Willem de Kooning said, “I have to change to stay the same.”

Because whatever system we’re in is changing. Because every step we take changes the ground we walk on. Because while you’re busy trying to keep it all together, someone else is working just as hard to change it again.

Some organizations, artists and leaders work to disrupt and innovate.

And some seem content to close their eyes and will things to be exactly as they were yesterday or last year.

Between the innovator and the laggard, though, is most of us. Surfing and dancing with possibility, simply to continue to serve and keep our promises.

What you do isn’t how you do it. What you do is the promise you make to the people you serve. If the people change, then the specifics of your promise have to change as well.

[Thanks to Will for the quote.]

*Originally published on sethsblog.


Seth Godin has written eighteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership, and, most of all, changing everything.

Image courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.