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The Only Way Out...

I stood on the bridge listening and watching. Listening to the conning officer issue commands to the helm as he executed a plan to free a Great Lakes freighter that found itself beset in the ice; the pressure of a wind-driven miles-wide ice sheet held fast against its hull. And watching as we made several passes back and forth, seemingly over some of the same "ground", until its Captain was finally able to make way through the broken plate ice.

In Robert Frost's poem "A Servant to Servants", his "Len" says that "the only way out is through". One of the things that continues to surprise me is the amount of times we need to review, start again, or re-work the same ground. It seems that there are some tasks or jobs that are once and done, but coaching, consulting and generally building a business doesn't seem to be among them. As a Consultant for the last 30 years and a Coach for the last 4, I have tried to drive or facilitate improvement and change in client processes, systems, and organizations at every turn. Identify an issue, craft and implement a solution, then monitor it and move on right? Well, guess what? It often doesn't happen on the first try, or the second try. Sometimes, it seems that these things that we aspire to change or build have a mind of their own, a timeline of their own, and sometimes even an agenda of their own. Sometimes, I find myself breaking the same ice with a Client over and over again wondering why we aren't making progress. And that's when I have to remember to look for the pressure and the force that is holding us in place. Seen or unseen, positive or negative, internal or external, it's there. And, it must be recognized, and accounted for, before we can make our way though, and out. What do you think?

Coach Dave

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