Spirals Meanders and Whirligigs

sunflower spiral 22022742I had the opportunity recently to introduce myself to a new group of colleagues.

I really enjoy these kinds of conversations. They give me the opportunity to look back and see patterns of my journey.

And it occurred to me as I was preparing for the call, that my life’s path has been one of spirals, meanders, and whirligigs.


Spirals are those patterns we see in a nautilus shell, or a sunflower. There’s a clear order… the radius is a continuous function of an angle of rotation.

The recurring order that I’ve found in my journey has been in people-systems thinking, creating the right kind of environments, ones that encourage continuous improvement – of both individuals and teams – and result in high performance across the board.


My Meanders have been the result of natural factors that showed up.

I started my career as a classic command and control PM. I knew all the technical details. But somewhere along the line that type of leadership no longer was effective.

I accepted that plans were not fixed. And only by responding to change were the teams I worked within able to achieve our collective goals.

What a powerful place – to not have to know all the answers, but instead just the right questions.


Whirligigs are made by chance. By being open to possibilities, not being rigid or frozen in dogma.

Each and every day of mine is a lot like improv…. where likeminded people get to jam together.

What’s your journey been like?

I’d love to hear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top