“Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
When we go to the beach, I love to buy a cheap float, blow it up, and float in the ocean. Here is what I do, I go out in a straight line from where we are set up on the beach, this gives me a point of reference. After a while, all I end up doing is floating, riding the waves. Over time, I will be nowhere with regards to my point of reference. All I am is a weight, floating on top of the water. I go with the flow with the waves of the ocean, going wherever it takes me. I do one thing and one thing only, I drift.
Have you ever considered leadership with regards to drifting? Think of it this way; leadership is often like a piece of driftwood, sitting there on the water, drifting. No purpose, no fixed point, no anchor, no nothing. Just worthless driftwood.
Here are a few things that we should consider with leadership that drifts:
1. It requires no effort.
The moment we decide not to lead, we drift. It requires no effort not to do anything.
2. It is unconscious.
We drift unaware of what is around, against, and under us.
3. We never drift against the waves.
The waves push us, and the wind blows us where it wants. We become no more than a pushover.
4. Once leadership starts going downhill, it goes fast.
Think of it this way, when we hear and see the waterfall; it is usually too late to change the course. One thing is certain; you are about to drop.
5. It loses focus.
If we lose sight of our point of reference, we could end up anywhere other than where we need to be.
6. It will become dangerous and crash into something.
Only a few things can happen. It can rot, crash into something else, go over the waterfall, or collect so much baggage that it sinks.
When thinking about these points, we must remind ourselves that our leadership is our own. It should have a fixed purpose and must have a presence that is stable and shows consistency to others.
Does your leadership ever have moments of drifting? If it is, what are you doing to correct it? We must answer both of those questions. You and others around will appreciate it.
©2017 J Clay Norton
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