Earlier today I was listening the 1310 AM (The Ticket) as they broadcast live from Edmonton in preparation for the Dallas Stars hockey game against the Oilers tonight. As I listened they were talking about the teams, interviewing former players and then went into a conversation about the weather. To understand things, for folks from DFW, Edmonton weather is downright scary. This is a place where the average high in the warmest month of the year (July) is 73 degrees. That is our average low 6 months out of the year.
So what is my point? Well, the funny thing is, the DFW folks were actually pretty sensitive and not stupid about their comments. They talked about how here we get annoyed with the weather, assuming somehow that our frustration will cause it to warm up while folks up in Edmonton are smart enough to realize that their frustration with the weather, will basically do nothing.
I resonate with this because a 2 weeks ago I was really frustrated with the weather. Stuck at home with Annika, K off on a trip and snow and ice on the ground here and ultimately frozen pipes to deal with. My frustration, sense of claustrophobia and ultimately sense of helplessness became very real and I railed against the cold. It isn't supposed to be that cold here, it is supposed to warm up quickly. If it didn't why would we put pipes in unheated crawl spaces on our attics? I took to looking at the weather forecasts every couple minutes, waiting for the sun to come out, wondering when it would finally get warmer.
How often do we spend pointless energy worrying about those things we cannot change? I know I do and I certainly know others do as well. Although my looking at the grey sky and demanding it turn blue, the sun to come out, doesn't make a difference, I still did it. How often do we gather in a committee or team meeting, look at the reality of the situation (financial, individual support, attendance, etc...) and instead of facing up to the reality simply demand something change? Far too often I presume.
As leaders, I think a little Edmonton wisdom would help us out. There are realities we cannot change and to be successful we shouldn't waste energy demanding they change, instead we should recognize those realities, learn from them, change and adapt. Otherwise, how could anyone ever live in Canada?