Posts Tagged ‘experience’

Living in Anticipation or Living in Frustration

December 15, 2016

Wherever I go, there I am.

Are you totally present right now? Just focused on reading this post?

Or, are you looking at this post while your mind races off in many directions?

That ancient phrase I quoted packs a lot of meaning.

This time of year is flooded with anticipation. But it is often the anticipation that leads to frustration.

We anticipate giving just the right gift that elicits exclamations of joy. We anticipate joyful family gatherings.


The picture of the good, old-fashioned, Griswold family Christmas (from the movie Christmas Vacation) spring into our minds. All the old family bickering comes out as everyone is frustrated by being together. Nothing goes right. The turkey is over cooked.

They are all living in future expectations.

But just to be in the moment. Yes, we have anticipation, but we are present in the now. We experience the lights, the trees, the songs, the one time in the year when people are nice to each other.

As we rush from crowded store to crowded store, frustrated at the inability to be inspired by any gift suggestion.

It’s time to stop, children, what’s that sound….

We stop. Take a deep breath. Actually notice what is around us. Experience the sights, sounds, smells.

Tomorrow will take care of itself. Today I am present.

Why Become a Leader

June 5, 2015

Betrayal, failure, working excessive hours, exhaustion, worry, fear.

By the time you finish Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth by Samuel Chand, you wonder why anyone would want to be a leader. He has written eleven chapters that contain about 30 stories of leaders who experienced all of that and more.

He doesn’t take the easy route out, either. No simple formulae. No quick list of top ten tricks and tips.

There is no easy solution. People are people. Some lie to you and then betray you. Some betray you yet continue to smile when you meet. It happens. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to you.

What you know is that you have a vision of how you want to make a difference. And it takes an organization to make that difference. You want to build a business, a ministry, a church, a non-profit. You begin to hire people and you think they share the vision. Then someone will turn on you. Or there will be a market setback. Revenues dry up. There are big challenges.

What Chand shows is how people worked through all the crises. You will suffer some degree of pain as a leader. It is inevitable. One would hope not to suffer as his examples did. You have to have examples out on the extreme a little in order to have enough drama for a good book.

But we all get in the middle of something and discover the pain.

How you handle the pain is the key to growth and success or decline and failure. Pain is inevitable. Overcoming it is probably a myth. But we must work through it to emerge on the other side as a stronger and more energized leader.

Many people had only intellectual knowledge of potential negative side effects of leadership. Experience drives real understanding. Especially experience reflected upon and viewed as a tough teacher.

Why lead? Because we have a vision and want to make a difference. Is it worth it? Yes.