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Our Perspective Shapes Our Perception

By Joey Havens

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As I read my daily devotional, the author used the phrase “diddly squat.” The two words just jumped off the page at me. Just this week, I heard someone else use this term. I will often say, I don’t know diddly squat about that or that doesn’t amount to diddly squat.

Diddly squat is an informal expression that means virtually nothing or almost nothing. It’s often used to emphasize the insignificance or lack of value of something. One of my biggest leadership mistakes has been quickly dismissing something as not amounting to diddly squat.

My excuse or rationalization is we don’t have time for this. I need to be decisive. Believe me, in an exponential world like today, being decisive is critical. But in this constant push for progress, it’s easy to dismiss something as diddly squat. It’s a swift judgment, a dismissive wave of the hand, a blink of the eye. For me, it’s a convenience. It saves time and emotional energy.

We think it’s a show of strength. But this is exactly where my mistake lurks.

As a leader, I have too often been swift in labeling something as diddly squat, not realizing that my judgment might stem from a lack of understanding or an unwillingness to delve deeper. In my rush for decisiveness, I’ve brushed aside concerns, emotions, and ideas without fully comprehending their significance.

Now, let’s pause and think about this. What may seem like diddly squat to me might be a gold mine for someone else. Our perceptions are shaped by our experiences, our knowledge, and our perspectives. What might seem insignificant to one may hold paramount importance to another.

So, the lesson here is about openness and patience (these continue to be big growth areas for me!). It’s about taking the time to understand before making a judgment. It’s about acknowledging that what might seem like diddly squat to me may be the mother lode for someone else. It’s an important reminder for all of us, that as team members and leaders, we should listen more, understand better, and judge less. It makes us better family members, too.

CeCe, what your brother said doesn’t amount to diddly squat…

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