Leaders lead. At least that’s what we’re supposed to do — perhaps been hired to do. But what about when things aren’t what they seem? The sky is sunny, the air is warm, but as you move into the waters of the new project, the new initiative, things get uncomfortable – fast!
The reasons for the uncomfortableness can be as long as winter in Minnesota – the key to success, however, is knowing how to face the discomfort.
Start by doing a quick evaluation of your circumstances. Is what you are undertaking in alignment with the long-term vision? Will this bring you closer to, or away from, your goals.
Next, make sure you have the right people with you. This applies to the people you surround yourself with as well as the thoughts and ideas that you allow to enter your mind. If you are attempting to lead your family towards a healthier dietary lifestyle, for example, you may need to adjust more than the contents of your fridge. A steady stream of thoughts and temptations via media for fast food, nachos and cheese, and sugar-rich drinks will derail your efforts before you have a chance to gain momentum.
Finally, enlist the help of others who’ve gone before you. Great leaders are also great followers. Be accountable to someone who is interested in seeing you grow – personally and professionally. While they won’t be able to remove all the discomfort associated with leading, they will be able to serve as a sounding board, should be able to lift you up on the more challenging days, and lovingly point out areas in your life that need some refining.
This certainly isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of how to lead through discomfort. I’d love to hear from you – what’s been your experience in leadership during difficult circumstances? How did you navigate those moments?