Process and Change and Leadership

There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs...This week I had to turn in the first draft of my major research paper for class. I had chosen to write about the changes in the publishing industry, since that is a topic that profoundly interests me as an indie author. But I’m supposed to focus on it from a management perspective, and that makes me think that in the end, I may post some elements of the final version of my paper on my blog, since I think the things I’m learning might be helpful to other authors considering whether to go indie or continue to push the Sisyphean rock up the traditional publishing hill.

In particular, I’m struck by the applicability of a quote from Margaret Wheatley, author of one of my favorite non-fiction books, Leadership and the New Science:

What is critical is the relationship created between two or more elements. Systems influence individuals, and individuals call forth systems. It is the relationship that evokes the present reality. Which potential becomes real depends on the people, the events, and the moment.

Prediction and replication are, therefore, impossible. While this is no doubt unsettling, it certainly makes for a more interesting world. People stop being predictable and become surprising. Each of us is a different person in different places. This doesn’t make us inauthentic; it merely makes us quantum. Not only are we fuzzy; the whole universe is.

The thing about being unpredictable and quantum seems to relate to setting goals for me, lately. I had hoped to manage 5,000 words per week for this month to have Blood to Fire ready for editing in November and release in December. Instead, I managed to break the 17K-word barrier, less than 1/5th of my goal. It’s possible that I could make up the difference in the coming weeks, as it appears the bulk of the class’ assignments are now past, but I’m looking at that steep stairway in the picture above and wondering whether I have the stamina. We’ll see. Because my other goal of this round is to complete the third in the Red Slaves series during NaNoWriMo. At this point, I have to say both seem like VERY stretch goals. So I’m learning to adjust to being fuzzy, a la Wheatley’s quote above.

Visit the list of other ROW80 participants to see how they’re dealing with their goals.

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3 thoughts on “Process and Change and Leadership

  1. I’d definitely love to read your paper. I think it’s just fascinating what’s happening now. The gate-keepers have been slain and we will see who will prevail. Will the snobbish fears of the cultural commentators be realised as we all turn in 5m Shades of Grey or will cream naturally rise? All to hope for.

  2. Fuzzy isn’t bad when it comes to goals. You know where you are and you know where you want to be. Everything in the middle is a journey. Just keep trying!

  3. Love fuzzy too, T — I would love to read your paper here. Your subject is so current. If you need another example of bucking the system just holler.

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