208-376-1701 bryan@bryanyager.com
First a quote: Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”— Henry David Thoreau I am often asked to facilitate workshops and deliver keynote messages designed to help organizations and leaders guide people though tumultuous times of never-ending change.  With all that is going on in our world today, it is no wonder “Change Leadership” is a popular topic in my line of work. Change is everywhere, it is never-ending, and the rate of change continues to accelerate at seemingly exponential rates. Change is a fact of life and navigating change is an important life skill for all of us. “No Land in Sight” is the title of my most popular change leadership presentation. While explaining and demonstrating key concepts, I often ask participants the question, “What is Your LB/LA Ratio?”  This morning, I ask you to ponder that same question. What is your ratio? More on that in a minute. First, I invite you to take a mental journey with me, back in time to more than 500 years ago. The day is September 20, 1519, and we are at a port in southern Spain. Imagine for a minute that you are one of the 270 sailors who has just set sail in one of five sailing vessels with Captain Ferdinand Magellan at the helm. Imagine the range of emotions you might be feeling as you set sail on a journey into the unknown.  While I have no idea what that might have been like, I suspect most sailors might have been filled with both anticipation and reservation. On one hand, they might have been excited about the sense of adventure, exploration, and discovery. And yet, fearful of all the unknowns and the unforeseen dangers ahead. Some may have even asked themselves, what if the Earth is indeed flat? What if we accidentally sail too close to the edge of the world? What then? So off we go, each day sailing further away from the “comforts of home” and from all that we know to be true and predictable. Each day we sail farther into the unknown with no land in sight.  It is reasonable to assume our fears and doubts about the future would begin to expand and multiply. Having completed our daily duties, we then go to the back of the boat and look longingly at a past we can no longer see. We long for the “good ole days” before everything changed. Those days when life seemed more predictable and routine, even if far from perfect. Then, we go to the front of the boat, looking for one bit of evidence to indicate we’re headed in the right direction. We hope to see a single piece of driftwood, or maybe see one single bird that hints of land ahead.  Yet, here we are, in the middle of the sea, with no land in sight. For most of us, that is a very scary place to be. I submit this same phenomenon happens to most of us today, even in these modern times, some five hundred years after Magellan’s crew circumnavigated the globe*. So, what is an LB/LA ratio? I call it our “look back vs. look ahead” ratio or LB/LA for short. I believe it is wise for us to manage the ratio of how much time we spend living in the past versus anticipating and exploring the future ahead. “The past is a nice place to visit, but you don’t want to live there.” – Dr. Mardy There is no harm in reminiscing about our individual or collective pasts, or our worlds as they may have been. In fact, there is certainly value in reflecting upon our past and the lessons to be learned from both our successes and failures. Learning from the past and applying the lessons learned is vitally important to our future success. And, the truth is, our futures are ahead of us. Metaphorically, spending time at the front of our “ships” is important. Charting a course forward is critical to our future success. Where do you spend most of your time?  What is your LB/LA ratio? Are you at the front of the boat?  Or the back of the boat? I invite you to join me up front; together we can discover a bright new world ahead. How will you live, love, or lead, differently, or better, this week? Sincerely, Bryan Yager “Expanding Your Capacity for Success” Related Articles: Do you know someone who might benefit from this weekly missive?  If so, please feel free to pass along the subscription link below: Click here to subscribe to my weekly missives entitled Monday Morning Minute. * Magellan himself was killed in what is now the Philippines without completing the journey. Only one of the five ships and eighteen of the original 270 sailors made it back to Spain after 1,082 days and a trip around the globe. Bonus Quotes:
  • “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back.” – Sam Waterson
  • “The hardest part about moving forward is not looking back.” – Elizabeth Thomas
  • “Where you come from is not nearly as important as where you are going.” – Unknown
  • “I think looking forward will be better than looking back.” – Erin Morgenstern
  • “If we fail to adapt, we fail to move forward.” – John Wooden
  • “Don’t look back you’re not going that way.” – Mary Engelbreit
  • “I’m looking forward to the future and feeling grateful for the past.” – Mike Rowe
  • “You know you are on the right track when you become uninterested in looking back.” – Mel Robbins
  • “You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.” – Louise Armstrong
  • “When you bring peace to your past, you can move forward to your future.” – Anonymous