I was hiking in the Smoky Mountains along the Appellation Trail enjoying a wonderful vacation detached from technology miles away from the office spending a week with some amazing Christian men.

Since I had never been hiking out in the middle of nowhere with just a backpack unfamiliar with the terrain, I thought it would be a splendid idea to get out ahead of the group without a map and be alone, so I could spend some time walking and praying.

As I enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the woods in late September, a black bear came rushing out from the brush about fifteen feet in front of me.

My heart pounded as she kept running. Luckily she didn’t know I was there.

After I knew she was gone, I accessed if I needed to change my pants, wait for the guys to catch up or keep hiking.
I realized how stupid it was to get out ahead of those who had been here before, had a map, and the experience.
In my excitement, I made a quick decision, and it was the wrong one.

When we are excited about new opportunities, it’s easy to make quick decisions, miss seeing the potential danger and pitfalls and miss the big picture altogether.

When a new exciting opportunity presents itself, it’s easy at work and in life to get out ahead, to want to prove ourselves instead of taking to time to walk in step with those around us that have a clearer picture as to the direction we are supposed to be going.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to explore, take calculated risks, or have the ambition to grow in your career.


It’s when we get out in front of the ones that are leading the way that we run into trouble. 

When we get out in front of our senior leaders/upper management, we run the risk of taking wrong turns and working on projects we were never ours to work on in the first place.

Wanting to have the freedom to pursue something you’re passionate about it great. New ideas are fantastic, but they have to first align with the vision that’s been cast by your senior leaders/upper management.

So how can we ensure this happens?

Here are some steps we can take before we start running and risk of getting out ahead of our senior leaders/upper management:
1. Slow down.
2. Communicate the steps you want to take.
3. Ask for feedback about the path you want to take.
4. Confirm that the direction you want to go is in alignment with the vision/direction of your senior leader/upper management team.
5. If you get the green light, check in regularly to ensure clarity and that you are in fact on the remaining on right path.

Question: When have you gotten out in front of vision too fast and found yourself facing a bear of a problem? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. 

Categories: Blog post

KC Cupp

KC Cupp, founder of The Life Organized Company. Dedicated to helping you live your best life and do great work.

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