Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 12/28/2020
In all my years of consulting with hundreds of global organizations and thousands of executives and entrepreneurs, I’ve never yet found one person who rebelled at the idea of creating a better future. Not one person has ever said, “Can you help me be complacent?” or “I can’t imagine being any happier than I am now.” Most people are sedulous about ideating some improved future for themselves, their families, their organization.
However, what I’ve found is that not everyone realizes that future because they are afraid of the journey. They’re not certain how to get there or, if they are, they’re afraid that the risks are too great. They need assurances and guarantees which, of course, are not to be had in any great journey. Just ask Magellan, or Amundsen, or Marie Curie, or Bezos, or LeBron James.
I call this transit from the safe “today” to the coveted “future” the Ambiguous Zone. You can’t be airlifted and magically transported (even by Elon Musk or Flash Gordon) to the future, you have to travel the road yourself. What people need is leadership, either self-leadership (the ability to take prudent risk and the resiliency to recover from setback) or others’ leadership (people in whom we have faith and trust—I call this “referent leadership”).
We always loved going to the Jersey Shore and found ways to make the trip as positive as possible. I love Australia and Japan and have come to create acceptable 16-hour flights. My college degree was important, and I figured out a way to get through the four years well.
Your destiny is really in your own hands, but the challenge is to be willing to be bold about your journey and steadfast in your goals. Otherwise, other people are creating their own futures which simply involve you. You’ve ceded control.
The audience likes to be taken on new journeys.
My life is longer because of the journeys I have taken.