a priori position.
The stupid things that maybe I should be doing
Here’s the list of the stupid things I would never do in my life and that, for such reason, maybe I should be doing:
- Draft the mission of Torreluna (I did it alredy!)
- Go on a cruise
- Order a carbonara abroad
- Hire at Torreluna someone who only deals with back-office activities
- Do something weird with my hair (shave them off or dye them)
- Grow a vegetable garden (now that I wrote it, I am thinking of doing it for real!)
- Thinking about buying a chihuahua
- Spend a night watching ballet
- Buy a Gigi D’Alessio CD
- Try paragliding or parachuting
- Open the door to one of those individuals who ring your bell on Sunday mornings and offer him a coffee
One last thought: sometimes we think we cannot do certain things because of the context or because the people around us (our colleagues or family members) wouldn’t let us…
- First of all, ask yourself whether the context is actually a limitation or it’s rather your fears or your ego that do not allow you to take risks, to act differently while forcing you to show a strained consistence. Sometimes, even our own values may constitute a limitation, at least due to the rigidity of our interpretations.
- Secondly, if you realize that the context or the people around you are a true limitation, ask yourself whether these are the kind of relationships you really want in your life. Whether you are willing to accept others to limit your impulses, even your stupid deeds. Ask yourself why you chose to be surrounded by this kind of people when the world is full of “Evangelinas” ready to provoke you with their thoughts and to challenge you to do something new. So, if you don’t have such people in your life, do find them!
I’d like to end this post with a much deserved tribute to the sharpest and funniest essay you could ever read with regards to human stupidity: The basic laws of human stupidity. And if you think that’s stupid, even better!