Conclusion: Staying Alive

We’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to the concepts and strategies necessary to thrive and stay alive. As you go forward, I encourage you to put ideas into action routinely and regularly.

It is not always easy. We’ve discussed, at length, the ways in which organizations respond to loss, conflict, and the need for new learning. We’ve also discussed strategies for anchoring yourself, connecting with the people, places, and rituals that help you stay centered amidst change. We conclude the course by considering the role of patience.

How do we endure moments of failure or despair?

How do we continue the work of leadership, knowing that the path forward is rarely clear or easy?

Staying Alive

One of the ways you stay in the game through the despair is to free yourself from the myth of measurement. Measurement is a profoundly powerful tool. You’re going to study lots of things.

You’ve already studied lots of things in which you use measurement. You can’t run an organization without measuring things. You can’t locate the progress you’re making in a school, or in a clinic, a hospital without measuring things.

We save lives in medicine because we can measure lots of things internal to the body.
But measurement is a tool. It doesn’t capture all truth. You can’t actually measure good. If you turn the lights on behind one child’s eyes, can you measure that?

It says in my tradition, which is shared by many of your traditions,
you save one life, you save the world. I think you stay in the game maintaining the patience, tolerating the moments of despair by staying in touch with the good that you’re doing, the meaning of the good that you’re doing that’s beyond any measure.

And by giving yourself permission to take pleasure and heart and joy in the fruits of your own labor. And all of you have already done a lot of good in the world. You’ve touched lives. You’ve turned on the lights someplace with somebody, or many people.

And I think in staying alive, your spirit, you have to let yourself reconnect with all of that good that you have done already. I mean you get to quit and go to heaven. If you only look at all that’s left undone, you’re more at risk of burning out. I think it’s really important to rejoice in the fruits of your labor.

And one of the ways you can help each other over time ahead ahead is to remind each other because we forget quickly. And that would be my prayer for all of you.
May you help each other take pleasure, gain joy from the fruits of your labor.

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