They Call Me the Wanderer

“Sometimes (often, actually) in business, you do know where you’re going, and when you do, you can be efficient. Put in place a plan and execute. In contrast, wandering in business is not efficient … but it’s also not random. It’s guided – by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and powered by a deep conviction that the prize for customers is big enough that it’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there. Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency. You need to employ both. The outsized discoveries – the “non-linear” ones – are highly likely to require wandering.”
-Jeff Bezos 

Have you ever walked through IKEA and imagined how organized your house, office, kitchen or life could be? Everything has its place, and every place has its thing – that calming sense of peace, stability and steadiness.

On the other hand, have you ever walked into your office and seen chaos? Stacks of paper scattered everywhere, unread books sitting out, and to-dos on post-it notes, business cards and napkins? Nothing is in its place, and you are overwhelmed by the never-ending “I gotta’s” (I gotta do this, I gotta do that), follow-ups and someday/maybe lists  

We recently moved into the office building next door. And between the boxes of admin and paperwork piling up and some delivery delays, it feels like the opposite of IKEA. This juxtaposition of a steady, organized future while dealing with the chaos in the moment.

The tension.

One of our team members has an infant at home. This week, he shared how his wife turned to him this past weekend and said, “I’m embracing the chaos.”

And then I read the quote by Jeff Bezos, “It’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there. Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency.”

Ahhh. Embrace the chaos!  

We convince ourselves we live in an either/or world. Either messy or organized, leader or follower, student or teacher, dedicated or slacker. We have this dualistic way of thinking, labeling and categorizing.

But different seasons of life, stages of projects and phases of our leadership development require us to balance these dichotomies. Growth only happens outside of our comfort zone. Allow yourself to wander and be messy now and again. 

And remember, whatever phase you are in of life, leadership or love, embrace the peace or embrace the chaos. The grass is green where you water it.  

BJ Kraemer, President

P.S. – Speaking of wandering. If you are coming to SAME SBC in Nashville, why don’t you wander over to meet our team (and me) at Booth 546? We would love to meet you!