My teacher Michael Reuter sent this to me:
The paths of great leaders are etched with the marks of the ruts and grooves that arise on their life’s journey. The ruts and grooves appear similar at times, but the journey that accompanies them is vastly different. Herein lies a challenge of knowing in which one they are at the time.
Jack Beach suggests that a key question leaders must answer when all is going well is: “Are you in a rut or a groove?” He writes: “It is also probably the most difficult question to answer since all that is in us wants to see the groove and not the rut. But ruts and grooves can be very different. Ruts are smooth and allow us to speed comfortably across the plains. Grooves can be jolting at times but progressively move us over the bumps and rough patches we encounter as we unremittingly ascend the mountains. So, we need to determine if the path we are on is taking us straight forward or up. If we are not better today than we were yesterday, we are probably in a rut.”
Zig Ziglar writes: “Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all changes which would jar their little worlds.” Great leaders chose not the ruts but, as Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, they choose “… the ringing grooves of change.” As the Beastie Boys remind great leaders: “Life ain’t nothing but a good groove.”