Day 1,617 – Thankful for New Holes in the Shadowbox, Patrick Lencioni

One of my favorite all time metaphors is thinking of life as a shadowbox. Jim Collins turned me on to this concept many years ago and it’s stuck with me. When I learn a profound new way of viewing the world I think back to the shadowbox.

Back when I was a kid I still remember a school project involving putting together an entire world in a shoe box. We cut out holes in the top and covered them with tissue paper so light could get in but our curious eyes couldn’t look through. We then cut a set of eyeholes in one side to view the world we’d each created.

If we paused and punched new holes in from a different side we’d see details never before seen. They existed the entire time but we couldn’t see them until we had a different angle. Not only were there new sights to see, there was also more context helping us see how things may be related. When those new holes were opened up we could see the world differently than before. When we would look back through the original eye holes we would now see details and meanings that had previously gone unnoticed. Everything inside was exactly the same but we’d never see or understand it all until we’d seen it from all angles.

I like to think of our world, my life, and my thought processes as a giant shadow box. My entire life is there in the shadowbox. Sometimes I have a new set of eye holes punched in to look through – ie Stoicism, religion, a life altering experience, etc… Quite often it comes in the form of a new idea or concept from a book or video. Regardless of the delivery system I’m provided with an opportunity to look at my thought processes from a different perspective, to see different connections, and to better see more of the whole self.

Today the new eyeholes came in the form of a Zoom presentation by Patrick Lencioni sharing The Working Genius model (check it out here In the matter of thirty minutes my mind was blown from the new perspectives he shared. The model helps to show how work happens and how each of us contribute different strengths to see it through to completion. Such a simple concept with so much depth. This’ll certainly be one my brain keeps wrapping itself around.


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