Leadership growth can feel like being outside in 100 degrees F when we are accustomed to spending the majority of our time indoors where it is 75 F.
The sun quickly reminded me of its brutality when we are not prepared. Over the past weekend my family and I spent time swimming and having fun with our friends and family in a place fondly referred to as “The Pit”, and afterwards I found myself burnt and very uncomfortable.
Despite preparing myself by putting on sunblock and limiting my exposure, the sun’s intensity was just more than I was prepared to handle.
Interestingly, my family did not suffer the same as me as they had been out in the sun on a regular basis and did not burn and even stayed out in the sun hours longer than I did.
Could there be a teachable moment here?
Leaders must pay close attention to their teams so we don’t over-expose them to more they can bare or we risk damaging them for future assignments.
Some questions to ponder:
- Could it be that exposing our followers without proper acclimation to the challenging and sometimes contentious environments we navigate lead to their injury?
- While we may think our followers are prepared, could it be that through our years of leading that we are more suited to deal with the pressures and changing conditions and have forgotten what it is like as a new person standing in the ‘full sun’?
- How could we gradually build our teams’ tolerance before expecting high performance in the complex environments in which we do our work?