The Four Letter Word to a Leader

It happens way too often with young leaders and yet nullifies a seasoned leader with inertia. It happens in many different ways and yet manifests its ugly head way too often.

It is the four letter word for a leader – “quit”

Leaders tend to quit growing because of hurt from others, disappointments from those they trust, and/or become comfortable in the status quo. Young leaders quit due to frustrations in systems, lack of change in people or programs, and/or a power vacuum between the existing and the emerging.

To be truly honest I think every leader has felt like quitting; but this post isn’t about quitting as much as how to respond to the four letter word of a leader:

  1. NEVER stop growing – continue to push yourself to grow; to become self aware, always reaching out of the comfort zone, have a learning plan. Every semester I find it is important to have a learning plan. A great mentor of mine said, “It is important to reflect and readjust life – habits, lessons learnt, God moments, frustrations, joys - every six months because life always changes.” A learning plan has key components – self, marriage, children, job, ministry – of ways to grow and improve. Don’t allow yourself to IMPROVE others before your willing to improve yourself.
  2. Have a BALCONY view – in the moments when it feels easy to quit have a balcony view. A balcony view has an objective (facts) perspective rather than a subjective (feelings) perspective. This is sometimes hard to face because perhaps we are the problem. Perhaps we focus too much on our subjective perspective rather than an objective perspective. So, how do you get an objective perspective? Simply put, the WORD.
  3. NEVER EVER GIVE UP – it is in the moments of hardship, trials, and suffering growth occurs the most. I am continually inspired of the London 2012 Olympic Games and athletes who endure so much to be at the top of their game. It is truly remarkable. Yet, at the same moment, there are athletes who give up based on choices jeopardizing their talent and abilities with stupid remarks on Twitter. What a shame. Wayne Gretzky, the most influential and talented hockey player in the world once said, “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Keep moving forward.
  4. Fall GRACEFULLY – There is a term in skateboarding about falling gracefully; it is the self-awareness to be able to fall gracefully and get back up again. In the same way, leaders NEED to learn from their mistakes, fall gracefully, and get back up again. We all make mistakes YET we can become better because of them. For some, mistakes equal failure; yet, failure happens when we don’t learn from our mistakes.

Don’t quit. Grow.