Life is not fair. People struggle. People get confused. People get hurt. Even when we do our best, it does not always work out.
Being in a trough of chaos and living in interesting times is a stretch. Some things become very complicated during moments like this. Yet, with enough planning and focus, the outcome is highly predictable.
On the other hand, some things can become complex with too many unknown variables. There is no predictability and planning for everything still does not accomplish the desired outcome. In short, we struggle and feel defeated.
But I have witnessed good leaders working with good employees handle the land of complexity and not get lost. Some how in the midst of all of the chaos, unknowns and struggles, they make it through not feeling defeated even if everything did not work out exactly like they wanted it to work.
So, what do these people do? Well, it is not actually a doing thing as much as a having thing. The best have a unique person with whom they can explore their thoughts, their ideas, their feelings and their perspectives. Some times these people are called executive coaches. Other times they call them mentors, older friends, or. I call them “my kitchen table cabinet.” In the end, I don’t really care what they are called. What I care about is what these people offer.
And what these special people offer the best leaders is structured unstructured time, a confidential safety zone for in-depth listening, sharing and reflection. They do not arrive with an agenda but instead come to the table with an open mind and a willingness to explore. The upshot is great clarity and understanding.
This week, find the right person for you. Find someone who you respect and who role models very good listening. Then, invest time to share deeply with them. While life can be a struggle, it is always good to create a place in your life where you can get and maintain perspective. It’s what the best leaders have and value on a regular basis.