And then one day you find,
Ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run,
You missed the starting gun.
– Time, Pink Floyd
We spend a great deal of our formative years, learning the basics of “getting along”:
Following the rules.
All of these are great attributes, to be sure; traits I struggle – daily – to drill into my offspring.
But these traits aren’t always the qualities, that serve us best in leadership.
Who is best served, by sitting quietly, when perspectives and experiences are withheld to solutions being sought?
Who is best served, when honesty and transparency is required, but politeness prevents a compassionate resolution to a conflict – and instead, prolongs an untenable situation?
Who is best served, when rules and processes prevent what is right and proper to occur, to correct an injustice?
No one. Or perhaps, only a vanishingly small few.
As a “recovering entrepreneur”, a lesson I learned many years ago, is that if you wait around for someone to invite you to act, you’ll be waiting a very long time.
Because no one is going to tell you when to start living your life. To start contributing.
To start: being awesome.
If you see an injustice, act to correct it.
If you see something that needs doing, don’t wait for someone else to act – do it yourself, or find someone who is qualified, to act.
If processes are impeding what is right to be done, act to change the system.
If you don’t exercise your agency, you will be left at the starting line.
No one told you when to run.