Rituals and Piseogs ✨

Jan 14, 2022 1:19 pm

Happy Friday!

I bet several of you are looking at the word piseog for the first time. I bumped into it in one of my favorite books, "The Once and Future King." That book, is the retelling of the story of King Arthur. The Disney movie, "Sword in the Stone" is based on it.

Anyway, piseog is an old Irish word that means superstition, but it has a bit more context of having more serious consequences almost like a spell.

Why am I bringing that up? Well, I think ritual and superstition are pretty powerful forces that we contend with daily at work.

You might be inclined to think that superstition has no place in most companies, but I'd challenge you by looking towards deeply held beliefs we have about work that may or may not be true. A quick example is that if you or your team aren't busy all the time, there is no way you can succeed.

That is a superstition. It isn't based on fact.

That isn't really where I was going with this, because as much as I recognize that ritual and superstition are alive and well in our jobs, they are often ones we simply live with as opposed to ones we adopt.

Imagine designing a ritual that you believe helps you be one tiny step closer to some goal. One example could be in how you manage your email or calendar. A favorite of mine that I use with leaders is that before they touch a door handle to enter a meeting, they take a breath and remind themselves of who they want to be.

The relevance of superstition is that it is connected to many rituals in that we have faith in the consequence. So my suggestion is that the act of creating tiny rituals and filling them with superstitious beliefs gives them power.

Try it. Come up with some small ritual that you fill with its own sense of power. If you keep inbox zero for 2 days will you get good news?

Let me know what you come up with.