Lenten Reflections: Forty Things I Really Like And… (Day 17)–Getting connected

Only connect. When I first went to work at the Bank of England, I had the good fortune to be managed by some very good managers–people who were technically very challenging and very thoughtful about how the people they led were motivated. My first boss told me that I had not been hired to know all the answers; I was expected to ask the right questions. That guides me still, and have tried to pass that on to those around me, especially my children. Another manager I worked for told me, mystically, “Only connect.”connections He never explained in detail, but gave examples of what that should look like in the world of finance and debt issues into which I became mired under his leadership. I’ve tried to use that advice constantly.

I can think of many people and things that I have ‘only connected’. My job was done once that was completed. I was not obliged to monitor or coax the connected into any particular shape. No agenda. No pack drill. No micro- or macro-managing. Breathing regularly if the connected pulled apart. Breathing easily if they connected more closely. Best of all, they carried on without regard to what role I had played, initially. I should be happy to walk away when I was good and ready. Not being rude.

I know lots of people who love to put their fingers into pies24 blackbirds and keep them there. The idea is to just check on the pie to see if it’s ready, not inspect it. You really don’t need to check how many blackbirds are inside; whether they are all singing in tune; whether their beaks are all pointing in the same direction; if they are ready to come out or to be eaten. Some have to be totally inside the pie 🙂 Then their noses get pecked off!


About The Grasshopper

Professional international economist, recently retired from an international organization. I use blogging as a way of organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, and spent many years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for a few decades, and worked and travelled abroad extensively. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of girls. Also, married to an economist.
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