The terrible bombing in Boston this week brings to mind an important word: safety.  I know people who’ve reacted with, “Nothing is safe anymore!”  It’s a similar reaction to what happened with 9/11 or the Oklahoma City bombing.

As a business owner, part of your role as a leader is to help your people find an element of safety.

If employees are constantly looking over their shoulders in fear, you’re losing a great deal of productivity.  Fear takes an incredible amount of energy to maintain, and that’s energy not applied to giving value to your company.

But … when safety is taken too far, it can turn into complacency.  This is one of the major push-backs I get to the idea, in fact.  “There’s no loyalty anymore, from employees to employers, or from employers to employees.”  “You’re only as valuable as the last thing you delivered.”  “You’re the only one you can count on to care about your own goals.”

Being complacent in your job isn’t a good thing.  But living in fear is unsustainable.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of space between the two extremes.  As leaders, our jobs are to maintain the right balance.  An important part of this is a sense of movement.

If you’re always moving, then you don’t expect next year to look like this year.

If you’re always moving, it’s important to look forward to where you want to end up.

If you’re always moving, you have a sense of choice in the matter.

But if you’re always moving, it’s not particularly comfortable either.  Your current situation won’t be acceptable for long, so it’s important to step forward into the unknown.

Kind of like a marathon, actually.