Life has its seasons, doesn’t it? That said, personally, I am lately in a great season of life. Yet the challenges of times past and times yet to come are ever present in my soul.
And it is a fact of leadership-life that those who walk in leadership roles for any length of time will encounter adversity due to their role and responsibilities. And so it was with a family friend recently.
In a casual conversation, I discovered that our friend, a gifted leader, is weary… and wondering if she should just give up her leadership role… you know, “just take a break.” Well, after discussing this particular situation at home with my wife (always wise counsel available there!), I had the opportunity to reflect on ways to encourage this friend with a gentle challenge to remain at the wheel; to be steady in the face of adversity.
Several practical steps to remain encouraged during such seasons came to mind, including the following that I am also passing along for your consideration:
Take time to review long-term past accomplishments. It is surprising how quickly time has passed, and I believe you will be encouraged by what has been accomplished.
Remember why you are leading: It’s about the Mission. It is worth it to stay at the wheel for the sake of the mission; the personal cost will pale in comparison if the mission is indeed one that is worthy.
Reflect on who you are leading…think about each person, one at a time. Ponder who they are, and who they are becoming due to the opportunity, training, and example you are creating for each of them. Yes, it’s not just you who is doing this; yet you are their leader. Stay with it for their sake.
Remember who you are. You are a leader. That is radically different than, “I am doing” leadership. You are who you are - and that is something one mustn’t ever forget. Who you are - this is the capstone. Leading is part of your life-calling…your make-up…your created purpose. Be who you are.
It’s a privilege to have had the chance to encourage a fellow-traveler and awesome leader this past week. She is a great leader; my wife and I are both profoundly thankful for her steady hand at the wheel…both in the years past and, we trust, for many years yet to come.
Our world needs leaders. Hang in there friend.