If you’re at the beginning of your journey with the Servant Leadership tools, it might seem like you’re spending a lot of time evaluating and making goals. And that’s true, it’s important to name a There and accurately assess your Here. But you can’t stop there. Life isn’t spent in assessment or goal setting: life is spent on the Path.
The Path is what gets you from Here to There, and it’s where true growth happens. The way to use the Path effectively is to know where you want to go, which is why we set There’s. But even the best laid plans don’t always go the way we want them to, which is why we have to be prepared to Act, Learn, and Adjust (or ALA for short).
Sometimes, starting is the hardest part. Especially when we have set a There that is outside our comfort zone or seems lofty, starting can be intimidating! We get in our heads and wonder if we’re doing the right thing or feel like it has to be perfect the first time. But acting is just the first step! You have to act in order to be able to learn and adjust. And knowing that learning and adjusting will come further down the Path frees you up to try something new. The way you start will likely not be the way you finish, but you still have to start to get There.
It is inevitable that you will learn things during the process of acting. No one can start a project with all the information. And, even if you think you are, there will always be new intel that becomes available. This time of learning is an opportunity to develop a Create-Something Culture and be willing to humbly admit when you were wrong about your approach. Mistakes are not egregious errors to be repented of but opportunities for correction and guidance. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. What matters is not the mistake, but how you learn from it and move forward down the Path with confidence.
Another reason that you cannot start out perfectly prepared is that there will always be changes outside of your control. There are three things that you can control: 1.) your actions and choices, 2.) your attitude and perspective, and 3.) whom you trust. You cannot control the actions of those on your team. You cannot control budget changes. You cannot control how others react to your work. Therefore, when things happen that you cannot control, you have to be ready to adjust based on the new circumstance or information.
The person who achieves their There is not the person who has a perfect plan that they follow to a T the whole way through. Rather, the way to achieve your goals is to go down the Path being open to Act, Learn, and Adjust based on the mistakes you make and the circumstances that arise along the way.