"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I donÕt know."
Mark Twain

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 313

Estimated reading time:  2:15 minutes


Greetings from YVR, where I am enroute to Winnipeg for a session with a credit union client. It’s been about 6 weeks since I was here at the airport, and I was reminded of why summer travel can be so frustrating; long lines, kids, and tired parents trying to navigate a strange space.


I feel for them. And wonder about the metaphor of a family moving through a strange airport as the early days of a team adopting a new system or process.


There is the oblivious kid, tripping over their own back pack. The cranky kid, who just wants to get there. The bored teenager, far more interested in what is going on back at home than on the new adventure. And then the parents, the one who cannot believe that this is as difficult as it has been. The other parent who, thinking under their breath, “I told you so” about the other parent, is trying to keep the family moving forward, into the crowd, and hoping they’re all headed to the right gate.


Each of these characters, and others show up at the beginning of every change initiative. As exciting as the outcome might be, the journey can be exhausting. 


The strong choices we make drive the difference between a great trip and a “never again” one.


  1. Keep people focused on where we are going — the end result
  2. Keep the team together, and engaged — we all have jobs on the journey, and hold them accountable
  3. Don't lose your cool; we can put people into threat state very easily


As we move into the busyness of Fall, enjoy these last days of summer, and have fun with your friends and family, even the ones who keep tripping up.