To wish every situation would be filled with ease and peace is to be naive. When circumstances go sideways, stress hits us head-on.
Hear me leader…
- You are going to face pain.
- People are going to leave your team.
- Issues are going to arise.
- There will be times you will mess something up.
Andy Stanley frames leadership as the reality of “managing tension.”
Since part of your impact is in how you perform when there is stress and uncertainty; I want to highlight some common pressures leaders just like you face and some keys on how to thrive in the middle of them.
You have to lead change in some form. Leadership requires the foresight and fortitude to initiate change. In case you don’t know, change is hard! Leaders are often shocked by what is required to lead the necessary changes for your organization. Tension, hard conversations, telling someone “no” and being on an island around your idea can cause a leader to wish they had signed up for some other profession.
One key to overcoming the pressure of leading change is CONSISTENCY. You may not can control how well change is accepted or how fast it comes, because those variables depend on other people. The one thing you can influence during these seasons is your personal consistency. Doing what you say you will do or remaining steady in the face of failed plans earns you trust in the eyes of your followers. Change does not happen with good ideas, it happens with disciplined execution. Be consistent to get the results you want.
Want more help with this? Here are 3 Necessities of Navigating Change.
Self doubt is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in leadership. Self-doubt can become a persistent, powerful voice that holds us back from stepping out into our legacy! I talk with leaders about getting their “swagger” back or possessing a holy confidence. I believe every great leader possesses it! To get there, however, we have to overcome our tough self doubts.
How do you process your own insecurities while still leading every day? Get a coach! I can honestly not remember a time when I left a conversation with one of my coaches, when I did not come away inspired, encouraged, and more confident! I simply believe every leader needs a coach, for this, among many other reasons! Get a coach!
Lack of Growth
Seasons of growth aren’t called “seasons” by accident. Most leaders experience seasons with a lack of growth. It is a reality. Perhaps you’re experiencing slow or no growth right now. Be encouraged. You’re not the first leader to feel what you’re feeling and you won’t be the last. What I want you to do is use this season and be better on the other side of it.
Use this season to remind yourself WHY you do WHAT you do. This keeps your passion growing strong even if the results are growing slower. Most of WHAT we do is not all that sexy: meetings, spreadsheets, emails and events. WHY we do these makes all the difference. Passion and Urgency must rule the day to gain and maintain growth, so leverage this season to remember your WHY!
Another way I have coach leaders through these seasons is by helping them see some Reasons Organizations Stop Growing in the first place.
Most of our energy as leaders is focused on conquering the next hill, what it will take to grow our organization or how to better ourselves. Hear me, these things matter! But they do not matter at the expense of your health. The majority of the leaders I talk to are simply tired! Do you find yourself committed to just go through the motions to get through your day? Fatigue can be damaging to your life and leadership, as well as those in constant contact with you.
How do you manage fatigue when there is still so much to do? First, it’s ok to admit that you’re tired. One huge step beyond admission is to schedule and take at least one consistent day off! Stop making excuses why you can’t. Your leadership journey is a JOURNEY! If you’re going to make the trip, you have to pace your route. Block off a day a week that is guarded to only do things that bring you life and revive your soul.
As a coach I find myself having to convince leaders why they need REST!
Coaching actually gives perspective and peace in the middle of tension, helping you increase your capacity to lead through increased pressure.