Raul, Daisy, Darya, and Sam were each the chief technology officer of their respective companies. Thrown together at a leadership retreat, they had spent most of a week in each other’s company. While technically on their own time this evening, they had decided to put the finishing touches on the “summarize the workshop” skit they would present to the larger group the following day.
“So,” Darya said. “We each have our parts. Daisy is our narrator. She’ll explain what’s going on for our protagonist, Sam. Raul and I will puppeteer the props. Everyone ready?”
The others agreed: Raul with a double thumbs-up, Daisy with a solemn bow, and Sam with a “Yes siree Bob.”
1) If you don’t know where to go, any step is fine
Sam went to the middle of the room and stared around, looking puzzled. Raul and Darya joined Sam, bringing a flipchart filled with capital letters, exclamation points, and pointy-haired-boss icons.
“Sam has their marching orders from their boss,” Daisy intoned. “But, Sam isn’t sure how to get started. What is Sam to do?”
“Luckily, Sam recently attended this amazing leadership retreat. There Sam learned that, when we don’t know which way to go, any way is fine.”
Sam looked around the room again, pointed in a random direction, and took a tiny step. “So, Sam takes a tiny step,” Daisy narrated.
2) Add reflection to refine your direction
“Sam survives that first tiny step, so they take another, and another, and another,” Daisy continued. At the same time, Sam acted out doing just that. Then, Sam stopped and put on a comically frustrated look. “But, Sam is getting frustrated. They don’t seem to be getting any closer to their goal. What is Sam to do?”
Darya came up behind Sam and positioned a giant fluffy light bulb over Sam’s head.
“Then, Sam remembers another learning from the workshop. If all we do is take random tiny steps, we will achieve our goal only by chance. So, Sam takes time to reflect before taking each next tiny step.”
Darya removed the light bulb as Sam mimicked the pose of Rodin’s Thinker status. After a moment like that, Sam took a tiny step. Sam repeated this think, step sequence a few more times, then took on another frustrated look.
3) Align with what you care about
“Once again, Sam is getting frustrated,” Daisy explained. “While Sam feels more confident thanks to reflecting between steps, Sam still feels they’re choosing randomly. What is Sam to do?”
This time, Darya held two giant fluffy light bulbs over Sam’s head.
“Sam remembers a third point from the leadership retreat: when tiny steps and reflection aren’t enough, align your steps with what’s important to you.”
Sam turned to the flipchart, which Raul turned to a blank page. Sam started waving their hands at Raul. When Sam stopped, Raul wrote in big block letters, “FUN.”
Sam’s face became a great big grin. Sam pointed in one direction, and Darya held up a giant stuffed frowny emoji. Sam pointed in a different direction, and Darya held up a matching smiley emoji. Sam thought momentarily, then took a tiny step toward the smiling emoji.
Once again, Sam pointed in a direction, and, once again, Darya responded by holding up the smiley emoji. Sam pointed in another direction, and Darya again held up the smiley emoji. Sam took thinker pose momentarily, shrugged, then flipped a coin to choose. “And Sam is on the move once again,” Daisy proclaimed.
4) Always consider at least three options
Twice more, Sam pointed, Darya held up emojis, Sam reflected and then took another step. Then, Sam once again mimed frustration. “But, sometimes both choices feel great,” Daisy expounded. “Other times, neither choice feels good. Sam feels perpetually caught between a rock and a hard place. What is Sam to do?”
Darya returned to holding the two giant fluffy light bulbs over Sam’s head. Raul joined Darya, adding a third light bulb.
“Sam remembers learning about the Rule of Three. One option isn’t a choice; it’s a trap. Two options aren’t really choices, either, but a conundrum. Three options, though. Three options offer real choice. And, oftentimes, once we find that third option, a fourth, fifth, and more come rolling in.”
Sam started pointing in all sorts of directions. Raul and Darya ran around placing fluffy emojis everywhere Sam pointed. Eventually, Sam moved back into thinker pose and then took a tiny step. Raul and Darya collected all the emojis. Then all three repeated the point-place-reflect-move sequence a few more times.
5) Consult your inner Council of Counsel
“Sam is making real progress now,” Daisy declaimed. “With multiple options to reflect over each step, Sam is starting to believe they can pull this off. Maybe even look good while they do.”
Raul carted out a large cardboard clock and placed it in front of Sam. “But, Sam is running out of time. How can Sam know they are making the best choices they can?”
Darya now pelted Sam with foam question marks while Sam cowered under the onslaught. Then, Raul dropped a soccer ball, a volleyball, a basketball, a medicine ball, and a quaffle in front of Sam.
This time, Darya and Raul each grabbed two fuzzy light bulbs and lifted them over Sam’s head. “Sam remembers we always carry our own inner guidance. Our Council of Counsel, the workshop called it. Our heart, mind, body, spirit, and intuition are always here, ready to help us choose.”
Sam again pointed in several different directions, with Raul and Darya placing fluffy emojis each place Sam pointed. Then, Sam acted out a conversation with each of the five balls before making a show of pondering what their Council had said. Finally, Sam took a tiny step.
Use this Simplest Possible Process to find your way
“This, then, is the Simplest Possible Process for Finding Our Way,” Daisy finished up. “First, take a tiny step.” Sam did so.
“Second, pause and reflect between steps.” Raul brought Sam a cardboard cutout of Rodin’s Thinker statue.
“Third, act intentionally by clarifying what’s important to you.” Darya added a stuffed joyful emoji to Sam’s collection.
“Fourth, ensure you have true choice by invoking the Rule of Three.” Raul handed Sam a foam question mark and three foam check marks.
“Fifth, ask your inner guidance for assistance.” Darya and Raul lobbed the five balls at Sam, who caught them with aplomb.
Daisy, Sam, Darya, and Raul all turned toward each other, big grins on their faces.
“That was a perfect summary of our week,” Sam said. “I can’t imagine ever forgetting these steps, now that I’ve acted them out. Thank you for that.”
The others each voiced their agreement with Sam’s sentiments. Tired, yet excited to present their skit to the larger group the next day, they trooped off to their respective hotel rooms and bed.