Everyone has had those “I quit!” moments. And no matter how good you are at what you do, no matter how good you are at motivating others, you’ve felt like raising your hands up and throwing in the towel.
Sometimes it’s not even the actual job that is affecting you. You can handle most of that stuff with your eyes closed. Sometimes it’s just the pressure that you’ve put on yourself to stay ahead of the game and to top your past accomplishments. You may be one that gets overwhelmed by being looked to for all of the answers. Or does carrying everyone else’s burdens wear you down?
Between juggling all of your tasks, everyone else’s responsibilities and then the occasional bout with self-doubt, leadership is tough! I wish I could tell you how to make it easy, but I can’t. You DO have to deal with all of those things and it IS tough. So how do you keep from running away?
You Have a Support System. Use It!
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Involve your employees. When we are out of ideas, that’s a perfect time to get your staff involved with you. Let them know that they are helping you! Providing employees the opportunity to be creative and participate in meaningful decision-making helps to create buy-in (one of the things you’re probably frustrated about) and gives you a front-line view of what may be affecting your business. When everyone gets involved, many of your workplace stressors will begin to take care of themselves.
Lean on those that care for you. Many of the same people that supported and encouraged you on your journey to success are still there…they’re just waiting in you to come available. While we sometimes think that as leaders we cannot show vulnerability and have to act like we always have it together, it’s comforting being able to admit to someone that you are having a weak moment; and that they’ll listen. Let them pour into you like only they can.
Your peers can be a lifesaver! My PIC crew keeps me sane. You are not the only person in your industry that is dealing with something frustrating. Being able to connect, share and collaborate with others in your circle and network not only gives you someone to vent to, but they are able provide you with additional ideas on how to tackle certain issues from their experiences. Your peers can help you keep things in perspective as they can often remind you that things could always be worse. If nothing else, they can keep you laughing in the midst of your turmoil.
Don’t Think. Understand.
Having such a critical role in your organization does place a huge weight on your shoulders. You are tasked with bearing others burdens, being looked to when others fall short and being a spokesperson when it’s not always convenient.
But you accepted the call to be a leader. The commitment was made. And anyone worth their salt as a leader teaches at every given opportunity. These teachable moments come more often when we stop thinking about how critical our role is and begin understanding how critical our role is in the lives of our employees. In doing so, we’ll change the way we approach our obstacles because we’ll realize that leadership is a gifting and we can’t exercise it if we quit!
Understanding our role is realizing that persevering teaches and helps others to do the same.
Understanding our role is realizing that bouncing back from a bad day helps people to understand that it’s ok for them to be human.
Understanding our role is realizing that when we treat an adversity as merely a stepping stone, we are setting the tone and being a live example of what true leadership is.
Understanding our role as an example is realizing that by not giving up, we personify retention.
Thus showing that commitment and resilience, not quitting, are the only options we’ll entertain.