With my parents in town, some conversations with my mom circled around to leadership-y stuff. She’s a bit of a leadership geek, too. At one point we talked about feedback. Way back when I was a kid, she was likely the one who introduced me to the concept: ‘You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.’
It was as true when I was a kid as it was in the fifteenth century when John Lydgate supposedly coined it as it is still. I remind myself of this from time to time, like I remind myself what really matters is just one person.
During our conversation, my mom shared a funny story. Following her adult education workshops, she always asked a few questions. Once she received a lot of the same feedback: ‘Where was the chocolate?’ Taking that to heart and not wanting to deprive the next group of chocolate, she made sure there was plenty on hand. The feedback she got following that one? ‘Where was the dark chocolate?’
ps… this response from Steve Jobs to some feedback begins with this idea and it has long-inspired me for his maybe rare showing of humility and vulnerability…