The Serendipity of a Circuitous Path

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Success rarely follows a straight line – it prefers a circuitous path.

Yet, in the moment, it often feels like something other than success BECAUSE it’s not going in a straight line. Consider:

  • Not getting that job you interviewed so well for seems like failure – until an even better position opens up that you’re even better suited for, afterwards.
  • Not getting picked for a plum assignment may feel like you came up short – until you get tapped for an even better project with even more visibility.
  • Not getting the recognition you hoped for from that never-satisfied client feels like more of the same – until that very same curmudgeon asks your boss for specifically YOU to help with his 2017 purchase planning.

Sometimes it Takes Time

Of course it doesn’t always happen that quickly. Sometimes it takes a while to get around the bend. But if you’re patient, and committed to doing the right things in the right ways, success will find its way to you in relatively short order.

  • You can start by recognizing the twists and turns that tend to slow you down. Study them. Be open to what they have to teach you about how to better navigate them they arise. (And, oh, yes, you WILL arise, again – especially if you don’t learn from them.)
  • You can also start by recognizing that somethings are just not meant to be, just yet. This is not a plug for fatalism – that everything is predetermined and therefore inevitable. Rather, it’s more like something Vern Law was quoted as saying: “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.” Make sure you’re clear on what lessons you still need to learn – because you WILL have the opportunity to show if you have, until you have.
  • You can start, as well, by recognizing what you can, and cannot control. You want to know the biggest reason leaders fail? It’s because they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to control what’s beyond their control. Then, too, there’s this corollary: Their spending an inordinate amount of time COMPLAINING about what’s beyond their control. The solution? When in doubt, focus more on figuring out what you CAN control. No matter how seemingly small, and  no matter how seemingly insignificant, that will start you down a much more productive path.

Use Your Time Wisely

Sure, you can give this all lip service. Many do. But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t really get you anywhere. Again, per Vernon Law, “Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade that they never learn the trade.”

Which group are YOU in?

To that end, what aspects of YOUR trade do you know you need to get better at? What aspects of your Executive Intelligence do you need to improve?

  • Does it have something to do with your ability to manage tasks more effectively?
  • Does it have something to do with your ability to work with and though other people?
  • Does it have something to do with your ability to recognize your impact and modify your behaviors, accordingly?

Or does it have something to do with a circuitous path through them all?

Once you recognize, and start embracing the serendipity in THAT, my friends, the straighter your path to success will become!


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Having Been a Polished Man

Barry Zweibel is a polished man.

As many of you know, I participated in the Polished Man project – an effort to raise awareness about violence against children. This is an update on how the effort went.

  • more than 60,000 men participated, worldwide
  • almost $1,000,000 was raised

All funds raised through Polished Man are channeled into trauma recovery and trauma prevention programs for children who have suffered or are at risk of suffering violence globally. These include YGAP impact entrepreneurs running ventures that reduce violence against children or provide emergency relief to those that have fallen victims to physical and/or sexual violence. Funds are also channeled into some incredible work being carried out by the Australian Childhood Foundation, Hagar International, the New York Centre for Children and World Vision.

To those that participated directly, or indirectly – or offered your support to me, personally – thank you.

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