Walking the Leadership Tightrope

I’m so committed to pressing into the future that it’s hard to enjoy the present. You can’t lead if you aren’t dissatisfied. How are you navigating the leadership tightrope between what is and what could be?

Leadership tightropes include:

  1. Passion to improve and discouragement at progress.
  2. Pressing into the future and rejection of the present.
  3. Wanting things to be better and constant dissatisfaction.
  4. Satisfaction with the present and fear of apathy or lethargy.

Successful leaders learn to live
with dissatisfaction in positive ways.

If you can’t be positive in the face of falling short, you’ll discourage your team. Optimism has meaning during improvement, challenge, adversity, and distress.

Being dissatisfied in positive ways:

  1. Compare the present with the past when thinking about progress.
  2. Compare the present with the future when tapping into aspirations.
  3. Use the negative present as a tool to create dissatisfaction. “This can’t continue.”
  4. Focus on the talents and abilities of the team to instill hope.
  5. Tell stories of achievement that inspire optimism.
  6. Take time to celebrate imperfect progress.

Pessimism says, “We’re terrible.” Optimism says, “We can be better.”

How are you walking the tightrope that aspiration to be better can create?