By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to strengthen your spirit of change agentry. Reading time 2:37.
Nothing is forever. Even Niagara Falls stopped flowing for 30 hours beginning on March 29, 1848 when ice jammed up the river.
Nothing is forever. The walls of Egyptian Tombs are covered with hunting scenes of the pharaohs spearing lions or big game. But today the Nile Valley has no big game and the Sinai is a dry desert.
Nothing is forever. That’s why the most effective leaders I’ve known embrace change as the only constant, other than death and taxes.
No wonder that leaders mount a sense of urgency to continuously improve particularly in the face of the status quo when everything seems to be going just fine.
Nothing is forever. Just ask the 85 largest companies in the United States in 1917 who were NOT among the top 100 companies 80 years later, according to Forbes magazine.
Nothing is forever. Just ask US Steel, the nation’s premier company in assets and profits in 1917. Sixty-six years later US Steel was No. 934 in profits and No. 20 in assets.
Nothing is forever. Just ask the Harlem Globetrotters that won 8,829 basketball games in a row over a 24 year period before crashing into the wall of change. They lost.
The Power of Change is the Power TO Change
Nothing is forever: Just ask Japan. In 1960, Japanese claimed 2 percent of the world automotive market. Twenty years later the Japanese controlled 30 percent of the world market. In 1976, the United States trade imbalance had a surplus of $40 billion. Just 13 years later, the surplus had evaporated into a $130 billion deficit.
Nothing is forever: In 1869 farms produced 40 percent of the gross national product of the United States, 50 years later (1919) it was down to 14 percent and 80 years after that (1999) it was down to 1.4 percent.
The lesson for all leaders is clear: the power of change is its power to change. If things are going well right now expect them to change. If things are going badly right now expect them to change. If you don’t see any change that doesn’t mean that change isn’t happening. Change is everywhere whether you see it or not. That’s why the most effective leaders subscribe to the notion that “no one can step in the same river twice” as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said. Even the mighty Niagara River.
Remember that nothing is forever to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
SUBSCRIBE: Have a Leadership Mint delivered to your E-mail every business day. It’s free. Just click the SIGN ME UP box in the upper left column.