Where's Your Power?

When I was 25 years old, I worked at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. I was the secretary on a team of people who ran the Senior Executive Fellows Program.


It was during the Reagan administration and the government was spending a ton of money to send their highest level managers to Cambridge for three months of study in public policy issues and management techniques.

Every semester, we had a group of middle aged people -- mostly men -- enter the program. In the morning, they had regular classes just like any other student. But since we housed them and fed them and they had afternoon's off, we had a lot of time to fill. My boss was the best, brightest, kindest, most caring human on the planet. Especially with me. I was a mess -- suffering with severe PMS, having just gained a huge amount of weight due to an allergic reaction I had to an antibiotic that I took due to having a series of bladder infections that I could not get rid of. I had just moved from San Francisco, too, and was living alone after having broken up with my boyfriend of four years because he wanted to get married and I wanted to GET OUT.


As a little kid, my father always told me that I was "Little Miss Know It All".


I share that as the preface to my finally have to face that part of myself and actually learn and grow from it.


Little Miss Know It All showed up at Harvard University at the age of 25 and acted like she KNEW IT ALL.


One day, several months into my tenure, I'm in my boss' office. I was in the chair at the side of his desk and he was sitting at his desk. We were talking. Or probably I was talking.


He leans back and says, "You know, Joanne, the power is in the questions."


And then he went on to explain to me that instead of looking for the answers that I would benefit from looking for the questions. He taught me you keep asking questions until you get to the question that really is the one worth seeking the answers.


What questions can you ask yourself today?

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