How Learning to Walk in Heels Relates to Organizations

As a father of two girls, you can imagine the number of amusing stories I have. My youngest daughter is five and has been learning to walk in high heels. (Yes, it has been very comical to witness.) This past Sunday at church, she had on very tall wedges, and not surprisingly, it was a disaster. She tripped and tumbled down the stairs, but got back up and kept going. When she walks in her heels, her legs are wobbly and she struggles to find her balance. However, the more she practices and continues to wear them, the more she will improve and master the art of walking in high heels.

This incident reminded me of what organizations frequently go through. Here at CBG, we do a lot of strategy work. It is the core of what we do. We strongly believe that any sustainable organization that is long standing starts with a solid plan in place. We work with a lot of organizations to help create strong vision good strategies, but often these organizations have a tough time with the implementation process. What we have discovered is that when individuals start to put their plans in action, they become discouraged and frustrated when their goals aren’t reached right away. The steps they are taking are new to them at the beginning, and they almost always fall on their first attempt. Just like my daughter learning to walk in high heels, an organization must understand that in order to succeed, you must fall a few times. My daughter is still learning how to walk in very tall high heels. It is new to her, she gets discouraged sometimes and she is vulnerable. But every time she falls, she still puts those high heels back on and tries again. She wears them knowing that someday she will be able to walk in them boldly, accomplishing her goal. The more she wears them, the more confident she becomes. And when she begins to wobble, she can anticipate it better and catch herself before she actually falls. As an organization, you are going to fall and be a little wobbly at times. But you need to take these steps with the idea and attitude that at some point you will be able to walk strong. Yes, it will take some time and practice. You are going to have to implement these strategies more than once. Maybe you are attempting to host an event for the first time. You made mistakes, it felt disorganized and clumsy, and you didn’t make as much money as you hoped. You must understand that to be successful, you have to incrementally increase your efforts and keep going. It will amaze you at how confidentially you will walk after more and more practice.

My challenge to you today is to think about those things that make you frustrated, that you might be clumsy at doing or not feel so confident implementing. Seriously think about the core of why you are doing it: What is the origin? Why are you doing this event? What is the desired outcome? Keep those questions in mind as you go through with your plan and stick with it. You may fall down, but just get back up, put your heels back on and keep going.

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