The Pond and the Pebble
The steadfast leader guides their team through tumultuous change as calmly as a pond absorbing ripples, by empowering them to chart the course, equipping them to adapt, and hearing their hearts to unite them with purpose.
WRITTEN BY: ADAM DANYAL
A quiet pond sits undisturbed, reflecting the world around it through calm waters. Then a pebble crashes down. Ripples move out in all directions, changing the surface instantly.
We leaders are like the pond. Disruptions happen, plans change, chaos arrives, and circumstances become uncertain. Conflicts emerge. Crises unfold. Change occurs incessantly. But rather than resist, we can accept change as inevitable while staying strong.
Like the pebble that drops into the pond, change disrupts your shape. But your reflective nature remains. Allow the ripples, notice them, but bring constant awareness back to what defines you. Your core values. Your purpose. Your resilience.
In times of change, we think first of results: damage control, solutions, and fast recovery. But change puts relationships at risk. People become unmoored, needing connection. So listen generously before acting. Lead with compassion. Understand fears. Then chart a path forward together. Set the example for adaptability yourself.
Change is certain. Ripples happen. You cannot stop that pebble from dropping into the pond. But when change arrives, bring calm understanding while others are anxious. Welcome new opportunities within disruption. Your composure will inspire those around you.
With awareness, the ripples will subside. The pond will become still once more. Until the next pebble falls. Allow change to refresh your path, even surprise you. Because change is inevitable. But so is harmony, with patience. Be the calm, reflective leader amidst the ripples. Stay centered, and lead from stillness. This is how we turn uncertainty into growth. This is how disruption lifts us to new possibilities.
From our Leadership Bookshelf:
WRITTEN BY: JULIA DANYAL
This newsletter emphasizes responding to disruption and change with flexibility, empathy, and vision. The leadership book “Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders” by L. David Marquet offers perspectives aligned with these themes.
Here are 3 key takeaways from Marquet's approach:
Marquet advocates empowering teams to navigate uncertainty themselves. Leaders provide clarity of purpose but give ownership to chart the course through disruptions.
He stresses enabling adaptability and quick critical thinking skills in teams to solve problems during crises. This distributes responsibility across the organization.
Leaders must listen first to understand teams' challenges and fears before guiding change. Two-way communication builds trust and a unified vision.
Marquet's leadership principles of empowerment, distributed responsibility, and listening first allow organizations to collectively embrace change with calmness. By living these practices, leaders can guide their teams through disruptive ripples with steady purpose and compassion.