These past few days have challenged me. I believe I have been true to my crystal clear objectives as a leader. Those objectives being; to be clear, solid, compassionate and aligned with others on my team AND my heart still aches.
Maybe because I haven’t hardened to deliver a tough message, maybe because even though I believe I did the best thing it wasn’t the easiest or the kindest thing.
Sometimes leadership does mean standing in the face of people’s anger, disappointment and frustration. Not from a point of righteousness but from a place of clarity in the face differences that comes through making hard choices.
I wanted to reach out and rescue. That was not an option. I wanted to make everything all right. That was not possible. I wanted to be a friend. That was not my place.
Indeed leadership can be hard. Yet as I sit with my aching heart I know leadership need not be heartless. Today I will allow my heart to cry and let the light in through the cracks that will remain from standing forward and not simply walling off in a righteous choice. Feeling the pain of clarity that is not certain. The pain of differences, not right/wrong, but choices.
If only it was simple and there was one sure right way or one person to blame. If there could be a clear enemy. Indeed that would make life and leading, oh so much easier. Maybe pain free and heartless.
No, I am grateful for the ache. Pain free and certain is not leadership in my view. Leadership is standing solid in the storm and remaining open, willing to be influenced and willing to be clear. So often these things seem at odds. Thus the ache. My heart is not broken. Simply cracked and that I can live with. That is human. That is choice. That to me is leadership.