“Eventually everything connects.” Charles Eames
Spring. Flowers. Here today. Gone tomorrow. In California in a few short weeks everything will be brown. This is when our new year should be. Not the dead of dark winter. This is the time of possibility and change. When pollen gets in your thinking, new things happen.
When I think about change for organizations I think about the PROSCI model of change called ADKAR which focuses on individual choice and has more flesh and blood on it than other more abstract models.
When I think about change for self, the same applies. Am I aware of the changes I want to make? Do I have the desire to make them? What help do I have in managing my own resistance? Do I have or can I get the knowledge I need to make the change? Do I have the ability to make the change or do I need something more? Have I set up reinforcements for myself as I make the changes? A little chocolate never hurt. And a good book.
I devoured Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must the same day I bought it. She colorfully walks the reader through these stages of change quite naturally without ever so much as hinting to a reference model. She builds awareness of the decision we all have to make between “should” and “must”. Luna builds on Stefan Sagmeister’s definitions of a job (something you do for pay), a career (a system of advancement and promotion over time where rewards are used to optimize behavior), and a calling (something we feel compelled to do regardless of fame or fortune). A must is this latter.
Luna shows you how to know your own shoulds and musts. She builds desire to pursue the musts. She proactively raises all the resistant questions to pursuing the musts and addresses them. She gives the reader the ability to factor the practical reality of pursuing musts. She shares a variety of surprising strategies to reinforce the readers’s pursuit of the must journey.
On the same day that I bought and finished Luna’s book, I also finished Leyma Gbowee’s book Mighty Be Our Powers. I had heard Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, speak powerfully and authentically at the Professional Business Women’s Conference in San Francisco. Her story was a perfect illustration. She started out with a job (to make money), pursued at times and at other times deliberately avoided a career and ultimately, over time, found her calling, her must, to lead Liberia to peace.
Luna’s language (job, career, calling) and Gbowee’s example of being in each of these spaces gave me the tools I needed to assess the past, evaluate where I stand today and plan a path for the future. After all, it is spring. A time of renewal. When pollen gets in your thinking, new things happen.