In Action, Change

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Chances are good that at some point – probably many points – you’ve heard someone talk about how the world has become very small.  Because of technology, or this innovation, or this new idea, it seems like everyone’s connected in an ever-shrinking space.

On the other hand, sometimes the world still seems very, very big.  Sometimes as leaders we deal with issues or challenges or barriers that seem absolutely insurmountable.  We look at problems and think, “How can we possibly overcome this?”  Usually a statement like that is followed by some comment about how it would sure be nice to have unlimited resources, just like Company X that we saw on the news that night.

Some of those challenges are big.  Some of the issues that we face are things that we’ve faced before, and we failed to overcome them the last time.  How could this time be any different?  We’re convinced it’s the same story again, and that we’re destined for the same ending.

Maybe we are.  But if we make no effort to deal with those challenges, then we definitely are.  So how can we possibly take on some of those daunting barriers that seem to tower over us?

For starters, it’s OK to think small.  You don’t have to – and can’t – solve enormous problems overnight.  Think baby steps.  What small steps could we take in the next 3 months?  What small steps could we take in the next 30 days?

Too often, we don’t consider anything we’ve done a success until we have the entire enormous problem solved.  We just look ahead and see even more things we have to do and we think there’s just no way we can make it.

Try something different.  Turn around and look back.  Not only is it permissible to see where you were and how far you’ve come, it’s healthy.  We should take time to recognize the ground we’ve crossed.  We should take time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished so far.  We need that positive experience to energize us.  If all we ever think about is what’s left, we’ll end up running out of fuel.

Looking back and celebrating doesn’t mean getting complacent.  It means recharging your batter so that you can take another few steps forward.  Because success isn’t just reaching the finishing line.  Simply continuing to run is part of the victory.  Take a look back – and move forward.

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