I started my career with what might have been misplaced confidence. The more my expertise caught up with my self-perception, the more I came to terms with what I know. The greater I can acknowledge the limitations on my knowledge and understanding, the more clearly and confidently I can speak to what I do know. Finding your voice is essential and influences how you show up in the world. It is a long process of reflection that starts with some important first steps.
The Ride for the Breath of Life is a charity ride that I have been participating in for more than a decade. This year was to be the fifteenth anniversary of the ride in Edmonton. Given the pandemic, an in-person ride was a complete non-starter. That didn’t stop the ride from happening, and it didn’t keep me from participating.
“Why?” is undeniably a powerful question. But we often think about our why in grandiose, abstract terms. We tend to emphasize the philosophical rather than the practical. And yet, at its core, “Why?” is the most practical question that you can ask. And the one you always need to be prepared to answer. Don’t tell people what to do, or how to do it. Instead, get them excited about the why, the way it makes a difference, no matter how prosaic and simple the task at hand might be.
Pick a strategic plan. Any strategic plan. Read the mission statement, and ask what it tells you about what makes the organization it belongs to unique. All too often, the answer to that is “not much.” Rather than being defining statements of purpose, mission statements are often vague, generalized and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We often think we know what we mean when we use the term “strategic.” It’s self evident, right? Except, in my experience, it is very often not. Strategic is often viewed as a vague concept outlining general ideas that don’t really provide much guidance, direction or usefulness. Which is exactly what we don’t need more of. My take on what strategic looks like, and the meaning that you should be seeking.
The Ride for the Breath of Life is a charity motorcycle ride that I have been contributing to for more than a decade. It’s a cause I feel connected to, and a community that I’ve been delighted to become a member of. Above all, it’s an effort that makes a difference. To all that supported me this year, thank you for doing so. You are helping to change lives in the process.