Dominoes Episode Nineteen

Charley began the next day by mentioning that the focus for the day would be on the BELIEVER’S NETWORK phase of the difference making process. “Actually, I’m going to ask you to develop sets of traits today. This morning I want to focus on the traits of those you want to become engaged with you in your difference making effort. Then this afternoon, we’ll focus on the traits you will need to possess to get others to work with you. Would you take some time now and tell me the traits of those you would like to work with?”

This time, the interns moved quickly to develop a list of traits for those they would like to have join them. When Charley started putting the traits on the board, the result was what he expected. “I must say you have captured a great list for friends on social media,” began Charley. “But I’m sorry to say that you haven’t captured the traits needed for your believer’s network. Remember you are looking for people who will become allies in the development of your ideas. You are looking for people who are believers like you are, but it’s likely you will have differences of opinions and arguments. You need to think of this as collaborators, not friends, and certainly not sheep willing to follow you no matter what. Now let’s develop a new list of traits.”

When the interns had completed their lists, Alan made a comment that the others immediately endorsed: “I found that there are actually two types of traits needed. Some traits were needed for the scaffolding phase, and other traits were needed to convince others to buy into the difference making effort.” Charley was impressed. He hadn’t thought of this but Alan and the interns were right.

When Charley started to capture the traits for the scaffolding phase, he noticed something he had seen before. Many of the traits were contradictory. For example, the interns had listed both supportive and critical. When he asked them about this the response was that a believer needed to be both. That was a break through that then led to a set of traits for the believer network during the scaffolding phase

  • Supportive but critical
  • Faithful but skeptical
  • Hopeful but pessimistic

Charley was overjoyed in seeing how the interns saw the nuance required in believers. Clearly they had moved beyond the friends approach from social media.

Next, Charley asked them to think of the outreach traits for the believers. What makes them good at spreading the word so that others become involved in the difference making effort. This list of traits came easier. It seemed as if each intern was describing traits that they hoped they possessed.

When the traits were combined for both the scaffolding and outreach aspects of the believer’s network, Charley had a new insight. All of the traits in this case were aptitude traits

  • Supportive but critical            ● Faithful but skeptical
  • Hopeful but pessimistic         ● Believable
  • Expressive                               ● Energetic
  • Determined                              ● Idealistic

What Charley had originally thought would be a skills development experience was taking on a new light. He wondered: “How can I develop aptitude?” While he loved the developmental nature of this experience with the interns, he was increasingly uncomfortable with how it was becoming developmental for himself as well.

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“I’m a big believer that you surround yourself with good people which brings the best out of you.” – George Kittle (football player)

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