What does it look like when the entire world is in transition?
That’s rhetorical, of course – it looks like life in 2020.
A couple of years ago a mentor recommended this book to me when I was going through a life transition, and I found it very helpful. The other day I suddenly realised that it was newly relevant – to pretty much everyone in the world.
Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes
by William Bridges
Released 2004 (this edition)
Seventy days. That’s how long it’s been since this strange new season began.
That feels like a significant marker. 70 days into a crisis unprecedented in our lifetime. It feels like a moment to remind ourselves of some things as we navigate the still-shifting sands of our new normal –
I can’t remember the first time I led a team, but I know I was leading volunteers.
It’s one of the extraordinary things about volunteering in community organisations and churches – you get all kinds of opportunities you might not otherwise get to learn skills, including leadership skills. I led volunteers, followed volunteers and worked as a volunteer, for years, before I ever led in a professional setting.
But I would argue that even when everyone is getting paid, there’s a degree to which we’re all working with volunteers, whatever our roles.
Getting things done in today’s world means getting things done virtually.
You may be part of a not-for-profit that needs to manage volunteers with their own day jobs. You might work in a traditional co-located office but partner with companies in other locations. Perhaps, like me, you’re part of an international team working across distance and timezones. Many of us, in different ways, now need to be able to get people to work together to achieve outcomes, but can’t just pull them into a conference room whenever we need them to hash out a problem or plan.
I have a bit of a working theory that there are often three tensions at play when we do this, and that being deliberate about our priorities and expectations as we manage those tensions can help us choose the best approach for a given situation.
You may have seen my latest ‘annual top reads’ post, but I decided I wanted to do an extra post that was a bit special – the books that have been most compelling for me over the last 10 years.
Each of these books has become one that I often refer to or recommend; has fundamentally shifted the way I think about something; or has introduced a critical new concept to the ‘furniture of my mind’.
I will say it was very difficult to narrow down the list, but each of these books has made a significant impact on me during the 2010s, and I would highly recommend all of them.
So without further ado, and in no particular order…