High performance leaders are in the business of change. We rock the boat for a living. As Tom Peters once said "if it ain't broke, break it." That quote is more than twenty years old and we've been rocking the boat constantly since then.
What about the people who fall off of the boat? What about the details that are tried and true and tradition? Is there a place for tradition in today's rapidly changing world?
Yes, there is. Tradition is more than the way things used-to-be. Tradition is more than old habits. Tradition is a topic worthy of a book, but for now here are a few things tradition means.
Tradition is honoring the past and the people who built that past. That past got us to here, so they must have done something right. Tradition is a way of walking on hallowed ground with respect and dignity. Remember respect and dignity? All too often missing from today's world, respect and dignity add a sense of honor and health to our present, facilitated by a time-tested set of traditions.
Tradition is recognizing that no matter how amazing our accomplishments are, none of them are possible without the hard work of people who were here before us.
Tradition is recognizing that not all facts are instant. Tradition is knowing that wisdom takes time.
Yes, as leaders we must bring about change. It's also true that...
There's no need to trash tradition to build a better future.
When we trash everything, including tradition, we lose our foothold on the present. Let's stand solid. Let's live with dignity and respect. Let's both drive change and honor tradition.
-- doug smith