Is the glass half empty or half frozen?
-25'C flashing on the car dashboard always heralds a fresh start to the day, but the cool temperature didn’t deter the hardy souls I saw jogging as I drove out for my morning coffee.
Yet, if the comments of dial-in listeners on the morning news show were representative of my city, a visitor would take Torontonians as feeble-minded as well as feeble-bodied.
“Imprisoned” or “undead” were two common words used by vocal locals to describe the grip winter had on their bodies and psyche.
Enough. This is winter. This is Canada.
And while there are genuine concerns for the elderly and homeless, the community and city are geared to give support.
Plus, if you wish to prevent the salt from ruinating your expensive leather brogues, you have the option walk within the 19 miles of underground pedestrian walkways beneath the city streets. According to the Guinness book of world records, Toronto has the largest underground shopping area in the world.
But is there is group who accept the conditions, and hug them to their emotional and physical advantage. Some decide to exercise in empty car parks in preference to the gym. Others snow-shoe in the park or skate at the village outdoor rink. A few make the most of the wintry snow blanket and brilliant blue skies to take some extraordinary photographs.
You see, when it comes down to it, we can deal with these parky conditions in one of three ways:
- Complain. Wish things were different but do nothing about it.
- Ignore. Insulate yourself from current conditions and carry on in isolation.
- Embrace. Modify your actions to make the most of the environment, and change as it changes.
I’ve seen the equivalent behaviours in organisations, and lest you think there is a correlation between between outlook and management, there isn’t.
I know a fair few senior leaders hunker down and hibernate in the hope things will be better tomorrow, and a fair few underlings who had made delicious, nutritious omelettes out of broken eggs.
Strategy, like life, is often less about wishing where you’d like to be, and more about making the most of where you are.
Sure I’d like to be diving somewhere off the Caribbean. But I’m here, not there.
And now, I’m donning a warm jacket, thick boots to grab a coffee and some vitamin D, and a lunchtime skate with friends.