Your ladder to the stars

From a young age we initiate, create and engage others. We imagine and we invent games. We make and we make do with the things around us. We ask other children to join us at play and together we have fun.

Later, as teenagers we take on more responsibilities. We find friends, we break-up and we make-up. We design projects at school and college. We organise and achieve together in teams for sports and activities. We negotiate with parents, carers and other grown-ups to get the resources we need.

Recognise anything? Whether you realised or not, you have demonstrated leadership behaviours and qualities for a long time. You are already a leader. It IS your comfort zone!

Time for a ladder?

But now you need a ladder to get to the next level. In my day-to day work, I meet the brave who are not sure where to start and the smart who know what they don’t know yet to succeed. They just need the right ladder, in the right place, right now.

The future will be about purpose. If resources were unlimited we would not need management. We would not need to organise things, to make our money go as far as possible or get the best from our people. In the future we shall need to do even more with less. Less water, oil, soil, carbon dioxide, space to live.

To do so successfully, we will need to be clear about the why, the what and how for all we do. We will need good leaders everywhere, at every level. They will need ladders.

In his song Forever Young*, Bob Dylan wrote a love letter to the next generation. The line ‘May you build a ladder to the stars and climb up every rung’ is a toast to the young and I love it. Take charge of your development and build your own ladder to the next level. Think about the skills and knowledge, qualities and behaviours, experience and network you will need. Reach forward and open doors to ideas, new and old, and people who can help you grow. Look into learning programmes, find a mentor, develop your network.

Just like the stars at night, opportunities shine brightly even when all around is darkness. Those that look up will have more ladders to build, more rungs to climb. Start today and make it purposeful.

(*Avoid the cover versions, Bob’s live recording with The Band on The Last Waltz is all you will ever need.)

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