That’s what they want us to believe: Act fast, buy now, supplies are running out. 

This only works, of course, if you believe that what you currently have isn’t good enough. And that to do more or be more, you must get more.

The same sort of scarcity thinking can creep into behaviors on the team, if we’re not careful. Consider these two scenarios:

  • Michel joins a meeting and thinks knowledge (his and others) is capped. The value a person possesses is equal only to the intelligence with which they bring to the meeting. Because of this, he sees conversations as a bartering system: I’ll give you a nugget if you share with me something valuable that you know. Because he thinks good ideas are scarce, he withholds his best thoughts until those moments he’s certain he’ll receive full credit.
  • Then, there’s Rachel. She’s in the meeting with Michel, and despite the fact that she doesn’t have his credentials or years of experience, she measures her value by her contribution. She freely shares her opinions, asks questions, and isn’t afraid to say “I don’t know.” Rachel doesn’t see intelligence or wisdom as binary (you either have it or you don’t). She knows there is no limit to good ideas – and the only way to access insights is by bringing for her best to each meeting.

Which person do you want on your team? (Which person are you on your team?)

It’s an illusion that supplies are running out. The supply of intelligence and wisdom we need to succeed is not running out. In truth it’s endless. And we have access to it all – but only when we give our all.


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