Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

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Living In The Past? Go Edna – Live in the Now

A friend of mine is an artist. In fact, one of his paintings hangs in the Southwest terminal at the Tampa International airport. A long time ago a defunct airline named Eastern (yes, you remember them) used to fly out of the Southwest terminal. My friend’s painting depicts an Eastern airline scene circa the 1950’s. I remember going to the unveiling party of the painting. There were a number of attendees who were former Eastern pilots, stewardess (as they were called then), and staff who wore their old uniforms. The fact that they wore their uniforms was fine. It made for some interesting nostalgia. What ultimately became uncomfortable though, was how many of the attendees were living in the past. They were beyond nostalgic and, instead, were quite stuck. Hmmmn, getting stuck in the past. Do you know any people who resemble this description? It is a growing trend you know. Whether it was brighter economic times, a different job, or simply an era possessing less change, many professionals are mired in nostalgia.

Do these people (are you one of them?) need to snap out of it? Answer: Oh yea. They must accept what they must and move on. When one of my favorite movie characters, Edna Mode – a designer, was asked to reinstate something to its past glory, she refused. “I never look back darling,” she stated. “It detracts from the now.”

Here is my advice: Don’t detract from your now by looking back over your shoulder. Deal with the now, and set your sites on the future. There are some amazing opportunities staring at us right now. Take off your blinders, unfold from the fetal position, and stand tall. And as you stand, look far, reach farther, and take action. Years from now you will be able to reflect. And guess what? These will be the good old days – if you play your cards right!

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2009-11-23 at 03:06 PM
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