A wise man and his followers came upon a lake. They decided to stop because they had had little to drink in the past few days. The wise man turned to his most impatient follower and asked, “I am thirsty, could you bring me some water from the lake?”
The impatient follower ran to the water and dipped his bucket into the lake. Returning to the group, the young man was horrified to see how muddy the water was. He threw the water out and returned to the lake. With each trip, the water was as muddy as before. After several trips, and nearly exhausted, he threw himself on the ground, weeping because he was unable to fulfill the wise man’s wish.
The wise man approached the impatient follower and gently asked, “Why are you so distressed?”
“I have failed you. I took many buckets of water from the lake, yet each is as muddy as the last, not water worthy to drink”, cried the young man.
The wise man retrieved the bucket, took the young man’s hand and they walked to the lake and filled it with water. Together they carried the water to a grove of trees, sat and waited quietly.
After some time, the wise man asked, “What about the water now? Is it fit for us to drink?”
The young man looked in the bucket and exclaimed, “What have you done to the water? It is crystal clear!”
“We waited. The mud settled on its own and now the water is clear and ready to drink. There is great value in knowing how and being willing to wait.”
Many have forgotten how to wait.
Waiting is not inattentive, nor is it sleeping.
Waiting is not anger, nor is it impatient.
Good waiting comes not with agitation, but rather with anticipation.
When asked how he would turn Apple around, Steve Jobs replied, “I am going to wait until the next big thing.”
Ernest Shackleton waited for the ice to be right.
Nelson Mandela waited 27 years.
To wait can be a good thing. We are in good company when we master waiting.
Enjoy your May news2use use.
“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”
Teach yourself a language. Tackle an incredible puzzle. Research your family tree. Learn to operate digitally. Take a Masterclass. Hold a webinar for people in your firm. Select and dive into the hobby you have always thought about but never had the time to pursue.
We do not learn to swim by holding onto the side of the pool.
This has never been a better time to invest in yourself.
For You & Your Team
Pay attention to the new leaders emerging under your watch. Covid 19 spills uncertainly and disruption across our personal and professional landscape. Some are surviving and others are thriving.
You have established leaders in your company. They may be where they are due to expertise, experience, legacy, or politics. If your company’s ecosystem and “normal way” of doing things has been turned upside down like many others, watch and listen carefully as new (and informal) leaders emerge in the field.
The current disruption encourages us to do things differently, and many are eager to help the team and company thrive in these new conditions. Do not be surprised if you hear people speak up where in the past, they may have been quiet (or silenced) from the more established, legacy leaders. Pay attention to these people. Look for opportunities to support their ambitions and ideas, because if you do not, someone else will.
For You, Your Team & Your Business
We are now several weeks into social distancing, virtual work practices and home sheltering. In some regions around the world, people will begin returning to their life and work before Corona, with some caveats.
Organizational leaders are currently hearing, across the business, “What now and where do we go from here?”
Executive leaders continue to struggle with the above questions themselves, and rightfully so. Few have led under such trying circumstances as we face today.
Use the Uncertainty Mapping Strategy Accelerator to understand the functional viewpoints of your business before sharing your executive view for the future.
Ask each executive that reports into the senior leadership team to discuss these three questions in their functional teams, consolidate the viewpoints from each function and bring them back into the executive team for further review within the next 7 days.
- Considering our current situations, what questions must our strategy answer?
- What is unclear or uncertain about our current strategy?
- What three initiatives or priorities would create growth under the current environment?
Each of these questions should be vigorously discussed and debated, facilitated carefully and perspectives visualized or mapped objectively.
Naturally your executive view point, will not be solely anchored in the functional perspectives. Nevertheless, the Mapping Accelerator gives you a good understanding of where your people are and you can use this for your future narratives. Should you have further questions about how to facilitate this in your executive team, feel free to ring me.
People, Places & Technology
The more attractive your brand, the higher your revenue. Karsten Klepper, founder of Klepper-BrandConsulting helps entrepreneurs and family businesses develop highly relevant and coveted brands. His slogan “Strong brand – rich harvest” is not just a claim, it is the company brand promise to all of his clients.
I worked with Karsten when he was Director of Branding & Advertising at Fujitsu Siemens and have followed him over the years. When it was time to create my personal ownershift, I knew there was only one person I could call. Karsten helped me through a new branding process, visually as well as brand positioning. He’s a straight forward, integral, easy to work with and professional. If you have questions about branding, positioning or marketing, it is worth your time to contact him.
Thought for the Day
“Optimism is true moral courage.”
-Ernest Shackleton, Trans-Antarctic Explorer