Friday, August 31, 2012

Passing the Torch

Now that the Olympic events are over, it’s hard for me to find suitable programming to watch. Like many of us, I was glued to the television watching the competition and anticipating the results. My favorite events include track and field, swimming, and gymnastics. I also enjoy the opening ceremony of the Olympic events as the torchbearer lights the cauldron in the stadium, making it the official start of the games.

The passing of the torch is exciting and contains several different symbolic gestures that relates to many things outside of the Olympics. It reminds me of our own humanness to try to hold on to things that don't really belong to us and not knowing when to pass it on. The passing of the torch can happen in a number of ways. It can happen because we lost our passion to continue, we moved on to something new or different, or we simply became ineffective.

When is the right time to pass the torch? If you happen to work in a leadership capacity, do you know when it’s your time to pass the torch when you are no longer effective, or do you wait for others to relay this message? When the message is relayed, do you embrace it and accept it gracefully or do you reject the ideal and look for ways to hang on? When you received the message, is it really a surprise or did you foresee this already but failed to respond.

Change is constant. Every day new ideals are aspired and developed. Technology is enhanced and continues to evolve, and processes are redesigned and streamlined. Did we connect or align with the changes or did we remain steadfast to our traditional values and resisted? If you choose not to evolve and adapt to your surroundings, you may find yourself in a similar situation.

Some may consider the passing of the torch a replacement or substitution. Others may consider it, simply a change in direction? As with many things, it is not the action itself but merely how we react to change. Acceptance moves us forward, whereas resistance keeps us stagnant. It is how we cope, manage and handle stressful situations that dictate the length of the recovery process. A door opens when one closes and every ending has a new beginning.

If I begin to feel that I am no longer effective, I will gracefully and willingly pass the torch. This is my promise and it is in writing. If I happen to forget my promise years from now, please retain a copy of this blog for my recollection.

Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR

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