Thursday, August 21, 2014

Random and Perfect

Recently I found myself dwelling on a family dynamic that saddens me. It had kept me awake for much of the night, and in the morning as I went for a run, I was still feeling miserable about it. I kept re-living those moments when I could have done or said something different to get a different outcome and my mental video seemed on an endless loop. You've been there, I'm sure.

Although I don't believe in supernatural events, what happened next made me question my lack of faith. I have never been one of those runners who listen to phone music; there are zero tunes in my phone's storage bin. I was wearing earphones this morning only because I was expecting an incoming call due just minutes after my scheduled return home. Late in the run as I was huffing up the street, out of the blue yonder comes a song through my earphones. A soulful male voice was singing this most beautiful melody. Stunned, I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and stared at it: how could this be happening? The song title flashed for just a few moments, but there was enough time for me to see: "Let It Go". I laughed out loud. And I felt myself letting go.

When I quizzed the fellow at the computer/phone store a few days later, he offered a logical explanation: my phone's speakers apparently respond oddly to moisture and can sometimes do weird things when people work out -- he surmised that this could include zoning in on a free-music radio station and grabbing a song. So much for the supernatural explanation. And yet I'm just as in awe of this random occurrence as if it had been a miracle. It was perfect.

While I'm not suggesting you treat your phone as an oracle, I do wonder this: as a leader, how open are you to inspiration and support that you receive from unexpected people and situations? How might your own wisdom be deepened by noticing what metaphors there are in nature--and inanimate objects--that might apply to a problem you're currently pondering?

Rebecca Perry is a seasoned team consultant, leadership coach, seminar facilitator, mediator, and retreat planner. Since 1990 she has been coaching, consulting and facilitating for clients in a wide variety of industries and at all levels of management. Check out her website at

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