Creating Conversations that Matter
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Some Questions

Over the past two weeks, I have found myself continually returning to one particular story and a John Quincy Adams quote.

A Story: Two Wolves

An elder Apache was teaching his grandchildren about life.

He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Grandpa simply replied, “The one you feed.”

A Quote:

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
– John Quincy Adams

I believe that the same fight the elder Chief refers to goes on every day in many organizations–within individual leaders, within the leadership team, within and between departments, between the field and home office, between management and staff… I could go on.

The questions it raises for me are:

  • Which wolf have I been feeding? (Which wolf do you feed?)
  • Are we choosing which wolf to feed or simply continually re-running long-standing patterns?
  • What impact is it having on us and our organizations?
  • How is that choice affecting our ability to inspire others to dream, learn, do, and become more?
  • What possibilities might a different choice create?

I would love to hear your answers to these questions. And perhaps you have some questions for me, too?

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