I was recently reminded of a cartoon I came across. It showed an angel looking thoroughly bored as he waited to show people into heaven. Why was he bored? Because nobody was coming his way. Yet across the road was a mile long queue of people going into a lecture on ‘how to get into heaven’.
This is absolutely relevant to the issue of leading. It often feels safer to study, get qualifications, and learn some more than get onto the pitch. But if you want to lead then you’ve got to ‘go for it’ – risking all – and getting into action.
David Whyte, author of The Heart Aroused, had to address exactly this issue when he had the crazy idea of becoming a corporate poet! He said that first of all he had to make his idea real – and nothing made it more stark than declaring his ambition to his father in law. There was no back tracking after that. Then he made sure that every day he took at least one step towards his dream. It might have been making a call, having a conversation, writing a poem, doing some research. But in truth it was all about getting out there.
He reckoned that if he did something every day for 300 days then surely he would have made something start to occur. In fact within half that time he found himself speaking on a world stage with, among others, the previous head of State for the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev. He’d made it.
Leadership nudge: What’s the one uncharacteristic conversation or action that you can take today that will help you to move towards your heart-felt goal.
By Anthony Landale
Learn more about Anthony Landale, the author of this article.