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You Gotta Order
Episode 1327th May 2022 • PowerPivot • Leela Sinha
00:00:00 00:13:14

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Starbucks, Redwoods, love, work, community, and everything: the key to being served well is to being known. And rather than take our strengths for granted, we need to we need to play to our strengths and then allow ourselves to be in community, in collaboration, with other people where we need help, where we need support, where we're not as strong.

Find Monica Scantlebury here: https://www.monicamonfre.com/

Transcripts

Leela Sinha:

You got to give 'em your order. Before I start, I

Leela Sinha:

just want to say that I don't actually drink coffee. And I'm

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going to talk about ordering at Starbucks. So I'm probably going

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to sound like a right fool. Because I don't know anything

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about anything about Starbucks, even the sizes of the cups is

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confusing.

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But I do know this, they

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will customize a coffee order to the end of the

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earth. And so people walk in there, and they have like

Leela Sinha:

their regular order, like, nobody orders, almost nobody

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orders black coffee anymore. Apparently, we order like

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half-Caf-mocha-latte-something-something-I don't know. But everybody knows

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what their order is. Everybody walks in, everybody speaks it

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fluently. It's like a whole other language in there. And

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then most of the time, the baristas make the coffee. And

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the person picks up their order at the end of the counter,

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because they know that that's how that system works, because

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it's a whole other world in there.

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And, and then they drink their coffee and they're happy.

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And that's why people go to Starbucks because they know that

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no matter which Starbucks they go to, they'll get basically the

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same coffee if they give basically the same order.

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And that basically the same coffee

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is what they want. They don't want to deal with uncertainty in

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their caffeine delivery. They like consistency. They like

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regularity. They like knowing that if it's bad, at least it's

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bad in the same way that it's always bad. And if it's good,

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it's good in the same way that it's always good. And it doesn't

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matter if you're in Kansas or in California.

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But here's the thing, here's the key to that perfect seamless

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interstate experience, you got to give them

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the same order. In fact, you got to give them an order that asks

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for the thing you want, you got to ask for exactly what you want

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in the way that you want it. If you want them to foam or not

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foam or whipped cream or not whipped cream or extra shots or

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extra flavoring or extra ice or no ice at all. Like you have to

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ask for the thing the way you want it. And you can ask for it

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exactly

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the way you want it. But you do have to ask. And when you ask

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you're

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rewarded with exactly the thing you want. And so most people get

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pretty good at asking for exactly the thing they want in

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the language that Starbucks uses to understand what all of these

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complicated requests are.

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You have to ask. The key to being served well, is being

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known. The key to

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being served well is being known. I was recently in a

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Clubhouse interview with Monica Scantlebury, and she and I were

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talking about boundaries and leadership. The key to being

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served

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well is being known well and whether we like to talk about it

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or not, when someone is in your employ, there is a way in which

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they are there to serve you. They are there to meet a need

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that you have, you are paying them to be in your service for a

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particular period of time or for a particular task. But they have

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to know you, they have to know you and the more they know you

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the better a chance that they'll give you what you want the first

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time, that they'll anticipate your needs well, that they'll be

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able to fulfill,

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above and beyond,

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above and beyond the basics, above and beyond the letter of

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the instruction. Because it's one thing to go into a Starbucks

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where nobody knows you and give your standard order and get your

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standard coffee. But it's another thing to walk into the

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Starbucks where you go in every morning

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at exactly 8:05. And you

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often end up standing between the same people in line and when

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you get to the counter,

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the barista smiles and says "the usual?" and you say "yes, thank

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you." And you

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make the tip a little bigger because you like the barista

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because you like this location because he like the feeling of

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being known. You didn't have to spit out that long string of

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adjectives that explained how you wanted your coffee, because

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they've been making your coffee that way for a long time,

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and they remember.

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They already know. They don't just know what those words mean.

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They know you. And so they can save you all of those words. You

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don't need those words unless you're doing something different

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from usual. They can just use what they know to serve you well

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and then, they put an extra note on the cup because they know

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your birthday is coming up or something happens and

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something's not right. And the barista just, you know, slides

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you a little cookie across the counter as compensation for the

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trouble because they know you and

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you know them. When you have someone working for you, the

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more they know

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about you, the more they know about how you think and how you

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operate and what you want, the better a job they can do, of

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their job, because their job in some ways is to serve you if

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they're working for you. And so they can know that if you're

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running more than five minutes late and you haven't texted,

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you're probably not coming to that meeting, they can ask you,

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if you're coming to that meeting, they can make sure they

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have your coffee ready, they can whatever it is that they have

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learned about you

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that you need.

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They can automatically show up to the meeting with the Google

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Doc for the notes already created and already shared with

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you, so that you can watch those notes scroll by as they take

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notes on your conversation, so that you can feel secure knowing

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that those things have been written down. And also, because

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they know that you know that reading the words helps to

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cement them in your brain. And that you don't have to tell them

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all that every time you tell them that once or they learn it

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by being in your presence. But the more you can tell them the

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faster it is, the easier it

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is. To be served well as to be known well.

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Does that involve vulnerability? Yeah. To some extent it does. If

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you have an assistant, they probably know more of your flaws

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than almost anybody else. Does that involve risk? Sure.

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big risk, big reward. But you

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gotta tell them. You got to tell them what you want, you got to

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tell them what you need, you got to be honest about all the

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things that you do well, and all the things that you don't do

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well, and the reason that you really needed to hire them in

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the first place. And you gotta be honest about what makes you

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feel good and what doesn't, and how they can help you feel

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better. It still counts even if you have to ask for it. In

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relationships, I know a lot of people think that it doesn't

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count if they have to ask to be told that someone loves them.

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Because if it didn't arise spontaneously out of their

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partner's lips, then it doesn't, doesn't feel real, it doesn't

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feel genuine. But what I know is that if I need to hear that

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someone loves me, and I don't ask,

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they might know me well enough to know to say it anyway. But

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they might be distracted, they might be tired, they might be

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having a bad day. They might just feel it so strongly that

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they feel like they don't have to say it. Not consciously but

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unconsciously, it might just feel like a thing that exudes

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out of every pore from all of the things that they do for me

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and all the ways that they are with me. And

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it might just be me that needs the words. But the only way I'm

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going to get those words is to ask.

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And the key to all of this stuff, at the bottom of the

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bottom of all of it, is that you have to know yourself well

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enough to know what to ask for. You have to know what you need.

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You need to know what you're good at and where you always

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break down. You need to know what you love and what you

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resist even though you're perfectly competent at it. You

Leela Sinha:

need to know what's getting in the way of the next thing. Not

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so that you can overcome it all and become a superhuman person,

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which is what we're mostly taught in school is that you

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have to work on your weak spots and take your strong spots for

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granted. But in fact, I think it's the reverse we need to play

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to our strengths.

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And then allow

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ourselves to be in community, in collaboration, with other people

Leela Sinha:

where we need help, where we need support, where we're not as

Leela Sinha:

strong. Recently, a redwood tree in my neighborhood fell over,

Leela Sinha:

there was a huge windstorm. And this enormous tree just toppled

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into the park. At first everyone was really surprised, in a good

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way, because it had toppled into the park and not toward the

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street. Not toward any of the many houses that surrounded it.

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It was right on the corner of the park right at an

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intersection. It could have crushed anything and it didn't.

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It sheared all the branches off of another tree in the park. But

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it fell into a completely empty field.

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And it wasn't

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until somebody thought about the root structures of redwoods,

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that they figured out what happened. See the street and the

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sidewalk, and the curb, and a little retaining wall, had all

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been put in at that corner of the park. And when they did

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that, they cut the very shallow root structure of this

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enormously tall tree on two sides, but only on two sides.

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And those two sides were the sides that faced the street and

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so when it fell, it was still attached

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in the direction of the park, so that's toward the park is where

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it fell. Because the roots that were no longer there to hold it

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up, were on the street side.

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But if you go to look at the Redwoods in their natural

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habitat,

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they're never far from each other.

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redwoods are a forest, the living being, the organism, is

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the forest itself.

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Each individual tree is

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a fruiting body almost like a mushroom with a mycelial network

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under it. Each individual tree is its own thing, but its own

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thing in the context of a community. And so these shallow

Leela Sinha:

roots, because these enormously tall trees only have root

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systems that are six or seven feet deep. These shallow root

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systems work because they work in a network, because they are

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interlaced and interlocked. And so one tree blowing in a strong

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wind shifts back and forth. And if you're standing in the

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forest, when that happens, you can feel the ground ripple under

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your feet as the shock and the stress and the strain spread out

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through the entire network of trees, through the roots under

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your feet. Through the whole living body. We need to be in

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community where we're weakest. It's only when we're not in

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community that we fall down. And as leaders, that's more true,

Leela Sinha:

not less. Thanks for tuning in. I'll see you next time.

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