As a leader, you will often find yourself dealing with difficult workplace situations. Many of which will test your resolve and tenacity. Some will be people-related, others process-related, and yet others will have to do with ethical and moral dilemmas. Several will make you stumble and even fall. And more than likely, a few will cause you to question whether the entire leadership journey is worth it.
You don’t stop walking because you sprained your ankle
You don’t stop walking because you sprained your ankle. Instead, you take the unfortunate experience as an indicator of what not to do and what obstacles to watch out for, but you still keep walking. Sure, you may rest up for a couple of days, perhaps even use a walking aid for a few more, but eventually you stand up, take a few tentative steps and continue walking towards wherever you need to be. You may be more thoughtful about what route you take and you may be more aware of your surroundings, but at no point do you say “That walking thing didn’t work out so well, I think I’ll stop doing it.”
Would you let mishaps in other areas of your life stop you from moving forward? No matter what your desired goal or destination, it is normal to face impediments and barriers along the way, many of which can cause you to stumble and fall. Do you pick yourself up, dust off the dirt, and seek out a way around or over the obstacle? Or do you give up and quit trying? I hope it’s the former.
In your role as a leader in your organization, there will be many difficult workplace situations where you will face the metaphoric equivalent of a sprained ankle. What you choose to do next is entirely up to you. But my sincere hope for you is that you’ll choose to keep walking. Because that is what characterizes you as a leader.
Please tell me about how you respond when you (metaphorically) sprain your ankle.