One of the hardest things for many leaders is delegation. This is especially true for start-ups and small businesses/nonprofits where founders/CEOs wear many hats and often feel they lack resources to get the right support.
Although, they’re not the only ones.
Struggling to delegate has roots in several underdeveloped personal and leadership qualities, so regardless of the support system, or the lack thereof, we’ve all known people who’re great delegators, but also those who aren’t.
So, if you have a couple of minutes, let’s tackle this topic together.
I am pretty cheesy. So every year, at my birthday, I do the cheesy thing and reflect on the lessons from the year before. Last year, I wrote 31 lessons for 31 years. It was my birthday last Monday, but instead of writing another list, this year I asked myself what is one theme that I’ve thought a lot about—and experienced—as essential to a life well-lived.
I’ve come to understand that courage is the greatest expression of love.
Some days, it feels like someone is constantly punching me in my face.
It’s not pleasant.
I keep asking myself: “OK, what’s a lesson in behind this? How do I get better because of it?”
I keep telling myself: “You’ve been here before, just keep pushing.”
Then, on those especially intense days—or months, or years—it’s a perfect storm.
It rains from all sides.
Lovers, friends, clients, service providers, … one big fat NO.
“No more,” they say.
I am sure you’ve been here before.
You got fired on a whim.
What?! My last performance review was raving!
A funder changes their mind and you’re left hanging.
But they claimed this was the best, most worthwhile investment in a long time?
A lover, who just a second ago told you you’re the best thing that happened to them and you were making plans (for next year!) is no longer interested. And you had just started to feel relaxed and trusting.
As a life and leadership coach, I sometimes get asked: why should I change and grow?
Why should I put in the hard work of digging deeper to uncover the shadows of my soul and my unconscious, or become deeply uncomfortable at times and even break off certain relationships, or risk rejection and failure, or loneliness, abandonment, and pain?
Change can be hard, why do it?
Because change is growth and, in my estimation, growth is essential to living a fully-realized human life.
But here are several arguments for and against this belief:
While many of us would agree that, when all is said and done, love is always the best choice and that we should all pursue it, there comes a question of mastering it. How do we reconcile the complex human nature, the external pressures, the internal fears, and the simple human condition of egotism in order to find and keep love?
To achieve our highest potential, we need love. Unconditional love. Authentic love. We need the other. An experience in which two wholes intertwine.
The founder of positive psychology Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania offers a similar claim. His research over the last few decades has shown that most happy people tend to be in a genuine, committed, loving romantic relationship. It’s about investment, companionship, friendship.
Studies show that we are programmed within the first seven years of our life.
Those earliest experiences and lessons, while they initially form 95% of our original beliefs, are not necessarily who we are or what we need to be happy and successful. They can’t be, because at seven years of age, we have little awareness of ourselves or understanding of the world. Indeed, we derive our understanding of the world through the lens of our caregivers, usually our parents. So, whether the world is a wonderful place full of opportunity or a scary bastion of challenges depends not upon reality or truth, but on our primary caregivers’ perceptions and their filtering of information back to us.