To What Have You Hitched Your Wagon?

Be caretul to what — or whom — you hitch your wagon.

A few years ago, I had a potential opportunity to work for a particular leader at a particular organization. I believed in the leader's vision and abilities and I had long-time ties to the organization. I thought this could be a dream opportunity with long-term potential.

It turned out it wasn't the right timing for our family to pursue this opportunity. It also turned out that this leader resigned under pressure a few years later. Had I followed him, I would have found myself stuck in a very different organization under a very different leader, going in a very different direction from what I originally signed on for.

It's not bad to sign on specifically to work for a particular movement, organization, or leader. It can be energizing and exhilarating to catch a ride on something that's moving and shaking. But beware the dangers of tying yourself entirely to something or someone else. On the one hand, there’s the temptation to ride someone else’s success to improve your own position or profile, or to claim coattail success as your own. On the other, movements die. Organizations change. Leaders fail. If your horse goes down, your wagon will go with it.

Be wise and be wary. The greater the chance of reward, the greater the urge to get in on the action — but the greater the risk.

To what (or to whom) have you hitched your wagon?

Angie WardComment