castle walls 1In ancient days, many castles consisted of three defensive perimeters. The outer wall, the inner wall and the keep. The keep was the final place for retreat. If the enemy penetrated the outer and inner walls, it was where the last stand took place.

Metaphorically speaking, in order to survive storms, there are times in both profit and non-profit organisations (as well as in our individual lives), when we must decide to surrender the outer walls and withdraw to the keep in order to make a last stance. There is always hope as long as the keep is held. But what or where is your keep?

I wonder if you have ever considered what is the keep is in your organisation or personal life? Is it an idea, an organizational entity, a programme, a person, or something else? When the storm comes and your walls are overrun, where and for what will you make your last stand? For an organisation, what must absolutely survive for it to remain viable? Alternatively, as a person, where (or to whom or to what) do you turn when your walls have been overrun? These are questions I ask myself.

Developing the qualities of perseverance, grit and resilience are in many ways directly related to our capacity of choosing what and when to “surrender” an outer wall in order to preserve what is more critical or vital. Grit and resilience are not qualities developed by brute force or will power, but rather are qualities developed by people who choose their keep well and make their final stance there and not at an outer wall.

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