I love my Jeep. Do you know why? It’s rugged, tough, able to adapt to different terrain and a variety of circumstances. Oh sure, you bounce around a bit in it, and it’s not the smooth ride of many other vehicles. But it’s pure me.
Spent the day today talking about personality types and leadership with a group of individuals from all around the United States. It was challenging, but very rewarding. At times the ride was exhilarating and a thrill a minute. I couldn’t get the smile off my face. Other times, we slogged through the deep mud of issues and scenarios for which I thought for a moment we were ill-prepared. Then, just when I thought we were nearly stuck, my colleague punched us into 4-wheel drive and out the other side we emerged.
As a leader and a professional, I recognize my own preference for adapting to changing conditions and facing challenges head-on. But I also understand that such an approach can also be my undoing, if I’m not careful. You see, without friends, colleagues, and supporters around me, I’d be like a Mini Cooper pushing through two feet of fresh snow. I’d go nowhere….and fast! But with a team of dedicated and talented partners, whether tackling an exciting and intellectually challenging consulting project, strengthening the public safety agencies of our communities, or expanding the minds of collegiate students, it’s the strength, adaptability, and “horsepower” of the team that drives us through to the finish with both high quality and high integrity.
So, is the ride a little bumpy at times, and would others possibly prefer a smoother, less exhilarating ride? Perhaps so…but it’s not for me. I like pushing myself, the joy of the ride and the balance between risk and reward. And in the end, it’s the occasional unpredictability of the ride that makes life so enjoyable. So, keep your Cadillac…I’ll take my Jeep anyday!