The Long and Winding Road of Growth
Progress is a winding road of peaks, valleys and unexpected turns; great leaders pace themselves, anticipate slides and relish the ride as much as the destination.
WRITTEN BY: ADAM DANYAL
Growth is not a straight line. Like a winding road with peaks and valleys, progress zigs and zags. We climb to new heights only to stumble on loose rocks. Mile by mile we push ahead, yet can't see the next curve coming.
This jagged journey can leave us frustrated and fatigued. When we encounter an unexpected dip after a long ascent, it's easy to get discouraged. Our energy and optimism drain away. Through the fog we whisper, "I can't do this anymore."
In these gloomy moments we forget that growth depends on the entire ride. Without the twists and turns there would be no learning, no strength built in our legs. Smooth straight roads rarely lead to beautiful vistas.
Like masterful climbers, great leaders celebrate small wins - a stretch without falling, a clearing in the mist. They pace themselves and stop to appreciate emerging views. With each turn of the road they deepen bonds with fellow travelers.
Leaders also plan for inevitable slides. They pack tools to regain traction and study maps to anticipate future switchbacks. Feeling lost is expected, not a signal to quit. By relishing the ride as much as the destination, they withstand storms and find renewal.
The winding journey makes the peaks sweeter. The road keeps rising as long as we take the next step. As leaders it's our task to lean on each other through sharp curves, kickstep up steep grades, and soak up stunning sunsets from the summits.
Growth is a long and winding ride. To arrive with heads high and hearts full, we must venture through darkness and celebrate each clearing. Take comfort that the road keeps rising with each valiant step forward. Though exhausted and aching in this moment, feel the momentum gather. Lift your eyes to the distant bend bathed in light. Onward we climb, together.
From our Leadership Bookshelf:
WRITTEN BY: JULIA DANYAL
In his book “Triggers,” executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the small, seemingly insignificant triggers that can set us off and lead to unwanted reactions and behaviors that undermine our leadership. Understanding these hair-trigger responses is key to moving forward on our winding journey of growth.
Identify personal triggers - the subtle but frequent cues, often stemming from childhood and past experiences, that provoke involuntary reactions that sabotage leadership success
Raise self-awareness around these triggers to catch our automatic reactions in the moment and intentionally choose more productive responses
Build trusting support teams that can provide honest real-time feedback when our triggers are provoking unproductive behaviors or emotional responses
Celebrate small daily progress on trigger management while allowing grace and course correction after occasional setbacks; reframe slidebacks as data and opportunities for additional learning
By recognizing what pulls our triggers and derails desired behaviors, leaders gain power over them. We can catch ourselves in the moment and make conscious choices rather than acting automatically.
While the leadership journey has many twists and turns and ups and downs, this self-knowledge and courage to change smooths the ride. Progress proceeds step by step through self-mastery.