Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Search of a Better Day

As anyone who watched the US Open knows, it has been very rainy here on the east coast. Up here in Maine, the wet weather refuses to leave, with the storm sitting close enough to the coast to keep it gray, misty and foggy—even more foggy than usual. I feel bad for the people who have planned their Acadia National Park visits for these wet weeks, but the bad weather does tend to drive people to the local stores, so there is an upside.

Maybe the weather has contributed to some less-than-perfect days in my work life, too. I'm unearthing evidence of tasks undone and loose ends untied everywhere I look. For some of the time, I've found that my mood has been as gray as the weather outside.

But every challenge presents an opportunity, and there are many opportunities for me to work with my team to improve. "Continual improvement is an unending journey," say Lloyd Dobens and Clare Crawford Mason.

At times like these, a leader must dig down to a new level of commitment to the goals of the team, and move forward. Take a step in the right direction, and then—as I have said elsewhere—take a second step in the same direction as the first.

Tomorrow I will meet with my team and hear from them something new they each have learned this week. Maybe it will be something they are excited about. Maybe we'll see the sun, at least for a while, and maybe, by day's end, the opportunities will begin to outweigh the challenges.

Give it some thought.

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