“BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH”
(AKA “WATCH YOUR BACK”)
Prior to his murder, Julius Caesar was warned by a fortuneteller that his life was in danger and to be particularily watchful on March 15 (the Ides of March). On that day, Caesar entered the senate and was passed a letter that warned him about an imminent assassination attempt, but Caesar refused to read it, saying, “what touches us ourself shall be last served,” meaning he was going to focus on matters concerning the state before putting his attention on matters relating to his personal benefit.
While it may seem good that Caesar wanted to focus on matters of the greater good over his personal interests, his single-minded focus on the affairs of the state ultimately led to his untimely demise.
Similarly, you may be leading a transformation for all the right reasons, but there may be those who are seeking to undermine it. You need to be aware of internal politics because there could be many potential saboteurs; some may target you personally. If they successfully stab you, how will your mission fare?
In other words, don't be so focused on your larger mission that you forget to watch your back. If you are leading a major transformation, there’s probably someone lurking in the corner with a knife.