Do you know why you have wings?

"Oh that can´t possibly be true",
I thought, when I read an interview with a man who said that tornseglare (common swift in English) stay in the air for two to three years after leaving the nest. Two to three years without landing! They even sleep (or at least "half-sleep") mid-air. As unbelievable as it seems, it is apparently true.

Flock of Birds Flying Above the Mountain during Sunset, Pixabay

I thought about this when my coach asked me why I -  who have written four published novels - am still reluctant to call myself an author. After some thinking, and some talking to my always supporting husband, I realized one of the reasons:
Writing is too easy for me to feel like an author. 
The stories just come in to my head and I write them down. That's kind of it. No struggle, no writer's block. No years of writing school. I just write. Sure, I spend a lot of time editing, doing research for my books, improving my story and my text and so on, but all of that is fun

To me that doesn't sound like being an author. It sounds like playing around. Or maybe like flying for several years without needing to land if you are a swift...

As INXS sang in Never tear us apart:

I told you
That we could fly
'Cause we all have wings
But some of us don't know why

Do you know why you have wings? Do you even know you have wings?

You have wings. We all do.

Why? Not to show off, not to make others who have a different set of wings feel small. To inspire. To make this world a better place.

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, What if I fall?
Oh but my darling, what if you fly?

Erin Hanson


Warmth first, competence second

Jane, the CEO of the company, saw the two men outside of her office. They were anxiously waiting for her to let them in. Let them in and let them know what she thought about their first day at work. They knew she had had them observed.  Of course, they had done their best to give a good first impression. What did she think of their first day?

Suddenly Jane stood up - she was a tall, slim woman -  and beckoned for them to come in to her office.

When they sat down in front of her desk she asked how they had found their first day. James talked about what he had done, what he had said and what he was looking forward to doing within the company. Jane nodded and turned to the smiling John. That smile reminded her of her father's old labrador, a dog with a continuously wagging tale. John told her about the persons he had met and what he had learned from them. 

Jane leaned back in her leather chair. 

"In one year, you will be a respected leader in this company John. James, you will contribute in a good way, but you will not be a leader unless you change your ways."

James' mouth fell open. "But, but why?"

"Because people won't trust you. "

James spread his arms to the sides.

"But, why? I am honest, I am trustworthy, I..."

Jane interrupted him.

"I know. I wouldn't have employed you if you weren't. "

James' arms dropped to his sides, his mouth still open. The whole day James had taken every opportunity to show his expertise. He had let his future colleagues know what he knew, what he could bring to the table. He had been convinced people would love to have him on the team. And now Jane told him they would not trust him.

Jane leaned forward, comforted him with a soft look in her brown eyes.

"People are not as rational as we think. We act instinctively. And the first thing we want to know when we meet someone new is if the person is dangerous or not. Is he a friend or a foe? You have done what most of us do. Telling people how good you are, proving how smart you are. People don't care. Not until they trust you."

Jane turned to John.

"You have talked to a lot of people today. Not about you, you have talked about them. You have made jokes, you have listened more than you have talked. You have not said much about what you are able to do, about your expertise. Still, those I have talked to would all like to work with you. And they are convinced you will contribute well."

James looked at his hands when listening to what Jane told John. He was a grown man, but he felt like a small boy in the principal's office. He startled when he suddenly felt Jane's hand on his back. 

"Don't worry James. I hired you because I believe in you. You will be able to make others believe in you too. If you remember that we are here to make a positive impact. Not to prove to others how smart we are."

How do you behave at work? Do you remember to build trust first and show off your competence second? If you don't, start doing so now. You will be surprised about how it can affect your career.

For more on this subject, read THE KEY TRAIT SUCCESSFUL LEADERS HAVE, AND HOW TO GET IT by Heidi Grant Halvorson


The Beauty of Art part 13- The answers

Most of you did not know the artist this time, but those of you who will come to Fredsrosor - the book release for Primam lapidem mittat - will not only know who the artist is, you will also be able to meet her :).

The artist is Hanna Herngren, the painting is Rosenkvitten.

Hanna is from Sjövik, Lerums kommun Sweden. She lives with her family at the lake Mjörn outside of Gråbo.

Hanna finds inspiration, serenity and happiness in nature and in her garden. Through her reflections on nature she wants to provide those very feelings: serenity, happiness and hope. 

Hanna would like the observer to stop and see the beauty in the small, simple things in everyday life.

Light is central in her paintings. It can symbolize the light in the darkness, or an attempt to provide the feeling of hope and warmth we feel when the rays of the spring sun shines through the branches.

The light in the painting above, is also what some of you liked - one of you even found the light "Rembrandt-like".  

This is another one of her paintings: Christmas fairytale, with a more dramatic choice of colors:

Since I, like Hanna, really enjoy nature and all its living creatures, I enjoy her paintings. I am looking forward to seeing the originals!

On Fredsrosor, Hanna will let us all know how she finds inspiration to her paintings. You can read more about her in Akleja Art.