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Three “D” words for leaders

This is the fourth installment in the Alphabet for Leaders. Today it’s the letter “D.”



The witness to pervasive discouragement is the plethora of articles, talks, and books on the power of being positive. I’m positively convinced that everyone get’s discouraged. Discouragement’s cold fingers persistently pull at people.

Here’s a 3D downer. Orbiting discouragement you’ll find disillusionment and defeat, the 3D trinity of darkness. Oh my, it’s getting dark in here! I think the deadly sequence could be disillusionment-discouragement-defeat.

Causes of discouragement

Discouragement is caused by; disappointment, slow or no progress, fatigue, lost vision, constant criticism, aloneness, feeling misunderstood or under-appreciated, nagging poor health, failure, and more.

Discouragement is deadly because, if left unchecked, causes eventually become symptoms. For example, discouragement is not only caused by fatigue it creates fatigue.

Curing discouragement

Causes define cures. In my case, one cause of discouragement is aloneness. Sadly, feeling alone turns to self-pity. Then, bam! You have the deadly 3D trio of disillusionment, discouragement, and defeat. However, “letting others in” defeats discouragement. I’m not talking about letting people in for a pity party. I’m talking about working through problems and finding solutions with someone rather than alone. It feels great to let a partner in. Everyone needs a “with.”

It took years for me to admit my wife was right. I keep people out, including her. I solve my own problems. In my mind, it’s a matter of competence. Perhaps it’s pride? In my situation, learning to let others in destroys aloneness and defeats discouragement.

From you to them

Self-awareness enables sensitivity to others. Use your personal mud puddle of discouragement to open your eyes to others who need a lift. Turn from you to them. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”


What causes and cures for discouragement can you offer the Leadership Freak community?

Can you delineate more “D” words for leaders?


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