The Slide

We pass through the stages of our lives like going down the old metal slide on the playgrounds of our youth. The steep climb up the ladder, the high peak at the top where you can see almost all the way to your house!!  You start out with excitement and the rush of adrenaline that’s sure to follow. You push off with the smooth metal easing your passage, begin your decend and before you know it, the momentary feeling of flying is over and you are at the end of the ride and ready for the next one. 


This moment of enlightenment came to me this morning as I was lying in bed and reflecting on the fact that I am about to start my 60th year. This, of course, led to another thought – whoever came up with the birthday system was clearly an optimist. I will be turning 59 but in reality, I will be starting my 60th year, so you see, we can always think of ourselves as one year younger!! There really is a silver lining in every cloud and I’m not simply referring to silvering hairlines here.


But back to the slide: I woke up from a dream where I found myself at the top of that familiar childhood slide. I began the exhilarating downward decent but the momentum slowed and soon I screeched to a dead stop, so I turned around and was trying to crawl back up to the top to start over. I was gripping the sides, pushing with my legs, straining to get back to the top of the slide but all the while slipping further to the end of the ride. What does that dream represent? Well you don't need to be Carl Jung to notice my lack of euphoria over sliding into my decade of the 60's. But it seems that between gravity and the pitch of the slide I am destined to make it there; it’s an absolute certainty.  


So this got me thinking …do I want to continue to fight this inevitable outcome and arrive at my destination ass first? Or do I turn around, give myself a big push and face my new world head on? Well, given that I am an over the top control freak, I am far more comfortable and far less paranoid when my ass isn’t guiding me.  Therefore, I have decided to meet my challenge head on!


The irony in this whole situation is that there is no real challenge or battle that I have to prepare for because as it turns out, the slide (otherwise known as my transition) seems to have done all of the work over the years. In reality, all I have to do is, first, recognize my new geography and surrender to the realization that I have now attained my official Yoda status. Once I have that difficult task of surrender under my belt, my second step is to leverage my new understanding and position in life.


This, my friends, is where I spend most of my time with my business leaders. You see, they don't have a coach to help them drive to the next level, rather they have a coach to remind them of the knowledge they possess and to leverage and drive that knowledge throughout their organization. In reality, your attainment of leadership happens before you even realize it, but your role as leader only achieves greatness when you surrender to the reality of your arrival.


So the question for you to ponder: Are you leveraging your understanding as a leader or are you stuck on your slide pushing yourself to the next level unwilling to surrender to your knowledge?




My goal for this blog has always been two-fold. First, I have the opportunity to share my insights and years of experience with you, the reader. And second, I myself get to hear your thoughts, opinions, experiences, etc. To make this blog a mutually beneficial experience, I would ask that you take the time to post your comments, your questions and your own war stories from your years in the business. Let’s use this blog to generate dialogue on the issues we’ve all faced in our businesses and work together to come to some great solutions.


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