The question was simple and direct. It was also a loaded gun.
How long am I going to be operating on manual?
I knew nothing was certain. At best, I had a plan to get to a plan that would then paint a picture of the future. There were caveats within every statement. Unknowns embraced each assumption. We had already promised something that we were not going to deliver.
I sensed the real question centered on my ability to do the job. Did I have a view? Was I going to have and follow a plan? Was I willing to be accountable?
In the past, I have answered questions like this with transparent honesty. If I have doubts, you have doubts. If I am unsure, you will be unsure. If I think that something might happen that could prevent me from winning, I want others to know and agree to that caveat(s).
I am more worried about how others see me than I am with telling the story simply and directly. My worry often translates into complex stories that do not provide an answer. In contrast, when charged, “Paul took the stand and said simply, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong against the Jewish religion, or the Temple, or Caesar. Period.’” (Acts 25.8)
On this day, in this moment, my answer was “yes”.
“Here is a white board, can you draw it out?”
My yes to each question gave my audience of one confidence. I did not paint a picture with caveats and promises. I told him what I was going to do. I did not make my problems his problems. I did ask him for support.
Every question I find in life has two sides. One is complex, full of caveats, doubts, and uncertainties. The other side is very different. Is it a good idea? Will it make a positive difference? Is it something I believe I should do? Yes or no.
Today I can be certain or confused, ready or hesitant. They are two sides of the freedom coin. I get to decide which wins.