Wednesday, June 4

What Is Etched in Stone?

This past weekend, I facilitated a board-staff retreat for a client organization.  The Chair of the Board began her introductory comments by passing around a hand-sized stone on which were carved the words, “Nothing is Etched in Stone.”  It was a great way to set the stage to encourage creative out-of-the-box thinking.  

Later, I reflected on what I might have etched in stone without realizing it.  I think I was sensitive to this because, not too long ago, I lent my cottage to some friends while I was away.  I thought it might help them if I jotted down some seemingly helpful information, only to observe with dismay and a good laugh at myself how long the list of “guidelines” ultimately became.
Think about what you have etched in stone, both in your personal life as well as in your professional life.  Have you imposed these rules and guidelines for yourself intentionally, or are they unconscious remnants of childhood messages, previous experiences, and habits?  Are they rooted in fear and avoidance or are they supportive of growth and development?  Do they serve your purpose or your organization's purpose?  Do you want and need all of them?  What could you let go?  
The things each of us has etched in stone—either as an individual or as an organization—are worthy of reflecting on over the summer. 

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