Just when you have it mastered you get to start all over

Have you ever been in the zone? The zone is that place where time seems to disappear and we really submerge into the task at hand. I love getting into the zone. I love learning. I love the process of becoming a craftsman. And all of this? It’s a problem. Maybe it’s a problem for you too.

Despite all the bravado and Instragramizing (?) of our lives, real learning takes a long time. Often many years. But then, at some point, we finally get “there.” A mental shift occurs. We feel like pros in our jobs. We know what to do. We know what the rules are. We know how to negotiate the system.

It’s been a tough journey! We deserve to enjoy the mountaintop. But there’s this continual problem tugging on our pant legs. The problem is that the things around us change. Relatively slowly, and consistently. Relentless change. And, the problem is that just as we earned our “pro” status, the building blocks slowly get changed.

Over time they change enough that our pro way starts getting in the way. Our way, the professional way, gets in the way of real progress. We get stuck doing what we did yesterday to solve today’s problems. And, instead of embracing change, we hold on tight to our way. We fight change. It’s too painful to come this far and then have to start over. But what we must do is inevitable.

You can wear the same clothes as you did 20 years ago, but if you lead the same way, it won’t work. The goal is not to get to the mountaintop and then call it a day. The goal is the climb itself. It’s the daily work that makes us better than we were yesterday.

Challenge your way of doing things. What if it’s time to change?

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on August 1, 2019

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