Funny how things come to pass.
In January I wrote my annual New Year blog outlining a True Place view on how magnificent benefits could be reaped from venturing into unknown territory in the forthcoming year – “2016 and the Art of Getting Lost”.
Little did I know what a bizarre ride we would all experience in the following six months. “Be careful what you wish for” some might say, but I’d like to view the circumstances in which we currently find ourselves in a slightly different way.
A fatalist would say “We are where we are”. Never subscribing to that view, I would suggest an alternative: “Yes, but where do we want to be?”. It’s all well and good pitching in with the “Well you asked for it” and absolving oneself of all responsibility, but real strength of character and leadership grasps opportunity and, not wishing to sound too Churchillian, leads from the front.
The real value of getting lost is having the wherewithal to find a new path, one that offers greater opportunity than the one that preceded it. It’s all well and good presenting yourself as a genuine alternative by ranting against the status quo but if you have no viable alternatives, no big ideas and no means of executing of them, then it’s all bluff and bluster. A worrying trait given the global leadership options currently all too visible.
Like it or not, we are in new territory, that requires us to consider new possibilities and to embrace new thinking like never before and, as hideous creatures of habit, that might be difficult.
One thing’s for sure though, great thinkers don’t just lead us into situations they lead us out of them as well, and as we at True Place say, when it comes to great leadership skills, two out of three is bad.
Because it’s not enough to just understand the root cause behind a negative situation, you then have to explode possibility to find the right course of action and once you’ve determined that, you have to execute the action in a way that is understood and, more importantly, believed by your audience. That’s three thinking skills not one or two and you need all three to find the right path.
So what of the Pilgrim in the title?
Well for where we are at the moment, it could be argued we need a few more of them. Individuals who are adept at travelling in foreign, unknown territory. Characters who can navigate through choppy waters and do so with intelligent vigour and conviction. People who bail should be on deck scooping out the incoming water not determining the path to the millpond. Pilgrims have the bravery to embrace new situations, to disrupt habitual thinking in order to provide bold solutions to the issue ahead and then conjure the persuasiveness of a compelling, well-articulated argument to ensure collaborative action.
So it’s Pilgrims we need. Overly provocative? Not so, methinks. Just dwell on the thoughts of another Pilgrim of sorts – Michaelangelo, who asked us to reflect that the problem with the human race was not that we aimed too high and failed but that we settled for low and succeeded.
Pilgrims are where it’s at. Remember the three and valiant be.
And for those of you who think that the title of this blog suggests I may have undergone some religious epiphany or lapsed back into my childhood, singing the lyrics of Bunyan to the tunes of Vaughan Williams in the village choir alongside my best mate Phil, fear not! I’m still more than aware that the devil has all the best tunes.