Byron's Babbles

Another Option Is Waiting To Be Uncovered

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development, Nuance, Nuance Leader by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on August 22, 2021

You gotta love the show, Monk. For those that have never watched it or don’t remember it, the show is about Adrian Monk, played by Tony Shalhoub, who develops obsessive-compulsive disorder, including being a germaphobe, after his wife was murdered. The condition cost him his job as a prominent homicide detective in the San Francisco Police Department. Because he is so good at what he does, Monk continues to help solve crimes as a consultant with the help of an assistant and his former boss, Leland Stottlemeyer, played by Ted Levine.

In the episode I happened to watch tonight, Willie Nelson was accused of and arrested for murdering his tour manager. Monk kept saying Willie didn’t do it, but the early evidence suggested otherwise. After some damning video evidence came out, Stottlemeyer said it was either “A” or “B” in terms of what actually happened. Monk said, “I believe it’s “C”. Stollemyer replide, “What the hell is “C”?” and Monk replied, “I don’t know yet.” I loved this because so many times when confronted with a decision, most of us default to choosing between “A” and “B” because, at first blush, the world appears binary (eg. Yes or No). Many times the standard “A” or “B” answer just doesn’t fit. Monk had shifted the thinking and conversation from binary affirmation to a learning conversation. We need to embrace and even search out option “C”. It may be the best of “A” and “B” or something completely new and different.

I would like to use the metaphor of a color spectrum here. We can see how immensely varietal the colors are, offering far more nuance than initially meets the eye. In my experience, this means that another option is waiting to be uncovered. Taking time to find the nuances can allow us resist the binary way of looking at choices. Let’s consider nuance and begin to view our choices more like the options available on a color spectrum. Like Monk, we might not know what option “C” is, but we know there is one.


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