Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Week 14: The Umbrella of Trust....

Just when one thinks it doesn't get any better than this - it does.  Our team has crested, yet another summit.  We've climbed the mountain of "Journey" this week and found TRUST at the top.

This week, we were individually assigned the task of comparing our journey to a movie of our choosing.  We were then asked to meet within our teams and openly share those journeys with one another while taking the time to really pause and reflect on each one's journey.  Our team met on Saturday for dinner and spent 6.5 hours on this exercise.  Each one's journey was truly unique.  There was intentional vulnerability in the discussion - from the sharing of the journey, the ensuing discussion, and insight from the team.  I continue to learn more about each person - and I am amazed and blessed by their journey.

Humor me for a moment and imagine that our team has just climbed Mount Journey and reached Trust Summit.  We're experiencing a new beginning of a new day together as the fog of self (ego, fear, control) is burnt off by the morning sunrise (vulnerability).  There's this brisk air of excitement of the new day....clarity, hope, inspiration, openness, respect.

Last night in our leadership class, each team was asked to summarize what we've learned so far in this leadership series with respect to living out our values, faith and ethics in leadership.  Our team came up with "The Umbrella of Trust" - see picture to the left.

We all have the umbrella, but we also have to be intentional in its use.  When the rain comes, we can either do nothing and get drenched and soggy with the elements of the storm or we can make the choice to open the umbrella and experience covering.  The elements we depicted in the picture were elements of self and of others - ego, fear, "in the box", conflict, etc....  We viewed the umbrella of trust as enabling each of us to navigate the storm - not necessarily get out of the storm.  When the umbrella of trust is open, the catalyst or enabler of the benefits of trust is intentional vulnerability.  Trust and vulnerability enable openness to feedback, respect, reconciliation, inspiration....all of the list in the picture above.  This whole concept is still forming in our minds....who knows, there may be more to come on this.

In our Economics class, it was a night of critique and rebuttal presentations.  Each team's SWOT analysis was given to another team to be critiqued.  That critique was provided back to the original team so that they could put together a rebuttal.  Last night, each team was responsible for two presentations - 1) Critique of another team's paper and 2) Rebuttal of the critique on their own paper.  Similar to the night we had marketing presentations, I enjoyed watching each team present as it gave people who normally do not speak up in class a chance to talk.

All of the presentations were good.  The exercise provided the opportunities to give constructive criticism and feedback to another team while receiving similar criticism and feedback on your own paper.  Some winced, squirmed and showed forced smiles as they fought back the temptation to defend themselves, while others graciously nodded their heads with understanding.  It is always hard to hear criticism, but I believe, as a whole (not just our team), our cohort is developing a trust for one another that we ultimately understand that we're all trying to help each other.  We're not here to try to make someone else look bad, but rather, we are encouraging each other to finish strong in this MBA marathon.

Thank you team #2 for graciously receiving our critique and thank you team #3 for taking the time to read and critique our paper.  I had to open my umbrella of trust many times during the evening, but I'm so glad I understood my choice to do so.


  1. It was obviously an evening of really good collaboratitive dialog! Great illustration.

  2. I agree, a interesting but fun journey.