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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

You know what’s right, don’t you?

In that meeting, where the big cheese was confabulating about external pressures, internal shortages, and murky outcomes — you knew what needed to be said. So why didn’t you say it?

For lack of experience, lack of authority, lack of time in the company, lack of hard skills, lack of support, lack of track record, lack of resources, or something else lacking: you told that little voice to be quiet. That voice that’s so easy to ignore and sideline. That voice that goes quiet the minute you tell it to, but at the cost of a small chunk of your heart.

At the board room table we each arrive with two capacities. Unfortunately only one gets recognized and used. Category one includes education, academic certifications, previous job descriptions, job performance, and current projects get counted. Personal genius, intuition, artistic sensitivity, and insight are in category two and they don’t count.

That voice that told you the truth is in the second category. You couldn’t listen because it wasn’t in the first category. So, what does that mean? What are its implications?

First, that we’re not after truth but a fragment or shard that everyone can understand. A sliver of purity driven into a block of confounding historical perspectives. That we’re not after perfect. That we are after suitable.

Second, that the burden of proof is left to the individual but the prize of success is shared with the group. How different would things be if you could share your genius while others shared their experience, hard skills, and track record?

Third, that there’s only two ways into this second category of understanding. Either, respect its value and accept it as an appropriate feed for decision making or learn to translate its implications into category one type offerings.


Jeremy, absolutely bang-on and inspiring. Yes, we know what right, and your
description of why we shut up the little voice reminded me of far too many instances
of when I didn’t open my mouth. I definitely respect and use category 2, but have
always, up till now, couched it in category 1 offerings.

Nice to see you here Keith.

There’s a trick right? We can’t roll out Category 1 insights in the regular business environment. At least not naturally.

There is a tempering required. A blunting on some fronts and sharpening on other.

I really believe that the only way to include Category 1 insights is to learn how to translate them. My guess is that those super successful leaders we all read about are masters at this translation. I’m very interested in how this is accomplished.

I have some guesses but no certainty. I just read Malcolm Gladwell’s new article in the New Yorker: “How the dog whisperer does it”. I think there a few keys in the piece.