Leading “The Hard Way” or “The Easy Way”
Many leaders are still choosing to lead the hard way – that’s where you do the things you need to do, to get the results you have to get, because as the leader you think you should be doing it, even though it feels like endless tiring work!
Do you feel a bit exhausted after reading that?
This old school process requires commitment, determination and a very strong sense of honour. While these are solid qualities to have, they’re also limited. Limited because the whole focus is on pushing through challenges and staying focussed, even when the going feels hard.
It’s a bit like when our eldest daughter was 4 and she was being asked to do something by her father. To be fair, he was asking her to do something she wasn’t familiar, and after her first effort, he was trying to teach her a different way to do it.
“Quincy,” he asked in exasperation, “Do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way?”.
“The HARD WAY Dad!” she cried exhaustedly.
Her language screamed her focus. Of course she didn’t want to do it the hard way, she just wanted to get the outcome, and doing it the hard way was the only way she felt comfortable with. In the 4 year old’s case, it’s easy to see, the pattern of choosing the hard, familiar, comfortable way…
As an adult, simply becoming aware of the areas that we are doing it hard can be the seed for making our life easier. Yes, we’ll need to water it, but without planting it in the first place it’ll never grow.
Take a moment to check in on your thinking.
Where in your life are you still choosing to do things the hard way?