How do you build your G-Rig and why should you be thinking about it?

September 10, 2017
First and foremost, I trust that you and yours are safe this hurricane season.  Change used to come largely in a similar, sweeping, all-encompassing form, disrupting prolonged periods of relative calm.  Today, though, change drives so much of our journey through permanent white water conditions.  Water and turbulence  are everywhere so much of the time. Hence, I offer a few thoughts below about individuals prospering in turbulent and unpredictable times.
How do you build your G-Rig and why should you be thinking about it?

Unless you are a Grand Canyon historian, white water expert, or have read my book Your Job Survival Guide chances are you are wondering what the heck is a G-Rig. Eighty years after one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell’s took his pioneering trip down the Grand Canyon only 100 foolhardy men using all of their rare skills and talent had risked their lives and followed on this journey. The journey tested the mettle of the most capable outdoorsmen. Then came a woman named Georgie White Clark. She opened up the waters of the Grand Canyon and, indeed, the canyon itself to thousands.

In an effort to alleviate the difficulty and the financial burden of solo trips, she bound together surplus World War II bridge pontoons and attached an outboard motor for steering. For the next 45 years, Georgie, attired in her trademark leopard skin swim suit, captained her raft taking countless people safely through the Grand Canyon down the Colorado River.   By the way, at one point, she also donned a football helmet and sneakers and became the first person to swim the length of the canyon.

The white water still courses through the Grand Canyon at places like Big and Small Lava Falls. It punctuates the trip through a nearly timeless Canyon, one filled with vistas of a lifetime and no shortage of ‘daytrip’ challenges. And thanks to Georgie all that became so available that the park service came to place limits on how many people could ‘run the river’ at any time lest we damage the canyon as we experience it.

How did she do it? With courage, intelligence, tenacity, and creativity, the very attributes that we need in our daily trips ‘down river’. Restated, she was tough, smart, determined, and innovative. She was not reckless or crazy brave and she was in it for the long term. Your Job Survival Guide takes a stab at defining those words in our white-water world, what they look like in practice, but regardless of the source, they are words that anyone seeking to survive, let alone prosper, in these times should spend time personalizing.

In my newsletters, I share insights gleaned from over thirty years of working with clients and organizations navigating through times of turbulence and even chaos, organizationally and personally. I offer the insights in the hope that they will assist your journey through your white water, that they will nurture your Georgie White Clark. Please look them up and pass them along.