Everyone, a friend once said, is always asking the same thing over & over based on who they are. The words change, but the underlying question for each tends to be the same:
- Project managers are always asking, “Are you efficient? Are you effective?”
- Artists & product managers are asking, “Do you get it?” (What game are we playing, and how do we keep score?)
- Engineers are always asking, “Are you a moron?” (Did you consider this, think of that, etc.?)
I thought of this on Monday as Buddhist nun Thubten Chodron spoke at Google. Instead of evaluating the what of things (what did you accomplish, create, earn, etc.), she emphasized weighing the why. What is your intention? Is, for example, a charitable contribution really driven by love of others, or is it meant to stroke your ego?
I can’t claim any deep insight here, but I was struck by the parallel & by the wisdom—in life & in work, especially PM work—of pursuing the Five Whys. Hmm; more thinking to be done.