Chaotic Beautiful Snowflakes

Poignant article on the Chaotic Beautiful Snowflakes we all are by Michael Lopp (Rands in Repose is one of my favorite blogs). The last few sentences touched a sensitive nerve:

So, take a moment. Think about your last hour at work. Think about what you were planning on doing and what you actually did. Did you do what you expected? Probably not. The hard work of great leadership isn’t just managing the expected tasks that we can predict, it’s the art of successfully traversing the unexpected.

I just took a moment to think about it.

In the last hour, I've been reading articles and catching up on feeds for the impending WWDC 2014 (*gleeful joy!*). I've been parsing through Twitter (which I rarely do, actually). I handled the final touches on a job that was routing this morning. Editorial performed an on-screen check comparison while I made changes in a breezy InDesign-induced haze. I've also been poking my pen at my legal pad, musing about with new ideas and outlining an app for a brand project. And I've had a few glasses of water.

It was all unpredictable. I didn't have a set itinerary to complete any of these tasks. They came through my inbox or delivered in person. I acted upon the task, finished it, and went back to letting my brain storm on more ideas. 

The last line is worth repeating (emphasis mine):

The hard work of great leadership isn’t just managing the expected tasks that we can predict, it’s the art of successfully traversing the unexpected.

As long as the work is bombarding me, and I can handle it, I find the digressions of the day palatable. Have your guidance (thank you Omnifocus, Outlook, and countless number of apps that make this happen) and your tools (where would I be without you Adobe?). And handle that fast ball in your direction. That's how you brew the leadership within you.

Ashraf Ali