The view from the middle
When I start a new project, all of the possibilities are ahead, full of energy and potential. The plan is pristine. The strategy carefully laid out. Then the hard work begins. And the hard work is interrupted by other projects, telephone calls to return, lunches to review other projects, and on … and on. Some of these interruptions are deadlines that must be met to deliver on time, keeping the business on track. Others are necessary for building relationships and ongoing work.
I can get to the end of a day or week, look back, and feel as though I haven’t finished anything. I’m in the middle – a wilderness where uncertainty and ambiguity reign.
Rosemary Kanter’s line is, “Everything can look like failure in the middle.” In the middle of the wilderness I encounter obstacles, discover my assumptions are faulty, and can be tempted to give up. If I give into this temptation, I automatically fail. It is up to me to find a path around or through the obstacles – to persist and preserver.
Churchill’s quote comes to mind, “Never give in.” While I’m in the middle, I’ll keep the faith. Afterall, life itself is a work in progress. I’ll believe in the process and look forward to living into the outcome.