I breezed into a training session to lend support to the participants and the facilitator who I happened to know. In the course of discussing, reference was made on certain actions which were referred to Madagascar by another mutual friend!
Now, when one hears of Madagascar we sort of remember one lonely looking island off the coast of Africa. It’s an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Southeast Africa.
On the map it looks like a strip of back bacon waiting longingly to be fried or just a lonely raft floating all by itself beside this huge continent.
In pondering over that landmass and its distinct distance from the continent, one can’t help but wonder how many Madagascar situations we’ve had in the workplace or in business?
Situations that you have to tackle head on or have to deal with as an island with what may seem like a continent of resources beside you… yet all by yourself.
Madagascar is the large island that is less than 500 kilometres off the southeast coast of Africa, east of Mozambique. On a map it appears to be a big piece of the African coast that has broken off and drifted out to sea.
What situations at work have made you break off or drift out into some sort of “sea”? Have there been moments where you’ve felt like you’ve gone off to Madagascar with no hopes of returning? Sometimes it feels that way when an entrepreneurial journey begins with the constant hurdles that need to be jumped and the never ending challenges that need to be addressed before you feel like you’re afloat.
It may be situations in your organization or current economic situation that has forced you to feel like you’re in Madagascar or heading that way.
Might we have missed opportunities to leave certain things, situations and people in “Madagascar”? Might we on the other hand not maximized “Madagascar” situations to the chagrin of our line manager, boss or potential investor?
I’ve drawn some lessons that can be summarised to give some hope from Emilie Filou (a freelance journalist’s) account of Madagascar:
“Madagascar is unlike anywhere I have been to – fantastically beautiful, amazingly diverse for its size and still so unspoiled” (Never underestimate your size or the size of the career or business challenge. There is always something in there you can leverage and which can be termed “fantastically beautiful or amazingly diverse” as you soldier on)
“Vast tracts of Madagascar are virtually uninhabited and seldom explored, and nothing comes easy. But that’s what makes it so unique and rewarding”. (What are the nothing- comes-easy-situations in your career or business? Times you feel alone and afraid to explore – there’s something unique and rewarding if you brace yourself and keep at it)
“Plus the fact that after a day of bumping around in a dusty 4WD, or fighting off leeches on muddy trails, you can be served a meal worthy of a fine European restaurant, capped with exquisite rum” (There’s always something worth looking forward to with Madagascar situations because if you stay the course long enough, there are milestones that you can look back on as rewarding.)
With its huge diversity of settlers from history and its 19 ethnic groups across 25 million inhabitants, there are still similarities to its close neighbour – the African continent, as there are differences.
Stay true to your core despite current challenges in career or business and endeavor to win with persistence.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime