Quirks and all

Last week I felt very honoured to be in an aircraft hangar with not one but three private jets, I hasten to add that I wasn’t about to fly off anywhere, I was just a happy visitor during a Leadership Workshop.

The edges of the wings were silver and looked like something that was more likely to have been produced in a high-end luxury jeweller than an aircraft manufacturer, the clean, shining edges were strikingly beautiful. 

A little peculiarity struck me, a team were working on the engine of one of the aircraft and a hold door was also open on it’s underbelly, it was pointed out to me that it was the luggage hold – compared to the size of the jet, it was tiny.  It was also pointed out that it was so much easier, therefore, when passengers brought soft luggage bags, hard edged suitcases were a lot harder to fit in. 

This exquisite aircraft with long range capability, the most sumptuous of interiors and with something of a ‘money no object’ patina about it, had a slight quirk if a lot of suitcases were required, I couldn’t help but like the fact. 

Often when working with teams and individuals, the quirks and differences get amplified or perceived to be rather more of a problem than they actually are, rather than being seen as opportunities and potential for success. As human beings, we do naturally have a tendency to focus on the negatives, in part for survival due to us being creatures with a fight, flight instinct so we do have to deliberately think about the positives. 

When people welcome  the quirks, seek to listen, trust and understand each other and embrace talent and difference without feeling threatened by it, teams and businesses flourish. 

As far as that luggage compartment  is concerned, maybe the engineers and designers were onto something, whether on foot, bicycle, budget airline or in a private jet, often we do just carry too much luggage, literally or metaphorically. 

The difficulties, regrets and emotional scars and other stuff that we pick up along the way and carry with us, professionally and personally, often serve to hinder our progress, we lose a little of our power and to coin an aerodynamic term, it causes drag. 

As Ariana Grande said ’ Love your flaws and own your quirks’.  

They make you who you are and serve to fuel your potential to enable you to move towards what you want.  

As the expression aptly goes, if you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down. 

It is National Inclusion week, perfect for celebrating the quirks and differences that bring us together. 

Happy week.

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