The Fourth Crossroad

James Tew
James Tew
Published in
2 min readOct 25, 2020

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“If leaders want to impart knowledge, they first need to be on a continual path of progression.” via @TheMaverickSgt

When you think of crossroads that you have reached in life, what stands out?

Three crossroads in my life stand out crystal clear. The first crossroad led me to join the Navy. Second, to propose to my now wife. Third, was to accept a commission and continue my career as an Officer. However, it is beginning to feel like I am approaching, or have reached, the fourth.

The quote at the top of this story is one from a book review that Phil Mitten wrote about “Leadersights” by David Veech. I have never met Phil or previous to this, read any of his work. It was through the #PME hashtag on Twitter where I found his excellent review.

But it was a single sentence that he wrote which stood out to me.

“If leaders want to impart knowledge, they first need to be on a continual path of progression.”

This quote also lends itself to a conversation I had with a colleague the other day about how easy it is to fall into the trap of mediocrity. The daily grind if you will. It has led me to what is shaping up to be the suspected fourth crossroad.

Go through the motions, or find the next challenge.

To continue to progress as a leader, I must no allow myself to succumb to the hamster wheel that is work. It is the ultimate decision. Do I invest in myself through reading, writing and other self-development opportunities? Or, ride that hamster wheel.

To the outside, it is most likely a straight forward answer. I concur. The only decision is to invest in me. But like all decisions that matter, it is not without its resistance.

As Steven Pressfield notes in his book “The War of Art”.

“The artist committing himself to his calling has volunteered for hell, whether he knows it or not. He will be dining for the duration on a diet of isolation, rejection, self-doubt, despair, ridicule, contempt, and humiliation.”

Nothing I intend on writing, filming or producing otherwise, will be groundbreaking. Much like the book Phil reviewed, Leadersights, my work will serve as a collection of thoughts. A running tally of lessons I learn, problems I face and ways to improve.

Putting yourself out there in a traditionally insular occupation is both daunting, scary and fills one with self-doubt. However, in the #PME community, I have seen nothing that lends itself to invoke those emotions. The PME community is full of supportive professionals supporting one another to advance their fields and those around them.

I hope I have the honour to join them.

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James Tew
James Tew

Dad of five. Naval Officer. Aspiring for consistent progress.