The next time your team is faced with an “impossible” goal, try using this visual object lesson to help challenge their disbelief. You will need a large potato (raw) and a sturdy straw (not the bendable kind) for every person on your team. Once everyone has a potato and a straw, go through the following steps to impress and amaze:
- Tell your team that not everything that looks impossible really is. For example, you hold that it is possible for every one of them to put a straw through a potato (gasps indicating shock and awe!).
- Ask each team member to stand and hold the potato at naval (that’s your bellybutton) level with their non-dominant hand. (Fingers should go on the sides of the potato and not on the top or the bottom. Neglecting this detail could result in an equally neat but somewhat messier object lesson.)
- Have them hold the straw with their dominant hand.
- Ask them to put their thumb over the top opening of the straw.
- Have them visualize the straw going through the potato in their mind’s eye. (They may need to do this several times in order to squash all unbelief.)
- When they are ready, have them quickly thrust the straw through the potato. It should go through cleanly. (More gasps and some fainting.)
- Point out that just like they put the straw through the potato, they can accomplish the “impossible” goal. However, it won’t work unless they believe they can do it and fully commit to making it happen.
I could explain the complex physics behind the demonstration, but why? Isn’t it enough that it works and has the power to elevate you to legendary status among the dynamic leaders of the world?