The Hard Way

hiking-207484_640If a leader is more defined by their character than they are by their ability, then an examination of the process is necessary. Character isn’t learned in a classroom or gained by promotion, but developed in a process. The process involves sacrifice and discomfort, if not outright suffering.

The challenges that leaders face regarding people and organizations require selfless courage. Selflessness is not our nature and it only comes by way of trials that burn away some of the natural bent each of us have towards loving me some me.

A leader’s character development cannot be determined by an event, but a progression of events. The leader’s response to adversity will only settle the thing within them that the particular adversity challenged. While a given challenge may be pivotal in the development of a leader, there are no individuals whom have a singular area for development. The process requires ongoing submission to discomfort where an easier way out is sacrificed.

Want to determine the value of a leader? Ask them what they have been going through lately in their own development. Ask them what adversity they have been personally challenged with lately and how they have responded. Their answer will reflect the depth of their maturity.

Every time I think I’ve figured it out, I find myself challenged in one or more areas of my life. When the pressure and pain reach a certain threshold, I entertain thoughts of ways to escape. That escape can be evacuation, manipulation, intimidation or other techniques to take the pressure off. Perseverance in times of trouble is what preserves destiny. The degree and delay governing selfless response to challanging circumstances determine velocity and trajectory towards destiny.

We all want to take shortcuts. We would prefer to get what we want when we want it. We would prefer to be right all the time and have others subject to our perceived place of perfection. The leader in us demands we submit those faults to the pressure of reality for the development of our character. That submission is what prepares us for the next thing and protects others in the present thing.

We won’t, though. We won’t every time, anyway. So for all of our best intentions and head nodding when considering this challenge, we absolutely have to yield control. We give control to others that we willingly submit accountability to for the times that we’ll take the easy way out. The hard way is the only way and the hard way requires community.

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