Landed Gentry Blog   Home   |

Archive for September, 2010

Collective Wisdom

Monday, September 27th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was searching for a statistic to incorporate into a discussion with a group I was facilitating for a leadership development program I work with.  As I searched Google and other search engines for the specific statistic, I was not coming up with the information I was looking for.  So I grabbed the next best, related statistic that I could find.  Close enough, right?

A few days later I was with the group discussing what I information I had found.  Not entirely satisfied, I decided that I was going to be straight forward and discuss loosely what I was really looking for with the group.  I elected for transparency and choose to share my information struggle with the 32 participants. An interesting discussion ensued about the importance of the topic continued and the main point of the exercise happened as our facilitation team intended.  Then, this last week I got an email from one of the group members, they found the statistic I was looking for!  My recollection was somewhat accurate and the information I was looking for did exist!  Vindication!  Maybe?

What really struck me was not to underestimate what a group of thoughtful human beings can come up with.  Our best work is often not done in isolation.  We kid ourselves into thinking we can do it all ourselves.  Wikipedia, Google, Bing, etc.; all of these great resources at our finger tips tend of make us forget the benefits that come from the collective wisdom that we gain by working with others.  Friends, colleagues, family and other trusted advisors; they have perspective and insights to share that are different than ours as we face questions, challenges and decisions that inevitably come up in life.   We need each other more than we think. 

How do you tap into the collective wisdom around you?


Brian Gentry – Landed Gentry Homes & Communities 


Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Brian Gentry – Landed Gentry Homes & Communities

This morning I went to the Skagit Land Trust (SLT) – Conservation Breakfast.  They are a great organization that buys or is donated conservation easements or properties and is an organization that Landed Gentry has contributed toward for many years.  Currently, they protect 5,968 acres of land in Skagit County, including 26 miles of shoreline.  SLT holds some amazing places in the area, from mountain tops in the islands of Puget Sound to highland pastures in North Cascades.   Because they hold these properties as conservation lands in perpetuity, and as one board member noted “forever is a long time”, the word “stewardship” came up several times during this morning’s program. 

What is stewardship all about?  The SLT Stewardship Director (yes they have directors of such things), Michael Kirshenbaum, described it as “taking care of the special places”.  What a simple, yet profound statement.  The special places…  Are those spectacular places only found in nature?  What other special places are there in our lives that need to be stewarded? 

The first special place I think of is the home, not the building, but the place.  Who is there, what happens there, what does it need from me? Our companies, our team, our customers, the organizations we are a part of all need some degree of stewardship.

What special places do you need to take care of?