She decided to grow a flower garden, and went about it as methodically as she did most things: studying the soil, choosing and planting the seeds with care, nourishing the ground, watering and tending week after week.
When her garden started to bloom, she had the beautiful flowers she’d dreamed of—but along with them were sprouting dandelions.
She went to the books to study on how to get rid of them, but after trying the techniques, the dandelions were still there.
She signed up for gardening courses and learned even more things to try, but the dandelions didn’t give an inch.
Now she was getting angry.
She sought out experts and brought her problem to them. Some recommended new methods, some old-fashioned remedies. She tried them all, but at the end of her efforts the dandelions were still there.
Frustrated beyond belief, she went out to her garden and sat there for a long time in silence.
She looked at the garden, and she thought of all the hard work, all that she’d learned, all the people she’d connected with, all the new ideas she had been able to incorporate.
She saw a garden of beauty, and she said to herself, “I can look at this as a challenge that I am not able to overcome, or I can see that I have learned a lot and I can learn to love it.”
And so it was.
Where are the stubborn weeds in your leadership, the challenges that are causing frustration?
What are the unwanted situations that make you feel things are out of control?
Which challenging person has planted themselves firmly in your life, that is making you feel ungrounded?
1. The weeds in our lives—the things that give us a hard time and make us feel frustrated—have a significant value. They show us that our frustrations are self-induced—the outside world can invite us to become upset, but we can ultimately decline the invitation. For leaders, this among their best teachers.
2. Our unwanted situations are lessons in learning to control the things within our reach and let go of the rest. Incredible change can happen in life when we decide to take control of the things we actually do have power over instead of craving control over the rest. Leaders need to learn the difference between what they can control and what they have to let go of.
3. The people in our lives who have planted themselves firmly and constantly threaten to disrupt our lives and leadership? They are opportunities for us to learn, and to grow by embracing them for who they are—just as we would want them to embrace us.
The challenges in our lives are our wake-up calls, our lessons to be learned.
Life is tough but so are we, leadership is difficult but we can overcome.
Lead From Within:
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.