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”Nah” – Rosa Parks

I shuffle when I walk, which means I kinda drag my feet on the ground. This results in ’scuffing’ along, as my father put it.

You can think of this shuffling as a system that’s balanced when my action (shuffling feet) is met with a particular reaction (dirt or gravel which give way) in a suitable environment (loose dirt or gravel).

It also means that I stumble a lot because I trip over the rocks which refuse to move.

Tripping sends me temporarily off-balance, arms thrown out, stomping with giant steps, trying to regain my balance.

When part of the system which usually moves says “Nah” (like the rock that refuses to move) the system ‘trips’. It’s thrown off-balance.

Systems strive for balance (homeostasis), so it immediately tries to regain balance.

This may mean pushing harder on whatever said, “Nah.”

Or, simply ignoring it and trying to avoid it next time.

Or adjusting to find a new balance that works in this environment.

Today, there may be systems that you’d like to change.

Maybe the first step is to be the rock that doesn’t move.

To say “Nah,” throw the system out of balance, and watch what happens next.

Sound Risky? Sure, it might be.

But things will continue until the system becomes unbalanced, and has to find a new balance.

Change starts with imbalance.

Today, what would you like to say “Nah” to?

How might the system respond?

Write me back if you wish – love to hear your thoughts.


About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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