Walking into Safeway at 6:30am this morning was surreal. It was dark outside and my headlights were on. The parking lot was nearly full and carts were strewn about the pavement. As I entered the store, I saw a sign pleading with customers to avoid shopping between the hours of 7 and 9am, as this is the time they are doing their best to stock the store.
If you are a parent, educator, CEO, or leader of any kind, you may have, at one time or another, found yourself trying to get people to do something that they, for whatever reason, did not desire to do. Has your kid ever thrown a temper tantrum in the candy aisle, or simply refused to put their shoes on? In the classroom, students often communicate resistance by not being engaged, getting off task or being disruptive. In business, it may look like employees under producing, low morale or work dissatisfaction. However it looks, this is certainly NOT where you wanted to find yourself: faced with a power struggle.
Recently I was working with a group of young students who were, as students do, resisting doing the task that I, the educator, wanted them to. I began to enter into the familiar dance that anyone who has ever worked with children likely knows well: Kids moving around the room, talking to friends, asking unrelated questions, raising their hand and telling long-winded, boring stories about their friend Carley’s pet hamster who pooped on the floor. Everybody laughs but you—because let's face it kid, your story sucks and I see what you’re trying to do here.
Those who know me know that I am a changer. I have lived and traveled to many countries, held many different roles in my work and life and started, and not always completed, many projects. In fact, change has been one of the few constants in my life. And about every three years or so, God, the universe, my higher self, puts me in time-out.
When I was four, I knew everyone and everything.