Leadership Design Alliance | Chicago Executive Coaching



You Can’t Play in the Box

Whenever a box larger than a shoebox makes its way into our home our cat, Wendy, claims it and climbs in.  She’s also been known to find rest in small take-out food bags and even a stock pot.  Clearly she finds comfort and safety in small places.  And if it has a cover – well then – all the better. 

However, when she starts chewing on the box and leaving gooey wads of cardboard around the room, you’ll hear…“Wendy, you can’t play in the box.”  Heaven only knows how much cardboard she manages to swallow during those adventures! 

Yesterday I heard my husband firmly tell her – “Wendy, no!  You can’t play in the box anymore.”

During this past year as we’ve navigated the pandemic, most of us have wanted to stay in our boxes.  We know what’s in there.  It’s safe from the craziness of the outside world and we can control what comes in. 

And so, this is how we have managed much of our work these past months.  We’ve stayed in our boxes being content to do what we’ve always done.  Because the pandemic will pass, and life will go back to normal.  Right? 

Probably not.  I suspect we’ll redefine normal!

I don’t know about you, but while I’ve been working harder than ever – I’ve also had more time to think about how I’m spending my time.  Am I working effectively and efficiently?  Are there better ways for me to deliver services?  Do I still love what I’m doing?  Is it time for a change?   

And if I’m asking these questions, what are my clients asking?  Are they evaluating their lives differently – just as I have been doing?

We can’t always stay in our boxes.  Sometimes we need to venture into the chaos and learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  We need to learn how to adapt, innovate and create new solutions to meet new expectations.  We need to give ourselves permission to fail so we can learn better ways of doing things…let alone learn more about each other.

It’s OK to hesitate when you venture out.  But know you can’t sit there long.  We only grow, find fresh solutions, and lead change when we face our fears.  And did you know, this is the perfect time to grow brilliant teams as well.  If each of us leans on the strengths and talents of others –  well imagine what we could do together! 

So if you’re still hesitating, set your priorities and then take a deep breath and climb out of your box.  You’re on an adventure that allows you to seize and experience the moments ahead.  You can’t really play in the box.  The best to come lives outside of it.





There is this space…stuck inside.  Making it hard to breathe.  Making my heart hurt. It sometimes feels like my very own black hole.  Its name

Read More »


Today I was rummaging through files, seeking some inspiration.  I ran across a document and a memory I would like to share with you. I

Read More »


Leadership Design Alliance


Sign up for our monthly newsletter with your regular dose of motivation, fresh ideas, and useful insights.