I needed to walk a few blocks after a snowstorm and was grateful that someone had gone before me to create a path…

…until I started walking. It turns out that it is more difficult to walk in someone’s footsteps than it is to traverse on fresh powder. The previous impressions are uneven and spaced at different intervals than my gait, requiring greater effort to move forward compared to walking on the edges where the snow was untouched.

I think it is like that in organizations, too – it is easier to create a new path than to attempt to make progress by remaining in the ruts.

Keep this in mind when you are hesitant to go first. Blazing a trail sounds difficult, but it is actually the worn path that impedes progress.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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