“What got you here won’t get you there”. I’ve loved this quote from Marshall Goldsmith for years and often repeat it to myself and share it with clients. It reminds me of the new thinking required of courageous leaders to move themselves, their teams and everyone around them forward into the future. Why? The world is changing. It’s one of the few things we can count on in life and business. Change.
Now is a time of significant business and market uncertainty and change in Calgary, so I recently attended a conference called Onward put on by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce to inspire business leaders to take on new thinking and action. The 1000 attendees were asked to choose a word or words to be photographed with that represent what onward means to them. My words are Believe and Create.
When you are in a place of change, it can be unsettling and yet you have ultimate control if you choose it. I believe there are two choices that together bring you that freedom and help lead those around you onward to the future you want:
To believe means to accept something as truth and feeling sure of that truth without proof. To have faith and confidence. It requires a choice and commitment. Choose to believe in something. It’s vulnerable because you could be wrong. Actively choose to invest your thinking in something new.
To create is to bring something new into existence something that has never existed before. There is nothing more vulnerable than creativity. Creating requires action. It requires you to leave your comfort zone and step into the unknown.
One without the other keeps you where you are. Choosing to believe in an idea without creating leaves you frustrated. I often say, “Hope is not a plan”. It’s like having a strategy without executing or taking action on that strategy.
Creating without believing will also leave you stuck. Without belief you create something without soul and without purpose. It is belief that brings soul into what you create and creation that brings your beliefs into reality. Belief is what makes you and those around you fall in love with what you create.
One of the speakers at the Onward event was international fashion designer Paul Hardy who said “Expectation is just premeditated resentment”. Believing without taking action and creating leads to resentment too. Paul Hardy loved Calgary as his home, but Calgary isn’t exactly a fashion mecca. Paul believed that he could become a world recognized fashion designer right from his home in Calgary and then set about making it happen. Today he is no longer a Calgary based rising star designer but an internationally recognized designer with a wide following in China who continues to invest deeply in the city of Calgary he calls his refuge. As he inspired our belief in what is possible for the future, his parting words he left us with were: Don’t fear leaping. Leap and be the wind.
Believe and Create.