Sunday, May 30, 2010

When Your Goal Is the Impossible

Read this post from Dan Pallotta. Go ahead...I'll wait.

Okay. So, I'm GenX, right? And that means that there's a big part of me that's too cynical for this kind of stuff. And recognizing that cynicism, I wonder if that means I'll never be an effective leader.

For leaders, as we all know, inspire people with words like these.

As a mentor of mine reminds me, human beings are unique in our ability to achieve the impossible. Elephants don't do it. Gorillas don't. Mice don't. We humans live in a world where everything falls but we say, let's make things fly. The crying that ensues is an outgrowth of self-actualization. It is the profundity of experiencing the full depth of our human potential and it is unspeakably beautiful.

I can’t say words like these because I don’t believe them. Humans don't achieve the impossible. The impossible is, by definition, impossible. What really makes humans unique is our ability to call the extremely hard the impossible, and then self-indulgently move ourselves to tears while we celebrate our perceived ability to transcend the impossible.

Boomers, I think, are especially adept at this. Xers, in contrast, more rigidly separate the extremely hard but possible from the impossible, and then focus our quiet energy on the difficult instead of the impossible.

Does that make Xers or Boomers better leaders?


Post a Comment