Leaders draw themselves and others towards discomfort, not towards ease. If it is easy to achieve, it is below your potential. The more meaningful your dream, the more it requires of you.
Breakthroughs occur at the collision of discomfort and passion. But passion doesn’t eliminate discomfort, it produces it. Success becomes possible when passion beats discomfort into submission. Excitement is transitory enthusiasm. Tenacity endures. Those who refuse to dig-in are doomed to stay where they are.
Enjoy, but don’t depend on excitement. Excitement thinks about the end of the journey when the hard work is over. It fades when the rubber hits the road. Immature excitement believes success is like tiptoeing through tulips.
Connect with purpose. Pressure to get things done makes teams forget purpose. You need good reason to go through hell. Include fear. Everyone one who wants to make a difference, fears they won’t, thinking, “What if I fail?”
Teach people to state, “I want to earn an opportunity,” instead of relying on useless sentences like:
- Could I have an opportunity?
- All I need is an opportunity.
- Please give me an opportunity. (The worst!)
Eliminate whining, but create channels to address what isn’t working. Here are five rules for discussing what isn’t working:
- Don’t talk about an issue unless you’re prepared to do something about it.
- The exception to rule #1 is when you take time to discuss whether the first rule applies.
- Label venting as venting.
- Determine why the issue is important. Purpose fuels passion.
- Identify a behavior that makes things better today. Theories aren’t solutions.
Don’t help too much. Struggle makes you strong. Caring leaders like to help, so here are four tips for over-helpful leaders:
- Wait to be asked. Don’t jump in.
- When necessary, ask, “How may I help?” Wait for an answer, don’t give one.
- Help your team members help themselves.
- Know that the urge to save the day is about your ego.