“Behold the turtle: he only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.”

Not that you’ll want to know this, but I discovered this quotation from James Bryant Conant (a former President of Harvard University) whilst leafing through the excellent and very aptly titled Passing Time in the Loo!

I’m a huge fan of using quotations in my work, as a pithy bon mot from someone infinitely wiser than me is often an extremely useful way of cutting to the chase. In just a sentence or two, it conveys everything that needs to be said.

And, right now, this particular quotation resonates with me like you wouldn’t believe, pertinent as it is to number of different endeavours, and to the much more adventurous/less risk-averse mindset that I wish some of my colleagues would embrace.

Bottom line, there are occasions when treading the path of least resistance – whilst seemingly judicious in the short-term – is actually the most sure-fire recipe for long-term failure.

Conversely – whilst grasping the nettle and challenging certain assumptions might seem like commercial suicide – it’s actually the best possible advert for your independence and professional integrity and, paradoxically, will end up strengthening your relationships, not weakening them.

Sadly, professional competence can’t help you here. It’s confidence that counts – in your judgement that a bit of tough love is the medicine the patient needs, and in having the balls to provide it.


One thought on ““Behold the turtle: he only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.”

  1. kevinkeohane

    Hey Dan – great quote indeed. The old “character-building” cliche beckons so I’ll avoid it… “be bloody, bold and resolute” to quote the Bard.

    I’m looking so forward to typesetting 4 books btw. Thanks… 😉



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