I was out walking with my wife in the Yorkshire Dales beside the Wharfe, along a stretch we’d walked many times, when I noticed a different option – some stepping stones.
We’d never been on the other side of the river, the sun was out but the river was pretty full. After my first two steps I realised that the stones were very slippery. Do we go for it or go back the usual way?
I rolled my jeans up and put our mobiles in my back pack. A third of the way across – way too slippery but, inspired by 4 wheel drive technology we were on all fours. So we scrambled on and then saw that three stones were submerged. A decision: turn back or move on to our goal? I decided to take my shoes off tie them around my neck, roll my jeans up as high as possible and to go for it. Three steps later I was barefoot on some more of the slippery stones and in a minute I’d reached the other side and we walked in the long grass to try and dry our feet.
We felt a sense of achievement, were invigorated and laughed all because we took some small steps, kept our eyes on the prize and solved problems as we encountered them.
Intuitively, I knew it would be great to go across the stepping stones yet if I’d spent more time surveying the stones I would have probably not taken the risk.
It is about just doing it and not holding back, about a willingness to look stupid and potentially getting soaked. Most importantly taking responsibility for your actions and learning from your mistakes. I guess this is a tangible example of what I term Liberation Management!