When Pennie and I were preparing to move away from the town of our childhood, I told my friend Phil that I felt I was holding onto the end of a rope in the half-light of limbo, and I had no idea where the other end of the rope was tied. I have never forgotten what he said.
“This is your time in the elevator. You are between two worlds. You are leaving behind the way it has been, but you have not yet arrived at the way it will be. You don’t know if you are going to a higher place or a lower one. The only thing you know for sure is that when those elevator doors open, you will be surrounded by new faces, new spaces, and new places; everything will be different. A new chapter in your life will begin and you will have to figure everything out. But that part is easy. The hard part is being in the elevator. The hard part is not knowing.”
Your going-away party is over; your friends are gone. A new opportunity and a new town await you, but you are not yet there. You are in the elevator. It is awkward and filled with uncertainty. You want those doors to open so you can face what awaits.
You remember that feeling, don’t you?
Phil’s counsel about the elevator came from a book he had read. He said the book was called Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life, by Gail Sheehy. It was published in 1976.
When Phil Johnson died, he left me his favorite tie. It is blazoned with shelves of beautiful books from top to bottom. He wore it often.
Phil also left me his library of more than 3,000 books, a portion of which now fill the shelves in the reading room of the Enchanted Emporium in the Village of La Mancha, just 200 yards south of the Tower at Wizard Academy.
The next time you’re on campus, wander over to the Enchanted Emporium and plop yourself down in one of the soft, red leather reading chairs with a glass of wine and a book from Phil’s library.
When you see the titles of the books he read, you will know the man.
I think you will enjoy having met him.
Roy H. Williams
Did you ever sing this song in Sunday school?
“Deeeep and wiiide. Deeeep and wiiide. The rabbit hole today is deep and wide.”
No one can eliminate fear of job loss, fear of career stagnation, or fear of humiliation in the workplace, but Gaurav Bhatnagar and Mark Minukas, two former McKinsey and Company consultants that have helped more than 1,000 business leaders embrace “Unfear” methods of leadership, make it clear that fear can be channeled and transformed into productive purposes, and improve employee satisfaction at the same time. Where? MondayMorningRadio.com. When? Right now.