Permanent White Water

Leadership has captivated me for as long as I can remember. The group dynamics, the interplay of personalities, and the collective effort required to achieve desired goals are all fascinating, in part because of the complexity. It is that very factor of having so many variables, changing circumstances, and human issues on so many levels that keeps it continually challenging, a “permanent white water” condition. I know many excellent leaders, and none of them are bored or complacent. There’s too much happening.

Food for Thought ~

Working with the river rafting metaphor, we can easily imagine a leader using his or her skill, experience and intelligence to navigate the rapids. Picture roiling waters, submerged rocks, fast-moving currents, and a raft full of people for whom you are responsible, all the while with great respect and reverence for the natural environment. You have just created the typical visceral experience of most leaders, especially in today’s economy with our culture’s ever-increasing pace of change.

Question of the day ~

Does this metaphor capture your experience as a leader? What metaphors are helpful for you? How do you increase your success at navigating the rapids?