Groundhog's Day. Again!

"When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter. " — The Character "Phil Connors" in the Movie Groundhog Day

"In taking this workshop I realized that I do not have 20 years of experience, I have one year of experience repeated 20 times," said the workshop participant in the closing notes.

Our work careers can seem like the movie Groundhog Day in that we get to experience many of the same situations over and over and over again. It doesn't matter that the technologies have changed, or that the workplace has changed, or that the people who work around us have changed. We often face the same situations.

What the workshop participant was realizing was more profound than the observation that the dynamics of organizations and the situations in them seem to be caught in an infinite loop. The realization that he had was that HE had also NOT changed. His reactions 20 years ago are the same as his reactions today. Further, he realized he could change.

The exceptional challenge I put forward to you as we approach this years Groundhog's Day is to consider the following questions.

  1. What situations have you observed happening many times over the years?
  2. How have your responses to those situations changed?
  3. And finally, how have your evolved responses changed the situation?

The very real key to exceptional leadership is the ability to learn every day about how you lead and how your leadership impacts others. This learning will enable you to make improved responses to the situations we encounter. This improved responses will make a positive difference for yourself, for those that you follow, and those that you lead.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT