It takes guts to run.
In a years-long war zone, the last real but booby-trapped shelter is afire and collapsing. Outside it's storming and freezing cold. There is no sun.
Only some critical variables are clear when need meets opportunity. A few known comforts, long poisoned and broken, are pondered and cast aside. Immediate pain and dire consequences for staying are reviewed. For the desperate and strategic mind, the ill-defined future beckons, come what may.
Even unprepared and barely informed, the ability to act in one’s best interests fuels an immense leap of faith in one’s self.
Without vision, those mired in a perilous present cannot have faith in the future. Only a dependence on luck.
And so she did not run because she was afraid of the present. She ran because she was unafraid of the future.
A battleship turns hard-about mid-ocean. The invested vessel radically changes course over hours, days, weeks, months…years, amidst the sea, against all tides and sharks and everything, turning the rudder this way and that, catching wind and sometimes paddling. A literal spin in place, like the blade on a beanie, takes the shortest time but requires incredible skill, astute judgment, and excellent conditions. Certainty in the need for this strategy, for a fast new direction, bolsters morale in times of anxiety. Vision, again.
The alternative is to chart a long arc around: a little to the right and then a hard left for a long time, straightening out when a viable direction is achieved. But the vision might be forgotten by then, or the objective itself evolves.
If the resources are available - material, intellectual, and psychological - agility supports a positive, rapid conclusion.
Pivots are expensive, often even taking recovery time. Sacrifices may be required, re-orientation. Returning to an intact state in the new conditions depends on the original constitution of the vehicle and person plus advantageous support. Too fast, too hard - poorly informed - and a pivot costs everything. Pivots are brave.
Masochists. Maybe even they dream of benevolent overlords. The right mix of providing what it takes to thrive and to challenge.
I’m reminded of Mary Poppins:
"Wanted: a nanny for two adorable children."
If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition... Rosy cheeks, no warts... Play games, all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet, and fairly pretty...
Take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets. Never be cross or cruel. Never give us castor oil or gruel. Love us as a son and daughter, and never smell of barley water.
If you won't scold and dominate us, we will never give you cause to hate us... Hurry, nanny! Many thanks! Sincerely... Jane and Michael Banks!
What is the difference between a boss and a leader?
“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.” - Russell H. Ewing (1885-1976) British journalist
Not everyone is hip to the concept, even now.
This really happened. Silicon Valley, 2012. A team offsite is announced. It’s the manager’s hobby; an individual sport like gymnastics. The team is not asked if they want to do this or maybe something else. The manager gets in a practice session while the team risks physical injury and social embarrassment. This manager is a boss. The kicker? The outing is paid for by the employees.
Daniel Pink in his book Drive points to three key factors in motivating cognitive workers (as opposed to physical workers) toward optimal performance: autonomy, mastery, & purpose. Intrinsic motivation. It’s like an organization being user centered.
Experience researcher of built environments with an anthropology provenance. Copyright 2004-2017