Dan Rockwell has led a local nonprofit for 35 years and consulted for 15 years. In addition, he speaks and consults on leadership and social media. He holds degrees in Theology, Construction and Design, and a Masters in Business Administration. Why am I introducing him here?
Because his LeadershipFreak blog is one of the hottest, fastest growing blogs in the leadership world, and we’re proud to have him as a nominee for the Best Leadership Blogs event.
by Dan Rockwell
Not long ago, in frustration, a friend of mine quit his job. He didn’t have another job lined up. He just quit. A few days later he embarked on a related career path and he’s never been happier. Purposeful abandonment opened the door to a richer, fuller life.
My life also gives testament to the power of purposeful abandonment. Or if you prefer, saying no and letting go. About two years ago, the organization I loved and clung to died to me. I crossed a line by saying, it’s better to lose it all than continue along the current path. It was painful, terrifying, and liberating. Saying no initiated a process that radically changed my life and the organization I love.
“Change only happens when the pain of holding
on is greater than the fear of letting go.” Anonymous.
Personal, professional, and organizational growth begins when you jettison ineffective attitudes, habits, policies, systems, products, or ________ (fill in the blank).
Why is purposeful abandonment important?Because your current attitudes, abilities, processes, or systems are responsible for your present situation. Clinging to them propagates the status quo.
You won’t grow until you let go. It’s futile and frustrating to think otherwise.
First, identify your preferred future. But before setting off to achieve it, determine what isn’t getting you there and courageously, mercilessly cut it off. Abandonment is the hardest part. Now you’re ready to passionately chase your dream.
1. Abhorrence of the past ignites desire for change but it can’t sustain forward momentum. Make the past your platform. Don’t demonize it. Learn from it.
2. Don’t apply this principle to people. Some may abandon you after you’ve chosen a new course. Let it be their decision not yours.
How can people learn to let go of the past so they can aggressively move into their future?
My advice about this post is to read it every day for the next month. We all have things we need to let go of and say no to. Reminding ourselves of this fact doesn’t come naturally and isn’t easy, as Dan suggests.
Just before you read it, think about your biggest goals – organizationally, professionally and personally. With that thinking in your head, nowread this post again. It will help you identify potential things to say no to – so you can say yes to the things that move you towards your goals.
Each time you read it and think about this idea different things will come to your mind.
By the way, his is Dan’s complete post – you won’t find it anywhere else. Aren’t you glad you came here to read it? (I thank him – and you can thank him by visiting Leadership Freak and reading more of his great writing.)
And remember – you have just a couple more days to vote for the Best Leadership Blog of 2010 – please vote – whether for Dan or one of the other great blogs – and tell your friends to do the same.