Finding Our Way Forward

A strategic question we must all ask ourselves at this moment in time is, “Can we afford to stay where we are?”

Since I see life as a quest, I draw inspiration from bold adventurers – the intrepid souls who dare to do things others think are crazy. The account of Sir Ernest Shackleton, a British explorer who set out in 1914 to make history by crossing the continent of Antartica speaks to the obstacles we face and challenges us to find a way over, around, or through them. The name of the ship that carried his crew of 28 within 100 miles of their goal was HMS Endurance. Ten months into the journey, the ship was smashed like crackers by the pressure of the ice floes that locked their ship in. After camping on the ice floes until those frozen lift rafts began to break apart, they had to ask,  “Can we afford to stay where we are?”

Leaders have the responsibility to cast vision for their organization. Since good leadership begins with leading ourselves well, clarity is key. It’s challenging to see the path to places we’ve never been. On top of that, we all combat a lazy brain when it comes to creative thinking and devising plans for the future. How dare I say your brain is lazy? I’m quoting Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner, psychologist and author. He describes our brains operating in a default mode to save energy. That means any day you wake up, your default preference will most likely be to pick the easiest things to do, whether personally or professionally. 

According to Kahneman, there are 2 kinds of thinking—fast and slow. Fast thinking is automatic or impulsive – brushing your teeth or driving a routine route to work. Slow thinking is conscious, deliberate, and thoughtful. Direction is more important than speed right now.

One thing I think we all realize;  we can’t afford to stay where we are. Forward is the direction. Thoughtful action is the order of the day.

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