Thought for the Week: The Journey is the Point

"It is by attempting to reach the top in a single leap that so much misery is caused in the world"–William Cobbett

As I've been grading the final work of my MBA students for the end of term, I am always struck by often misguided focus on "finishing" an assignment versus "doing" an assignment. Success is not just about achieving an arbitrary outcome. Success is in the growth and learning along the way. For this reason, leadership is largely about patience and perseverance. There aren't any shortcuts.

Journey Learning to lead, developing a team, achieving a vision are all journeys of this kind. They take time. Time and faith. Achieving specific objectives, on the other hand, is a time-bound exercise. I'm not against getting things done, but a focus only on the end result can easily end in failure. If not immediately, then at some point down the road we find ourselves re-learning the lessons that we should have picked up from earlier experience. Taking the shortest route is often a challenge of integrity and a lack of willingness of a person to ensure that their contribution is of the highest quality.

In an age of sound bytes and instant messaging, the patience to be a leader and follow the necessary steps for success can be challenging. We are driven by the short-term and as a result, spend much of our future fixing the problems we've overlooked along the way. There are times where we should pay more attention to the path and let the outcomes appear when they are ready.

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