At high school, I was an "above average" middle distance runner. I won a few races and was selected for regional competitions. Running on the track seemed to come reasonably naturally to me. I didn't train to any great extent. In contrast, the hurdles races were a challenge. I just couldn't get the timing right and would inevitably knock over hurdles or, worse still, end up in a heap somewhere along the track. Despite practice, I struggled—until one day I slowed down, concentrated entirely on technique, and cleared all 10 hurdles! Looking back along the track, the sight of 10 standing hurdles spoke volumes. I had accomplished my goal. I promptly retired (at the ripe old age of 16), having achieved my only clear run, ever.
Visual feedback is great. It gives a sense of achievement. Whether it's looking back at 10 standing hurdles, admiring a painted wall, or taking in the vista having climbed a mountain peak, the sense of progress and achievement is tangible and immediate.
This week, I cleared another (albeit small) hurdle along my research journey. The doctoral journey is long and arduous. Breaking it down into bite-size chunks is necessary, for my own sanity and to measure progress. My research proposal was submitted for consideration by the Confirmation Panel. While I still have to defend the proposal in front of the panel, the sense of accomplishment that came from completing and submitting the written the proposal was very real. For six months, I have been preparing for this week—reading, thinking, collating ideas, arguing with myself (and others on a couple of occasions), editing text and adjusting my argument. If the proposal (and my defence) is acceptable, I'll lock in another "cleared hurdle", and get started on the next chunk of work—ethics and case selection. Fingers crossed.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.