A few days ago, I started this blog with the lesson of Matajuro. A student learns…
In the account, we see a student who wants to be come a great swordsman, but anxious to how long it will take. Through time he eventually learns that not only is the journey shorter than he ever imagined; but that it was his ardent desire to reach the finish line quickly that stood in his way. Once he accepted the truth from his teacher and submitted to the process totally, was he able to actually become the master swordsman he desired.
Why does this story resound with me? How many times have we run into people who wish for a change in their personal situations? Perhaps it is their weight, maybe it is their personal finances, or maybe it is the mastery of some task or skill set. What do we see these ones often do? We see them hit the internet, bookstores, reach out to consultants, trainers, and gurus; often asking the same question that Matajuro asked: “How long will it take to….” We then see them try to do everything possible, except submitting to the actual journey, in an attempt to get to the end quickly.
If they are lucky, they will run into a master that will tell them the truth; that the time to the end point is dependent upon the mental and emotional attitude of the student and not inherent in the path itself. It is the journey that conveys the title of master, not the speed at which you traverse it.
This is a lesson that is often lost in many of the conference and board rooms I have had the opportunity to work in. In these settings, vendors promise the latest technology, governance practices, or personnel structures. These become the golden dreams that CEOs and Presidents too often solely focus on. All of which may do exactly what the vendors and consultants claim. These ephemeral dreams inevitably spawn work teams who will frantically push organizations into implementing the “Golden Solution of the Month”. And once the project tracking sheets have been closed out; the final checks signed and disbursed; the agency looks, feels, and operates exactly the same way.
But a Warrior CIO knows this and will always speak the truth to his CEO and colleagues; that a maddening desire to quickly reach the finish line without regards to the original motivations of the journey, never results in a quick finish. And more often then not, will bring you right back to your starting line.