Leadership is about dealing with challenges.
Some challenges are nearly overwhelming, like a hurricane hundreds of miles across. Some challenges are smaller, like the barking dog next door, the person who really gets on your nerves, the final detail that stands between you and a mutually beneficial agreement.
The one thing that all challenges share is that their true significance is how we respond.
I know people who take challenges very personally. Whether a hurricane or a barking dog, they perceive any challenge as a sign that the universe is uniting against their efforts.
Some respond with all the force they can muster, standing their ground and resisting all efforts to adapt or change. They are committed to defeating the powers arrayed against them and willing to make any sacrifice to hold firm. It is as if their objectives and goals are just as vital to them as their core values.
Others respond by evacuating at the first indication that a challenge may arise. They are committed to being flexible and not being drawn into any challenge that could keep them from achieving their ultimate goals.
Leadership is about dealing with challenges, and the key for effective leaders is understanding the challenges they face. Some challenges demand flexibility and creative strategy. There are times when it is best to evacuate and try again. Some challenges call for firm resistance and the resolution to make sacrifices.
The challenge, the calling, of leadership is recognizing and appreciating the nature of the challenges you face and choosing how to respond. Each challenge, and each leader, is unique.
What challenges are you dealing with today? What is on the horizon?
How will we deal with the challenges we face, whether they are a hurricane or someone who gets on our nerves?
[Image by Sister72]