9 Mobilize Hearts and Minds Forward


As Powell’s Grand Canyon explorers descended deeper into the unexplored territory, the tales of horrific waterfalls and no-way-out scenarios loomed in their minds. A dark fear rippled under their thoughts every day. What would we do, they wondered, if we came upon a mighty waterfall, with steep walls of rock on both sides (so there’s no place to land the boats), and an enormous current of water that doesn’t let us retreat?1

Would you go forward with your plans to do big things if you found yourself in a similar situation?

Nearly everything about the future for Powell’s crew was a mystery. “We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore,” Powell wrote. “What falls there are, we know not. What rocks beset the channel, we know not. With some eagerness and some misgiving, we enter the canyon below.”2

Would you go forward if you couldn’t see a clear and certain path in front of you? Would your team put its whole heart in it even if they risked meeting unimaginable calamities at every turn?

Powell’s ragtag bunch could only guess at what the exceedingly diverse landscape and conditions held in store for them. The big thing they had to do required that they execute a plan without seeing their challenge in one comprehensible assessment.

“You cannot see the Grand Canyon in one view, as if it were a changeless spectacle from which a ...

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