07 Aug Is Your Company Stuck in The Waiting Place?
A windowsill in the corner of Navigate CEO Rob Kathol’s office serves as his bookshelf. It holds the usual assortment of professional volumes, a stack of Harvard Business Reviews, a few favorite novels… and a large pile of Dr. Seuss’ Oh! The Places You’ll Go. People often glance over and wonder about them. An Amazon shipment gone awry? Big poetry guy? How old are Rob’s kids again?
The reason for Seuss’ inclusion on Rob’s shelf is actually a business one – and it comes up often.
Oh! The Places You’ll Go was originally written as a graduation speech and follows its yellow-clad hero through the twists and turns of his journey toward success. While Rob loves the book, start to finish, he gets especially fired up about the stanzas about “The Waiting Place”. It sounds pretty gloomy, but all too familiar:
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and your chin!
Do you dare stay out? Do you dare go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
[…] You can get so confused
That you’ll start in to race
Down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
Headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place.
…for people just waiting.
We’ve all been there – passive and paralyzed by indecision. Waiting for… whatever “it” is. Too often, Rob sees the effects: a business stagnates or suffers because leaders are struggling to take action, out of fear or a lack of conviction of how exactly to move forward.
At Navigate, we work with many of the biggest and most successful companies in the region. They are global leaders in their respective industries, and even they get caught in The Waiting Place. Our job is to help them get out of neutral and continue on their journeys with confidence and purpose. The reality is that even the most brilliant business strategies will never come to fruition if decision makers don’t push themselves and their teams to take control and actively drive change through their organization. True business transformations don’t just happen, they’re achieved. And a team with the right mindset is a team on its way.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
This is one of many “Rob-isms” (if you’ve met him, you know what I mean!) that have given me perspective on my own work. I am right now enjoying the colorful reminder (a copy of the book is in its home on the corner of my desk) to stay aware – and out – of The Waiting Place.
After all, I’ve got places to go!