Perspective Makes the Difference

Success is as much about hard work as it is about perspective. Hard work without a bigger perspective or vision can be wasteful. It can also defeat your people. As a Church Planter you need to remember that your words are viewed very heavily by those who follow your leadership. They are watching you as an example of how to live their own lives. Furthermore, how you represent yourself and your reality can either propel or dismantle your future success as a church planter.

I recently attended—one week apart—two different church plants in which the church planters had two very different perspectives. One had a church plant that was moderately growing and doing well, the other was on the brink of failure. But before I convey my experience, let me share an apocryphal story with you.

Sometime during the last century, two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential. The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.” The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”

What a difference perspective makes. Now, back to our two church planters.

The successful one took the stage to do announcements and was super excited. He actually pointed out the empty chairs in the room and challenged his people to make sure those were filled in the coming weeks. He spoke of his adventure in church planting as a roller coaster ride for Jesus and his energy was apparent.

The second church planter (I actually visited him the previous week) came to the stage early in the service and made a comment about several families that were not there because of vacation, and talked about how hard church planting was. He was obviously speaking through a sense of disappointment. I don’t want to overstate, but I could almost—literally—see a cloud over his head.

Let me ask you – who would you follow? No one wants to follow a defeated leader with a pessimistic perspective.

As a church planter let me recommend that even on the worst of days you take the stage with the excitement of a man purchased by the blood of an omnipotent Savior and let your people experience that passion through you. Let them see a man who assaults the difficulties of church planting with an energy that is relentless and contagious. Let them find inspiration in the way you handle yourself in their presence.

Here is a quick video that I put together for this blog. Please share it if you like it.

Of Thermostats and Boots

Place: South America.
Mental State: Exhausted.
Alarm Clock: About to be destroyed!

I slowly awoke before the sun to begin one of the most impactful days of my life. There I laid, pillow over my head trying to ignore the alarm that was crying out for me to start my journey. As I peeked out, my eyes began to adjust. In that moment—the focusing of my eyes in dim light—three things began to stimulate my senses; the roar of the Vilcanota river, the ever-so-faint outline of my boots next to the wall, and about three feet above them, the room’s thermostat. The combination of these two visuals caused me to begin not only an adventurous day, but a pensive one as well.

Leaving that hotel in Aquas Calientes Peru, my brother and I began our final two days in our push to hike to Macchu Pichu, famed for its secrecy and its breathtaking ruins. While the leadership lessons learned on these two days are abundant, and I have written about them extensively, I want to convey the impact of the visuals that burned their way into my consciousness that morning; the thermostat and my boots. You see, it occurred to me that those two everyday items represented my life in many ways. More specifically, they represented a paradigm shift in my leadership perspective. Here is my epiphany.

As the thermostat came into view, my mind wrestled with it. If you know me, you will know that I am plagued with trying to make everything more efficient, whether it’s a person, an organization, or a system. So there I sat, in those brief moments thinking; that thing needs to be reinvented. Then a lateral thought… Forget peanut butter and chocolate, those hiking boots had just T-boned my consciousness and I realized that those two items, slammed together, represented both the leader I had been as well as the leader that I was becoming. Let me explain.

Truly impactful leaders are like the boots; comfortable, yet rugged. More importantly they are the greatest factor in getting the climber where he needs to be. The task of the day, Macchu Pichu—in all its glory—would be impossible without those boots. They propel me to take risks, they provide traction when I slip, and they protect me from injury. Those boots represented empowerment and the ability to stretch myself beyond previous capabilities. I remembered purchasing them with the expectation of where they might take me.

…eyes slowly moving to the thermostat…

The thermostat is always working. Always on call. However, unlike the boots, the thermostat puts all of its energy into keeping things the same, into maintaining the system. It only adjusts when there is a shift, and it spends its time making sure that things return to how they were before. While the boots love new adventure, the thermostat loves the status quo. It’s entire existence serves to maintain the most pleasant setting.

Our church planters, they need to be the boot. The days of status quo are gone. They can not succumb to the tyranny of the urgent just to maintain the system. The system is changing and if their desire is to sit there and maintain what is and what was, then they need stay right there on the wall. We, the boots, we’re hittin’ the trail. See ya!

The Day I Jumped

In 2008 I was in Lima Peru with my brother Robert. We had met there to continue on to Cusco and eventually hike the famous ruins at Macchu Pichu. While in Lima, we made our way to the coastal suburb of Miraflores. We spent significant time seeing the sights and walking the famous cliff-side Larcomar shopping district that overlooks the historic La Rosa Náutica restaurant on the pier hundreds of feet below. Anyone familiar with the area knows that to the north is the beautiful Parque de Amor (Lover’s Park) and just beyond that lies one of the most spectacular views in all of Miraflores, the cliff-side park at Parapente. Standing there, in awe of the view, I had no idea that two years later I would find myself leaping from the two hundred foot high cliff on the southwestern edge of the park.

Like all cliff-side parks, this spot offers spectacular views of the ocean, the island in the distance, surfers that look like little bubbles on the water two hundred feet below, and the sky. Oh, the sky! The view of the sky here is amazing. There on the cliffs of Parapente you understand how small and how fragile you really are. In fact, the sky that you see from that place is unlike any sky you will ever see in your lifetime; It is riddled with paragliders. You see, the winds that rise from the two hundred foot cliffs can raise a paraglider to over one thousand feet without effort, making this one of the foremost paragliding spots on earth. It was amazing to watch the ease with which these daring men and women became a strange subclass of Aves. The wind would pick up these birds, and in what seemed a choreographed dance of wonder wove them, in and out, over and under one another in a ballet of spectacular color. It is a wonder to behold.

As leaders, we must remember that when we have the necessary skills to lead, from the outside our leadership can look choreographed and beautiful. Like the paraglider finding the balance in the wind, his own presence in the mix of others, and the sheer magnitude of the environment our leadership can be organized and beautiful. However, like the paraglider, if any one element fails, the ballet becomes a tragedy. Loss of wind, loss of any one other glider’s sense of presence and location, these things can change the makeup of the environment to be hostile or even deadly. Standing on that cliff, that beautiful ballet of color reminded me of how an astute leader has the ability to balance all the elements found in his or her organization and create a thing of beauty.

Fast-forward two years…

There I was, on that same cliff at Parapente, nervous yet excited as I waited for the wind to pick up so that I could paraglide for the first time. I had been here the day before, waiting. No wind, no ride. This was my last opportunity, I was leaving for home tomorrow. The wind, though the wait was excruciating, eventually cooperated.

I stood there after having paid my $35 and thought, “What on earth did I just do?” The apprehension grew a bit as they placed a helmet on my head and I told the pilot my weight. He gasped as he calculated the conversion to kilos in his head and I saw his countenance change… Not reassuring! I guess the wind was not strong enough for a 225lb., 6’-4” gringo. He hemmed, he hawed, he looked down at the $35 in his pocket and said, “Well, we can try!” … “Wait a minute… WHAT!” Clearly, he was not going to give back my $35 so that left only one option… Pray and GO!

So there I stood, fifty yards from the cliff with my pilot strapping me into a harness that is attached to the biggest kite one has ever seen. I remember looking at the cliff fifty yards in front of me, and thinking one solitary thought, “Like this helmet is going to help!” Then, he tapped me on the shoulder and yelled, “Run!” Hesitant, yet obedient, I ran toward the two hundred foot cliff hoping that the drag I was feeling was the fully inflated glider behind me. There was no way to know.

Gasp!

This was one of the few times in my life that a non-spiritual experience brought the diametrically opposed feelings of dread and tranquility and slammed them together in an instant. Running off that cliff, and the tightening of my harness signaled the beginning of forty-five minutes of elation, beauty, and indescribable wonderment. During that forty-five minute journey we ascended to over five hundred feet, smoothly traversed every manmade obstacle, mountain and valley within miles and above it all, the view was spectacular. There was not a hint of pre-Parapente fear. Once the final step was taken, the ride was bliss (the landing, however, was a bit less graceful).

Looking back at that experience I realize how many things could have gone wrong and I would not have known what to do. I was privileged to participate in a grand adventure that was only made possible by a highly skilled and trained pilot. As a leader, you must remember that at times your people will experience the fear of the unknown as they try to go with you on your journey. They must learn to trust your expertise and experience. As you sharpen your skill set and grow as a leader, you will instill trust in your abilities and provide excitement for the adventure. However, the trust of your people is paramount.

Had I not trusted my pilot that day I would have feared for the entire forty-five minutes of my flight. But because I trusted both his judgment and his skill set, I experienced a life changing, smooth flying adventure.

It is not appropriate, as leaders, to throw our people a helmet and strap them to our vision or action, without first earning their trust in our ability to lead. Should we attempt to do so, they will sit when we yell, “Run!”

Afterthought:

Was there risk even though the pilot was skilled and trained? Absolutely. That is the way of leadership and that was the reason for the helmet. Not every decision is going to play out the way you anticipate that it will. Some—by luck—will gain altitude, but many of them will plummet. This fact is the reason why it is so important to constantly refine your leadership qualities. Either train and train hard or get off of the cliff!

VIEW THE VIDEO

Hesitation Remorse

The backdrop is the Sahara with the tops of the great pyramids in the distance slightly obscured by the sand and dust-filled sky. The characters are my son Bryan upon a camel named Michael Jackson, my brother Robert upon a second named Oscar, and me upon the third named Casanova. The journey is a desert trek to the great pyramids of Giza.

The lesson: Embrace moments in the unknown.

I had feared the moment and now suffer from hesitation remorse.

When you caravan across the Sahara the camels are necessarily tied to each other, each one with a rope firmly affixed to the saddle of the camel ahead (think of all those Christmas cards with the three wise men silhouetted at the top of a sand dune). This keeps these magnificent (albeit ugly) beasts in line as they have learned in their domestication that they cannot break free.

Toward the end of our journey, we were situated on the crest of a dune with a great view of Giza. I asked the guide, using hand signals and broken English, if he would take a picture of the three of us, shoulder to shoulder, on our camels. “Yes, yes!” came the reply and he quickly began to untie each of our camels from the other. With a switch in hand, he smacked, yelled, and aligned all three camels so that he could step back and frame the scene. It was a beautiful picture, a Facebook favorite. [ See Photo Here ]

Having taken a couple of frames, the guide stepped forward and began to tie Michael Jackson to the saddle of Oscar. Much to my surprise, Casanova (my camel), noticing the guide had turned his back, realized that if he would ever be free from the switch of his taskmaster, that was the moment! In what became a futile attempt at freedom, he bolted!

With a voice that surprised me, sounding not unlike my morning voice, I pathetically whimpered, “Uh…” and quickly realized that I would need to do better than that. I ratcheted it up a notch with a nervous, “I’m leaving, Hello…” When that didn’t work I cried out with conviction, “Hello!” Finally, the guide came running at us, switch in hand, screaming words of Arabic in what sounded like a Jihad moment of anger and subdued Casanova with a few good smacks of the switch and a tug or two of the rope. After a bit of commotion and a few deep breaths, I found myself once again leading the caravan as both Oscar and Michael were tied behind Casanova and the journey to the pyramids played itself out in all its splendor.

Looking back at that moment, I ask myself why I did not immediately cry, “Help!”

After much thought, I have become convinced that some deep inner desire, which I refused to let surface, yearned for the adventure that the circumstance had presented. However, that deep longing for adventure was subdued by my fear.

In fact, I now wish that I had shut my mouth, overcome the fear, and held on tight for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can see myself bolting across the Sahara, bouncing like a golf ball in a blender on the back of that camel! Our guide would have found me… Eventually! However, on second thought, a camel can go ten days without water! Not good.

I had let my anxiety ruin an unbelievable life experience. I am not saying that the experience–to that point–had not been glorious, it had been. However, what fun it would have been galloping across the Sahara on the back of a camel running for his freedom from a tyrannical taskmaster. I had missed a life moment. One that others would have talked about for a lifetime.

I am typing this later in life and I realize that leadership is very much like that day. Every once in a while, you are going to have the privilege of just holding on. There will be moments that at first seem out of your control, but as you tighten your grip, learn to steer, you will find that you possess the ability to navigate a grand adventure. Let it happen! Be pensive, resolved and keep your wits but do not forget to enjoy the ride. Today, I tell my own leaders that vision is good, but achieving the vision is not where the excitement is. The excitement is in the progressive, sometimes out of control journey of getting there. This admonition reminds me of a bumper sticker that I recently saw on the back of a souped-up, red, 1965 mustang. It read; “Get in, buckle up, hold on, and enjoy the ride!”

As leaders, if we learn to enter the territory of apprehension, unfamiliarity, and fear, it may just lead to our break-out moment. If it does, we will be remembered for that ride into the unknown. However, if we back out when faced with that fear, we will continue in the status quo and that break-out moment will be lost forever.

I will never be able to recreate that moment on the back of Casanova. It is, regrettably, gone forever.

Flying Elvis

Tension leads to Release

There is something very powerful about a release, whether it be edifying or destructive. There is that moment when all the harnessed energy comes to the point where inaction is no longer possible, it releases, and the tension is gone. Even if it is destructive, this flash of release is gratifying. However, the moments that follow are what determine whether or not the release causes additional stress or bliss.

Like the archer in slow motion who grasps her bow. She grips it in her support hand in just the right position. She knows as soon as she picks it up whether or not it will need adjustment. Even though her eyes are fixed on the bow, the mind is fixed on the target, the distance, the trajectory, the wind, crowd, competition, results, consequences, muscle response, pain, equipment, pull, tension and ultimately, release. A flurry of senses, thoughts, calculations all happen at a subconscious level and the bow has not even been raised. Eventually, it is, and muscle memory brings extreme tension, calculated mental action, and reaction, and then release. If all is well accomplished the arrow will strike center.

A few years ago I was in Orlando Florida, and as I so often find myself, I was sitting at the desk in my hotel room rummaging through the paperwork of the day and the tension demanded release. I jumped up with a start and remember murmuring to myself; “I am so out of here!” You see, there comes a time as a leader when the fog of data and systems clouds the creative response. Hear me! In those moments it is time for your creative pause, it is time to check out. It is time to let the subconscious go to work and you need to go and play. It is not an option.

Drive… No Direction

Thrust into action with only one thought–getting on the highway and seeing where it would lead–I found myself in Kissimmee. I turned off the highway and began driving small gravel roads as if pushed forward by the tension of the hotel room and the earlier meetings of the day. There I was, glancing side to side, looking for a yard sale, a flea or farmers market, something brainless. That’s when it happened. As I rounded a long sweeping turn between small homes on large parcels, I broke through the trees and my eyes and mind were drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I was on an airstrip of beautiful green grass. “Oh yeah!” I muttered underneath my breath, “Play Time!” There was definitely fun to be found here.

Walking into a glorified shed with a sign above the door that identified its offering as “Glider Rides,” and after reading the necessary disclaimers and a release of liability, I took my pen and signed my life away to an old friend named New Experiences. Little did I realize the adventure would reflect the events of the day so closely.

Systems Birth Stress

The tension began to increase as I signed the release of liability. Basically, I was putting my life into the hands of a bearded Neanderthal of a man I had just met, and if I die, says the release, it’s on me.

Cool! No tension there!?!

With a grunt, he leads me out into a field and to his glider which looks like it was built back when Elvis was overweight, sweaty, dressed in white leather with red stripes and could barely walk the stage. In fact, this antique reminded me of the king, flipped up collar and gasping for breath between songs. No composites here only aluminum and rivets, and yes, painted white with red stripes. This thing was vintage.

Much to my surprise, he dragged Elvis into place with one hand as he walked this wannabe retired airplane to where the “real” airplane was going to hook on for the ride. I remember thinking; I am 6′-4″ and 215 pounds and I am going to sit in something that can be dragged onto the airfield with one hand by a man whom I am sure just smirked at me through the side of his face as if to say, suckerrr.

Our eyes meet, and he says, “Get in!” He then begins to put me in a five point harness and pulls it really tight. At this point, I am feeling the panic of claustrophobia and the canopy is still up. He leans over and points to the release lever. “When I yell ‘Now!’ pull it.” It was in that moment that I realized my head is sticking way out of the natural body lines of this glider, and I say, “I don’t think I’m going to fit.” He proceeds to try to close the canopy. I cock my head as far as possible sideways and it was still not close to closing. His next words; “Get out!” Our man of many words now begins to rip the seat out of the glider. No joke! And in some sick replay of other dumb decisions I’ve made in life, I actually go along with this. I climb in and sit on bare aluminum in the cockpit and Mr. Wax Eloquent checks the canopy and starts strapping me in again. Each of the five points of the harness seems to gauge my increasing tension. Meanwhile, the real airplane has appeared and connected itself to me without my noticing. In a nonverbal acknowledgment that everything was a go, my new friend slaps his hand on the canopy as if to say… Well, I’m not really sure what it said. Good luck perhaps?

The next thing I know, I am experiencing a very rough rush of forward acceleration as the real airplane takes off down the runway. “Um, what do I do now?” “Wait for me to say ‘Now!’ and pull the release handle.” came the reply. I remember thinking to myself, he actually speaks in sentences? It brought small comfort. We continued to climb. Tense and stressed, I was absorbed by the chaos and found it very difficult to focus on the beauty around me with the constant noise, bumps, drops and clatter of being dragged–by a rope–where I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go. Then, piercing all the mayhem and propelling me from the fog to hard reality came the cry, “NOW!” I reached out and pulled…

Silence

As if God Himself had reached into my reality and turned the volume knob from eleven to one, everything became clear. My mind which had been trying to process the inundation around me had cleared. My ears heard little but the wisp of outside air. My eyes focused on the tow plane as it seemed to fall tragically from the sky, leaving me behind, then to the breathtaking beauty of my seat in the sky. My hands were no longer shaking but steady and sure on a now smooth (previously vibrating) control stick. It was bliss.

For forty-five minutes I swept through the sky like a bird without reservation, smooth and fluid, embracing positive and negative gravitational forces alike. Even the discomfort of sitting on the aluminum structure of the glider ebbed away. Tension had given way to release and the experience was, well… Clear. It’s the only word that describes it. I had traded the stresses of the procedure and systems for the joy of flight. I felt inspired.

As leaders we each must learn the lesson that I was privileged to learn that day, that is: Clarity comes after the systems and procedures are necessarily worked, and unless you are willing to subject yourself to the tensions they create, you will never see the fulfillment of your dream. Altitude is gained through struggle and if the struggle scares you, and you stay on the ground, you lose. Leadership is not like the third grade where everyone receives a ribbon. Some win, most do not. I had traded the tension of a hotel room surrounded by paperwork for the tension of a seat-less cockpit in pursuit of my creative aha! I found it, and clarity, at 5000 feet.

Postscript

Could I have found that moment alone? No! It took a pilot, a plane, and a landing strip. Skilled people had to assist me in getting there. I had a team. Without them, I would have never had the experience, or I would have tried it alone and killed myself in the attempt.

If you are a leader/church planter, you want to fly. I get that. Remember that you cannot fly without partners that can actually get you airborne. A mentor to strap you in, to train you, challenge you, grunt at you. Prayer partners who provide the airstrip to launch you into the exciting unknown. Financial partners that will attach themselves to you, provide the horsepower, and empower you to a higher level and are willing to yell “Now!” Ultimately, the ride of your own leadership begins when you respond and pull the release. Then, and only then will you soar.

Iguazu Falls

In the war of the waterfalls the clear victor is Iguazu. Speaking with the “voz” of experience, Iguazu takes down Niagara like Rocky took down Apollo Creed.

You see, Apollo had a terrifying punch, it was uber powerful. But Rocky…

Rocky just punched and punched and punched again. Relentless. He wears you down until you are near dead and convulsing on the mat. Then, as the crowd cheers, you thank him for punching you! Curious.

Such is Iguazu Falls.

The chasm between Iguazu and Niagara is vast. Sure, Niagara looks taller and because of its shear breadth takes your breath away. Iguazu however cannot be grasped. Over 270 waterfalls combine to put the visitor in sensory overload. Cranial Mayhem! Some falls are seemingly as wide as Niagara, others only six to twelve inches wide but falling into deep chasms before coming out into the river. This staggering beauty is breathtaking. I thought to myself;

“Only God paints this well.”

Once you arrive, you can take a train into the park where the trailheads begin. There are three trails from the Argentinian side of the falls. These trails are either paved or grated iron which makes the ascents and descents quite easy. The uppermost trail is under construction so that leaves the rim and river trails to explore. The top trail simply brings you to the top of what is called the Devil’s Throat which is a spectacular horseshoe of water, caving in on itself from all directions and spewing an eternal mist out of its mouth and skyward. I didn’t feel like I missed anything by not having access considering I took a boat into the devil’s mouth to the point I am surprised the pilot could retain his bearings to get us out. We were so far down the Devil’s Throat that the cascade actually fell directly into the boat. You are quite literally blinded by the force of the spray and many who were not wearing glasses regretted their inability to open their eyes. Glad I brought mine though it was still blinding. I felt like that stupid teenager that tells his buddy to power wash his face. For a moment I thought things were going south because the boat was filling with water. Roughest shower I ever had. Pleased to report though, I am alive… and by the way, exceedingly clean!

Back to the trails.

I walked the upper path first. It allows you to peer over the edge of several of the falls and takes you to a vantage point that looks to the most photographed vista. It is beautiful. Here, unlike the Devil’s Throat, you can get great pictures because the mist does not destroy your camera or fill the lens with those accursed water spots that always seem to place themselves directly over your face or causes your head to look like it has a bowling ball sized tumor coming out of it. The upper trail was beautiful but there is nothing like the view of a waterfall from the bottom.

The lower trail cuts through the jungle in a way that you don’t see anything until you see everything. Like walking in on someone in the shower… One minute nothing, then everything! You turn the corner, clear the tree, pass the boulder, and Bam! Huge, amazing, roaring whitewater goodness. Hello!

The cool part of walking the trails could be a sport called “The Dodging of the Coatís.” A coatí is cat sized mammalian breed of freaky striped anteater looking timidity that must be part rabbit because that little dude has babies everywhere. Oh did I mention how cute the babies are. Very!

After walking to the end of the lower trail, which really is not at river level, but more like mid-to-lower falls, you can continue on to the boat ride which I spoke of earlier. For a reasonable fee about $32 you can ride a powerboat to experience the falls. I’ll post that one on YouTube!

Needless to say, it’s one more adventure in the life of this very privileged man. Besides the most important things; God’s gift of a godly woman and mother, and two incredible kids that I could not be more proud of, he continues to bless me with the experiences of a lifetime. Earlier I said;

“Only God paints this well.”

For the record, I intend to visit every gallery that I can in this wonderful museum of His, until the day I meet him face to face.

Blessings!
December 2014

Here’s the Video

Ditch the Nav

There I sat, trying to explain to my son that there was a time-not so long ago-when there was no such tecnology as vehicle navigation. Your mom, I said, would sit shotgun, Thomas Guide in hand, calling out street names so that I could get us to our destination. “A what?” In those days we knew our streets and more often than not simply left the Thomas Guide in the glove box. We were forced to be informed and to drive with strategic direction.

Recalculating!

Today, no one knows where they are headed, yet each arrive at their destination. It’s a curious phenomenon. Led by technology, without fear of error, we plug the address in and go. Previously, a wrong turn meant forced reevaluation and research to avoid getting lost. Today, the delay is short and penetrated by an annoying-yet reaffirming-voice; “Recalculating!” Within moments harmony is restored in the universe and our direction and goals clearly set, complete with a fairly accurate timetable. If all goes well, “You have arrived at your destination!”

Ditch the Nav

As a leader, you have to have an inner dependency on the “still, small voice” and forget about the noise that surrounds you. People telling you to turn right, find the off ramp, or to make a U-turn will only have you recalculating until you are useless as a leader or all hope of effectiveness ebbs away in a consuming fog. You are the leader for a reason, and it is not because you have depended on another to navigate your course. Not entirely anyway. You have been able to decipher the voices in your life that make you better, and ignore those who do not. That’s why you are where you are.

Enjoy the Drive

Don’t input the destination, rather return to your roots. Do the research, plot the course, and know where you are going. The problem with the navigation system is that you drive dumb, ignore the journey, and the final location is fixed. Leaders who start with a destination in mind, yet embrace the journey, often find themselves in a final location that is much different than the one they planned. They drive down the side streets and alleyways because something caught their eye, something of interest. They stop from time to time to take in the sites and gain knowledge which makes them stronger and more capable leaders. They become so independent that the only time they hear “recalculating” is when that still small voice is shouting for strategic directional change. They own that change and their world is better for it.

Beneath the Surface

My wife and I love the beach. She loves to find a nice shady spot, open to the breeze, pull out her book and enjoy the afternoon. She enjoys the view of the water, the sights and the sounds, and watching people as they enjoy their afternoon. That type of relaxation may please her, but it drives me insane.

I look out at that big ocean and I realize there is an undiscovered behemoth that covers three-quarters of our planet. I don’t want to sit there on the beach looking at it! I want to get in and discover whatever mysteries or adventures she may hold for me.

But that’s just me.

As leaders we must realize that the majority of people will see our organization with eyes from the shore. When it looks good it looks good. “If it’s not broke… don’t fix it!” Most of our direct reports are right there, enjoying the status quo. The status quo brings them a paycheck, it is stable and stress free. There are no dangers in the status quo. However, there is also a glaring lack of adventure.

As a leader, you have no business enjoying the status quo!

When was the last time that you forced yourself out of the status quo by diving deeper into your organization? When, while seeing the surface, did you last wonder what mystery lies beneath her? What is that scary thing that you may find, and have to wrestle with, that will propel your organization to new heights?

You can only know through discovery. So, what are you waiting for, jump in!

Had a little fun with a video version: Check it out!