Monday, May 22, 2017

Leadership Quote - George Addair


At the Grand Canyon there is the Skywalk. It is a horseshoe shaped steel and glass structure that juts out over the Grand Canyon (4000 ft.) and makes you feel like you are stepping onto thin air. To get on the bridge, they take all the items out of your pockets, you have to wear little booties, and you aren't allowed to bring your phone or camera. Instead, there are people whose job is to take pictures, you hand in the ticket they give you and you get a great memory.

Erin and I are not the easily scared type of people, in fact, we were told we could jump on the glass and we did, much to the dismay of several people nearby. Someday somebody remind me to share how I was the photo-op for a bus of Chinese tourists. It's a good story.

Back to the Skywalk. The photographer knew we were the type of people to enjoy the experience rather than dread it, so he ran us through ALL the poses. One of Erin and my favorite poses is this one:

While Erin and I weren't scared, there were plenty of people who shuffle-stepped onto the walk and were grasping the steel hand-holds like their life depended on it. These people wouldn't stand on the empty glass, and wouldn't approach the edge, but stayed on the inside edge where they could see the steel support beams directly underneath. 

During our time on the bridge, though I watched one man do something remarkable. He made it out to the center of the walk, grasping the rails tightly and barely lifted his feet from the glass. I watched him take 3 breaths, close his eyes, release the death-grip but left his fingertips on the rails, turned toward the center of the bridge and took one giant step onto the empty glass. He stumbled when his foot hit the glass, but when he opened his eyes he was standing over empty space. He didn't jump back, he didn't scream; but what he did do was take a long look around, then looked down, then smiled. A genuine smile, like a weight was lifted from his shoulders. 

Seeing that experience is why I associate this quote with this picture. He got past his fear and had a potentially life changing experience. So, what are you afraid of? What risks are you afraid to take? Why? All the growth (and all the rewards) happens just outside the comfort zone. Perhaps you are ready to step out onto the bridge bravely, like Erin and I; or perhaps you are more like the man who took a giant step after shuffling across the expanse, but please please please don't be the person who sits at the edge of the bridge and wonders "what if." How will you build your bridge? What fear will you overcome? Let's star this week!

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