Leading Isn't Easy

Opt 8 Jun 22

I can hear the response now, “Well of course it isn’t easy, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it”. Yes I know, and when those difficult moments arise, and we are in the midst of, “not easy”, this is an important reminder.

Recently I was reminded of a personal leadership moment, several years ago, that I am hoping by sharing, will inspire you.

I was in a multi-vehicle car accident last week. Fortunately everyone involved walked away. Minor whiplash and vehicle damage were the only consequences. And, this accident should never have happened…

Two of us were sitting in traffic, in two separate lanes. The driver that caused the accident was an elderly gentleman, who was on oxygen, and could barely stand up, much less drive. My guess is he was either disoriented or passed out. Not easy to rear end one car, and then rear end another car in another lane!

One of the hardest things my sister and I did was take away my Mother’s car keys. She didn’t speak to me for a year; and this situation reminded me to pat myself on my back for doing it. I remember the deciding moment was when a friend of mine said, “How are you going to feel when she runs over a 5 year old?”

So what is the leadership lesson in this?

Sometimes, we have to make decisions where no option is a good one. Either choice we make has negative consequences, and yet we have to choose. And when we choose the more strategic option, the short term pain may be higher. Easy to say, hard to do.

 

Elisa K. Spain