During a leadership training three months ago, Jim shared how his life was becoming increasing hopeless, leaving him with an overwhelming sense of being out of control.
He said there were days he was so discouraged, he could barely get out of bed.
He shared that he dreaded going to work – where he was sure he did more harm than good.
Jim admitted that the only reason he came to the leadership training was that he was desperately seeking some kind of a “magic cure.”
Here’s the Elephant in the Office: Many people are waiting for a magic cure, or worse yet, they’re waiting for someone else to tell them how to fix their life.
STOMP THE ELEPHANT
Twelve weeks after the training, still using concepts he’d learned, Jim stated he had discovered something important – he now saw clearly that he had spent years digging his very own “hole of despair.”
“For years I was continually upset by all the things that weren’t working in my life. I would ruminate about all of the boring and wasteful meetings I was forced to attend. My forehead creased as I worried about all of the impossible deadlines. When I woke up in the morning, I was already mad that I had so much to do, mad that I wasn’t appreciated, mad that my wife and kids were an endless hassle, mad that I never had time for myself. Each day, I’d come home more discouraged than ever. I kept asking myself, “why is my life going so poorly?” I had dug a hole of despair so deep that I could no longer see any light.”
“What I now know is that I can keep digging a deeper hole or I can start filling it up. I was waiting for someone or something to come along and fix my problems. Had I continued, it would have been a very long and dangerous wait. I now realize that my life, health and happiness depend on the tiniest leadership moments. I have started to build a very strong awareness muscle. I now realize that every single one of those moments is a choice. A choice to focus on my blessings: the things that are going well, the things I want to improve on, and the people I want to serve. Leadership by leadership moment, I have a long way to go, but I’m starting to see some light.”
Jim’s story reminds us of an important lesson: We all know there is no magic cure. But there is something that works every time. We can purposefully choose our focus and our direction in each and every leadership moment.
What are you doing with your leadership moments today?
Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?