Careful Steps In Darkness
The Ways. A decaying relic of an age past. However beautiful in their origin, they bask in impenetrable darkness now.
The lanterns should have given enough light to fill a house, but ten feet away from them it stopped. The blackness stopped it as if it had struck a wall.
The Eye of the World, p. 562
I find the concept of the Ways a useful allegory for leading changes in an organization. Not at all as sinister as what may lurk in the darkness, but a frame of reference for understanding what is being done to the organization. Change is bridging the gap between a current state and a desired future state. How to get there, of course, is not necessarily a linear path. Much like the Ways, there will be bridges, twists and turns. Dead ends will be found, alternate paths need to be uncovered. All of this is done with only one or two next steps bathed in light. Steps beyond remain hidden. That murkiness can be unbearable to team members that prefer very explicit and discrete direction. For others, nightmares may lurk in the dark; they may feel their jobs are on the chopping block, regardless of reassurances to the contrary. Others may feel the pace of change too slow (or too fast). As leaders, we need to keep a steady pace forward, shifting the light to the next couple steps.