The title of this post comes from a song* that is written about relationships but I think applies equally well to leadership. The first line of the chorus goes, “Snails see the benefits, the beauty of every inch.
Why, why, why, are we quick to kiss?” The artist is talking about the joys of savoring each moment of a relationship rather than rushing headlong into it and getting carried away.
This strikes me on a leadership level because I, as a leader, often fail to see the beauty in every inch. I think I probably fail as often as not to see the beauty in every mile.
As leaders we hear so much about vision, planning, becoming, changing, adapting, growing, keeping on, pushing through, etc. etc. etc. In all of that, I find myself sometimes dissatisfied with where I am.
I regularly think about my plans and goals for my kids’ schooling, for a sound savings and retirement strategy, for the next year or five years overall. I think about the steps involved and try to make sure my actions will contribute positively to those goals.
And when I think about all that I want to be I can make myself unhappy with where I am, and that is the danger. That is what this song warns me against.
All of the things I want require time. I have to be patient, and I have to recognize the great blessings around me this very moment. I need to focus less on the fact that I want a great future for my family and focus more on the fact that I have a great present with my family. I need to slow down and enjoy each day, each inch. I won’t be able to lead well if I don’t have that wellspring of positive energy to draw from.
We all may have a legitimate issues at times that demand action and change in our lives. Even then, it is very difficult to succeed if our only source of energy and drive is unhappiness.
The great leaders find that the energy and desire to move forward come primarily from excitement about the future. A great leader can’t be fueled on negativity, no matter how bad the present circumstance may actually be.
Take a moment today to think about where you are. Take a look at where you want to be. Think of at least 3 great blessings that you have now, and 3 things you are excited about for the future. See the beauty in every inch as you work towards your goal.
*The song is Snails by The Format