And just like that, it’s already the end of March! Give yourself a few minutes to reflect on the year you had envisioned, and the year so far. What can you see?
Here are some questions I’m asking myself as we close out the first quarter of the year – perhaps they may be helpful for you too:
Stuck is not a fun place to be, is it? Routine is one thing, but a feeling of stagnation, of not being able to break through a plateau, can be demoralising.
We instinctively feel the desire – the need, even – to push through and make start making progress again.
When you find yourself in this situation in one or more areas of life, it’s helpful to keep in mind the difference between Motion, Movement and Momentum.
Every single one of us should be intentionally developing ourselves in order to offer our best unique contribution to the world. Those who are leaders should also be trying to do the same for those they are leading.
Here’s one way to think about it…
“Once upon a time a colony of penguins was living in the frozen Antarctic on an iceberg near what we call today Cape Washington…”
So begins John P. Kotter‘s classic organisational-change fable, ‘Our Iceberg is Melting‘, in which the Emperor penguins Fred, Alice, Louis, Buddy, the Professor, and No-No (we all know that guy, right?) must confront the challenge they are facing, and learn to successfully change as a result.
Widely considered to be THE change guru in the world today, Kotter is perhaps most famous for his eight step process for leading change, which he first put forth in his classic book, ‘Leading Change’. In ‘Our Iceberg is Melting’, Kotter took those same eight steps and placed them in the context of a simple story, to great effect – it, too, became an instant classic, selling more than a million copies over the last decade.
Businesses and organisations around the world have utilised the principles modelled by Kotter’s plucky penguins in order to execute change and reach their goals, and so too can we, as we face a New Year and all that we might hope to achieve within it.
Everything depends on the daily.
Character is built with it. With the drop-drop-drop of daily deposits of integrity; of choosing what we want most over what we want now; with placing the genuinely important above the exigent.
Certainly our skills depend on it. We become great at something by first being ordinary but interested, and slowly becoming proficient, and perhaps even one day finding we have developed mastery.
Our relationships, too, or their decline, hinge on the million small choices we make day after day after day. When we are tired, when we are tempted, when we are tense.
Yet the daily feels so very insignificant. It is just this moment, this instant – small, disposable, forgettable. Except that it is the beginning – or end – of everything.