Running Out or Running Up

I don’t like to run. Plain and simple.

But at the same time I feel as though I run a lot.

As a leader we run. We run ahead to see what is coming. We run back to lead the people we are entrusted with. We run ahead to see what challenges we may be facing. We run back to help equip the people to be ready for the challenges.

We run a lot.

But we don’t seem to stay in one place at a time. When we are running ahead, we are not with the people we care about. When we run back, we don’t know what may have changed.

I was talking to someone recently about this and we used the analogy of a forest. What do people see? The “trees”? The “forest”? My comment was that as leaders, we tend to  run outside of the forest to see what’s ahead and then come back.

190109 forest

Then it hit me.

Why am I running “out” of the forest? Why don’t leaders run “up” trees instead?

Perhaps a better approach for leaders is to simply stay with the crowd but instead of running “ahead” to see what’s going on, run vertically “up” to get a view of what is happening “above” the forest and get a sense of what is to come.

There is more to this analogy but I’ll leave it at this for starters.

Tell me what you think? Do leaders run “too” far ahead sometimes? Do they get lost coming back? Do they forget what they saw?




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