“When things get tough, when times get hard, when the way seems unclear, finding someone to help, love, and serve is the biggest pressure reliever known to man.” – Chris Brady
Leaders must deal in reality, and often that reality is complicated and ever changing. Complexity, however, is no excuse for lack of results. Leaders, despite their circumstances, the pressures they face, the long odds they brave, and the machinations against them, are still, in the end, held accountable for their results. If there were a Leadership Hall of Fame (as I think there should be), there would certainly be no section dedicated to the “Yeah, buts.”
So what is a leader to do? How best to battle difficult circumstances and unfair pressures? The key is to keep things simple.
- Remember your purpose
- Focus on priorities
- Find someone to serve
The easiest way to do this is to go all the way to the “thirty thousand foot view”, and remember your overall purpose. Just what got you into this position of responsibility in the first place? At one point, I would hope, you were convinced that what you were doing was worthwhile. What was the basis for that decision? Why did it matter so much to you? More succinctly, what was the vision you had of what could be? What part of the status quo did you absolutely deplore? You see, leaders are leaders because they find something they cannot stand to leave the way they found it. Some situation seemed wrong to them, or perhaps not as right as it could be. Somebody was hurting or suffering and needed a leader to step in. Someone was being wronged and needed defending. Some rule was unfair. Some government was unlawful. Some person was disrespectful. Some project was unfinished. These are the roots of leadership, because they speak firstly to a leader’s discontent. Automatically, when a person of character is confronted with such a situation, they become a leader because they cannot stand to leave the situation the way they found it. A vision forms in their mind of how things could be better, they cannot let go of it, nor it of them. The vision of what things could be like causes a hunger inside the leader for change. The tension that a leader feels when considering his or her vision, is priceless, because it is the driving force behind leadership. A leader confronted with unfair circumstances and overwhelming pressures must first go back to the vision and his or her overriding purpose in life. From there, everything will look a little clearer.
The next thing to do is prioritize amid the fog. Find out the one or two BEST things to do, and get started on them right away. Remember, there are a lot of GOOD things to do, but usually only one or two BEST things to do. Focus upon those and temporarily disregard the rest. As the Bible says, Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.”
After remembering his or her purpose and focusing on priorities, the leader must next find someone to serve. When things get tough, when times get hard, when the way seems unclear, finding someone to help, love, and serve is the biggest pressure reliever known to man.
A leader who implements these three basics during the “fog of battle” will be surprised at his or her results. After all, results are what a leader is held accountable for.