Blog? Article? Or budding thesis?

If you’re a Service Leaver, Veteran or Reservist who is adapting to life after the military and you want to level up your leadership, my weekly emails will help you.

I’ve been reading… oh dear!

Yes, there is a dark side to reading. Because it beckons me to question and leaves me in a rather dubious cuffuffle until I connect the dots. 

After 10 months of languishing, The Wizard is back and after reading his delightfully colourful and provocative Museletter, he spoke of elegant rants, enterprising quests, golden handshakes and creative meh.

Or, Creative Malaise – A fatigue ridden dip that entices one to question “what is it all for”?

Well, after many months of living in this creative void and submerging himself in experiences and collaboration, he’s finally birthed himself out the other side and is now officially in Creative Recovery.

H/T to you Sir.

In tandem, I’m also reading Stelter’s – The Art of Dialogue in Coaching. Which explains how the invention of the Industrial Revolution and postmodern living is killing us and our ability to know oneself and where we want to explore. We’re bound by time and performance goals that serve to navigate our lives in some sort of direction but ultimately leave us isolated and lost. 

So, here’s the dot connection.

What if, after the pandemic, we’re finding ourselves in Development Malaise?

Where we have literally had it up to our eyeballs and gotten fed up with the constant striving for perfection and the “unicornitopian” next step that will catapult our career into a stratosphere unlike nothing seen before by mere mortals.

After all, we’ve had 19 months to rest and “work on ourselves” and get sorted.

Now, there’s this pressure to perform. 

We have that elusive time break and pause, that we’d all wished for in the past.

To have the time to stop, think and figure shit out.

And what did we do with it?

Well, as always, mileage varies. And therefore, produced a huge sliding scale of successful outcomes. And I’d assert for the majority, with everything else going on, we were glad to just stop!

Let alone do the emotional labour of bettering and developing. 

We are connected 24/7.  Even at night, we have a device monitoring our every move. 

Resistance really is futile because the invasion has already occurred. The Borg are here. They walk among us. And you have been assimilated. 

Ok, Star Trek references aside, there is one discernible difference.

We can choose and change our minds. 

Something that’s been ridiculed in recent months. Many governments have had different approaches to the pandemic.  Some good and some not so much, and some good but too little too late. This is a hugely complex political conversation when lives and livelihoods are involved and one I don’t wish to enter in too deeply at this stage because I’m ill-prepared to either support or oppose a particular view.  Let’s save that debate for another time.

The thing I’ve been most concerned about is the increasing criticism towards “the u-turn”.

The alternative being – to remain steadfast in a clearly detrimental course.

Sounds daft to me.

Ideally, yes, it might have been better to not let the situation arise and make better decisions in the first place. 

Well, welcome to, “… life as we know it, Jim.”

People make mistakes, are enlightened by new information and choose to change their minds. 

My reason for pointing out this shunning of the u-turn is, we’re advocating a culture that criticises such a move. When that’s exactly what big projects, businesses and modern-day life require. Time, trends and culture are moving at warp-speed, and the inability to adapt can leave you lost and alone.

Simon Sinek describes this as – Existential flexibility. And as per the Mighty Google, “…the ability of an infinite minded leader to initiate a disruption to a strategy or business model in order to advance a just cause. … Needlessly to say this would involve risk and beyond the realm of a finite minded leader who would be more comfortable with the status quo.”

More about his interpretation of the concept here:

And this goes waaaaaay beyond the “shiny object syndrome / good ideas club” – because that’s no good for our psychological safety either.

So, where does that leave us now? Can micro-strategic shifts also have some application in our day-to-day activities?

In a nod to The Wizard, might we now be entering a period of Development Recovery?

Being back together with peers and mentors, with work to actually be getting along with, we now have the opportunity to test and adjust all the theories we’ve been noodling over. To actually make a start on all that bettering and developing, because now it carries with it more purpose and meaning.

What might it look like if you just change this one thing?

And if you are thinking I might start with fewer Start Trek references, I make no apologies. It’s a habit, and one I like. So no u-turns on that one. In other news, I have been battling my own languishing demons. Until this weekend when we signed a treaty and I was able to complete this blog which had been an open tab for several weeks.

Felt good, to change.

If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.

Leave a Reply