Funny thing about ideas: Once you find a really important one, you start seeing evidence of it everywhere.
Take change management: We've been talking about it for years now because … well, because things are changing, and fast. “Business as usual” is nothing more than an epitaph for the extinct. If you're not constantly learning and innovating, you're digging your own grave.
Nothing new there, though. That concept saved our nation 150 years ago.
If you haven't read “Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times,” you need to. Donald Phillips' book will give you a new appreciation of Abraham Lincoln as a leader, and it'll also help you keep our rapidly changing world in perspective. You think we've got it tough? Everything we're dealing with now — chaos, uncertainty, technological advances, economic unrest, political divisions — Lincoln also had to deal with. Plus, he had that whole fate-of-the-nation thing to handle.
Mad props to you, Mr. President.
Chapter 12 of that book (titled “Encourage Innovation”) leads off with this quote from Lincoln, delivered during his annual message to Congress on Dec. 1, 1862:
“Still the question recurs, 'Can we do better?' The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.”
There's the answer, folks. You say all of this new stuff is getting you down? Time to think anew and act anew. Embrace new ideas. Seek new knowledge. Try new things. Always be prepared to act, and don't be afraid to fail.
The nation's survival doesn't depend on it … but your future might.