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Remember family road trips as a kid? Music and games and junk food. And, inevitably, arguing with your siblings in the back seat. Over toys, over space… over nothing. At some point, mom or dad turned around in their seat, threatening: “You’re pushing your luck!” and the kids tried to sit up and fly right… at least for a little while. In those times, it was difficult to take joy in the journey. We may try for a while… and then our sister let her elbow drift over onto Our Side…

Fast forward a few years and think about road trips as a young adult. A crew of 20-somethings pitching in for gas, crashing in cheap motels, or sleeping in the car at rest areas or campgrounds. Cruising with the windows down: corn chips, sodas, and bare feet on the dashboard. A designated navigator learning how to read a map on the fly, and someone in charge of the radio. We always had a destination in mind — “Spring Break or Bust!” — yet, the truth is, many of the best memories, the stories we still tell each other, happened along the way.

What makes those two kinds of road trips and the memories they created so different? In a word: harmony. When every person has the same destination in mind, and every person is operating in a level of awareness of who they are being and has chosen to invest what they have both in the end result and the experience of the journey, getting there becomes every bit as rewarding as arriving. Someone has the car. Someone has the relative with the lake house or the beach house. Someone has the extra cash. Someone knows how to read the map, and someone has the best taste in music. Each person on that journey is intentional about being present in every moment and committed to investing their special knowledge or resources in every other person, and each member of the group grows and learns and finds joy in the journey.

 

Aligning with Knowledge

A similar dynamic applies to achieving success in business or in any other effort in life. Each of us has something to offer someone else, and each of us needs the right people in our lives with the knowledge, skills, and resources we need to help us take the next step. Sometimes, that need is clear: we don’t understand new technology or marketing options. We need someone to balance the books or create a graphic or write a blog. Or, maybe we need a mentor who is where we want to be, someone who will show us a clear path from here to there. Aligning with people who offer specialized knowledge is often the difference between growth and stagnation.

Sure, all of us may learn what we don’t know and what we think we need to know. At least to a point. Success, though, is rarely achieved by people who try to do everything on their own. I like the way Dean Burnside put it in my eBook, “Leadership Is…” Dean says, as the vision-carrying leader of his business, his job is to do only the things only he should do and delegate everything else.

The same may be said about the knowledge we need to take the next step in our leadership journey. You and I don’t need to know everything, in order to create success. We benefit most when we come alongside someone who speaks wisdom and knowledge into our lives, people with the specific skills, talents, and perspectives we need on our journey to achieve our goals.

What are some ways people have invested in your journey, and how have you invested in others? Who do we need in our lives to help us find our way from here to there in a spirit of harmony, and what are some ways to take joy in the journey? We will talk more about that next time.

 

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