I was fortunate early in my career. I was witnessed to the possible. For many companies, the achievements of the team I was privileged to be a part of were not even considered. They were not possible. They were beyond the realm of reasonable consideration. Even aggressive companies did not include our actions in their planning. I look back with amazement. I did not know any better. The team’s leaders believed. They took their belief and helped everyone around them embrace their belief with resolute conviction and a team spirit. The combination produced magical results.
As I try to place my feet in their footprints, I find myself struggling to share what others find hard to see. The best way to communicate what is possible is through stories. While there are similarities, there are enough differences that one has to step into a world of imagination in order to reach out for what one cannot see. I find it best when one starts with candor. Candidly, “there are no diagrams for this kind of thing. We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a ‘dead’ seed; soon there is a flourishing plant.” (1 Corinthians 15.36)
One will need to tell stories of hope as well as others that speak of valor and discipline. The goal is not to manipulate; one must be able to believe in the possible for the possible to live. It is not easy, for anyone. With the obstacles and pitfalls, life is difficult. Nothing can or should be taken for granted. The stories open up the possibility to imagine and see with that imagination. It is one of the greatest gift leaders leave with us.
I do not remember the details of those days. I do remember the first time I was aware of being part of something bigger than me. I was part of an amazing team! With them, anything was possible. I held an invitation to be part of the story. I had a role to play. I was integral to what could be.
It is still true.