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From Caterpillars to Butterflies: Navigating Life's Transformations with Ease

Updated: Apr 11

This month the change in weather has made me think about how the quiet period of the winter lends itself to the busy of the spring.  We have celebrated the coming of the new year and reset our aspirations for another set of seasons. Spring break has happened and the summer looms for school children. Many people use it for a time to be racing into something new and others are eased into the pace. My thought is always the right way for you, is the right pace.


As we are looking at goals through and the ability to achieve them with time constraints and all the other factors that come into our lives daily. It seems time is if of the essence. We have had another year post-ish pandemic, and many feel ready to spring into what is next and Future planning for a great rest of a year!


My daughter received her caterpillars for her metamorphosis observation kit and watching them grow is fascinating.   The transformation happens in less than 3 weeks. They are voracious learners and then quickly put into practice what they have learned.  I think for most of us with the pace of life around us that it can be hard to bring into focus a singular learning and keep the speed of our appetite throughout the learning process. It can feel overwhelming… like starting a new job.


I was talking with a group of prospective clients a few weeks ago, and one of the resounding themes of why they choose to stay in not great work roles was because they did not want the hassle of learning a whole new system.  Onboarding was not great where they were, and some even remarked 3-4 years into their jobs that they were still learning new parts of their jobs every day. 


 I thought about this as balanced with the voracious and highly motivated leaders whose pace of movement through businesses is at a "hero status". They have advancement , and career pivots in the business with different projects and roles every year or two.  I wondered if they also felt it overwhelming, so I asked one. This is a singular view, but I thought it really provided a shift for me in my own thinking of learning as I tend to be in the middle, a fast learner but one that likes to eventually know everything about a role.


His responses were interesting as he noted that as a leader his job was not to know the role completely. His role was to know the parts of the job well enough to inspire his team. Those individuals needed to understand intimately the details of the role, but if he hired the right leaders the system works.   I preach this in my consulting work as I am working with emerging startups and small businesses, on their full Talent Management Cycle. We are looking for how to order the organization for sustainability past the 4-6 or 10 people that were the beginning.  They are building much like that caterpillar and then shifting into a change of roles that often looks as different as a butterfly.


It is not lost on me that in my mixed group of potential clients they were predominately female and all Mothers, so at this stage perhaps the consistency was a focus of the day job in the mix of the hurricane that is life with small children and work in an office. However, my client is a very present and active father of twins. Travels, coaches little league and covers for his wife for weeks at a time (while she is seeing her clients). I loved his expectation for himself. It was success but not at the expense of everything else, there was a freedom that was taking flight in his perspective that I heard in my own heart.


I think it is something we can all embrace, and especially Gen Xers like myself who were raised on the streets and with unwritten expectations that we were not allowed to challenge, they just were. Or if we did we were a misfit, unbridled creativity was often not rewarded as much as towing the line, doing the time or waiting until chosen.


This viewpoint led me to some reading and I wanted to share a few authors focused on this transformation.



Vanderbloemen Foreword by John Maxwell




Happy Reading! Hope this helps your passions take flight.

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