Teaching Caterpillars to Fly

Two caterpillars are conversing while enjoying a warm day in the sun. As they are talking about the wonders of life,  a beautiful butterfly floats by.One caterpillar turns and says to the other with his eyes wide open,“You’ll never get me up on one of those butterfly things.”

The caterpillars live the next few days enjoying their time on the branches thinking that life will never change. Then something odd begins to happen…something begins the CHANGE…

What can we learn from this story?

  • One cannot become a butterfly by remaining a caterpillar. Change happens.
  • —Even though we often resist change and risk, it is often inevitable!
  • —Change will occur and we can choose to be active participants and go with the flow.
  • Each of us goes through many stages of development, a process that occurs repeatedly over time.
  • Caterpillars focus only on eating and survival. There is more to life than this.
  • What is needed is vision and overall perspective.
  • We need to be engaged and involved in the process.
  • Change cannot be done “to” us.

“In the change from being a caterpillar to becoming a butterfly, you’re nothing more than a yellow, gooey sticky mess.”

Many of us are facing many changes and sticky messes in our lives now; personal and professional. We can choose to expect and embrace changes or choose to simply resist them.

Dealing with these realities can be difficult. Very difficult sometimes. In order to make clear decisions in these times of stress and resistance to change, we need to have our minds clear, our hearts set straight, and our souls in tune with our values. You see, our personal values form the bedrock, or touch stones, that help us when we are facing chaos, whitewater, layoffs, etc.

Have you established your core values?

Your core values are your few extremely powerful guiding principles that have a profound impact on how you think and act; they are your “soul & passion.” Your values drive your decisions; your decisions drive your behaviors; and your behaviors drive your results.

What about your vision?

The most important thing in business, and life, is to decide what is most important.

We often tell our clients that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Yet, ironically, this is exactly what many organizations find themselves doing. Develop the plan and then going for it will get you out of this treadmill of going nowhere.

Possibilities are endless! Choosing to change is a really important part of improvement. We can’t control much of the world changing around us; we can control how we respond.

A huge factor in dealing with change is whether one has a plan – an individual plan or an organizational plan. Like I always say, “success without a plan is just an accident.”

If you don’t have a plan you are going to march to someone else’s plan.”

Do you expect change with excitement? Or do you more often accompany those thoughts with a dose of fear? Do you think toward the future expecting things to remain the same, or do you anticipate change? What is your plan for change? Do you have one? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Kristi Royse

Kristi Royse is CEO of KLR Consulting
She inspires success in leaders and teams with coaching and staff development

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog | Articles | Services | (650) 578-9626

Image source: farm4.static.flickr.com, clker.com

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