Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Desert and the Dune

I've just been in the UAE doing some leadership training right in the middle of the Liwa Desert.  

Here are some photos.  The final photo shows one of the enormous dunes outside the hotel.... (cont'd below).


At sunset, people would climb up the dune and sit and watch the sun set from the top (there are people doing just that in the photo - but they are tiny!).  The dunes were so large that it was hard to make out whether the people were moving when you watched them.  You had to look away and look back to discern any progress.

That to me is redolent of career change work.  It can be a long and arduous business.  Sometimes, it's hard to know if you are moving forward.  So much work seems to be involved, and at times so little seems to be being achieved that it can feel like a whole lot of work for nothing. 
Yet as with the dune walkers, consistent, regular action, does make progress.  Each action, each moment spent in reflection, adds up to another step, and the steps add up to progress.  I have clients who right now are working on their career chenge project and feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.

Yet for the most part they are still chipping away, being willing to feel uncomfortable.  It can be hard to discern their progress at first glance.  But from where I am, I can see it.  And I know that very soon, when I check back on them, they will be enjoying the view from the top.


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