Today I had lunch with a wonderful group of truly highly accomplished people. Folks who have worked on peacekeeping missions in the gnarliest of environments and managed some of the most complex organizational changes. And during this conversation, I was reminded of a simple fact — regardless of how something might look from the outside, it is always just hard.
Getting the leaders of warring factions to collaborate? Managing deeply entrenched stakeholders in a corporate take-over? It all requires change — not just of the surrounding factors but the very people at the center of the story.
The same is true for us. If we want change, we must change. And change is hard. As Arno Ilgner, author of the wonderful little book The Rock Warrior’s Way: Mental Training for Climbers (which is not just for climbers), remarked:
The venue does not change. Everest does not get smaller, and the North Pole does not get warmer. It is we who must transform, and that takes work. If the process was easy, we’d all be world champions.
Anything worth doing, almost by definition, will be hard. Embrace it. It’s worth it.