Last Wednesday, I was given 2 minutes to go into a small room and arrange everything in the room so that the chair was the most powerful object in the room. In the room there was a large table, a trash can, two tea kettles, a pad of paper, a 30 lb. dumbbell, an empty milk crate, and one folding chair.
Welcome to the Summit Leadership Team weekly meeting. This exercise came courtesy of Lilly, our Basecamp director of operations. Each of us had a chance to arrange the room for ourselves as our peers looked on and observed our choices. Andrew moved everything out of the room leaving only the chair. Evan folded the chair and laid it on the ground in front of the table. Lilly turned the chair to face the window.
Lilly chose this exercise as an instigator for dialogue and as a way to draw awareness to the different styles of leadership on our team, the different ways that we approach problems, and the many ways that we can think about what makes something powerful.
These weekly meetings have become a treasured part of my work week. Each week someone new initiates the meeting. It can be an article, a short film, a 5-minute workout.
The important thing is that we are creating a space to ask hard questions, to engage thoughtfully and honestly with each other, and to think about ways to challenge ourselves and challenge our business.