Getting Through The Leadership Blahs

My wife and I had the pleasure of being some of the leaders in the youth group at our former church. We had so many great times at the church.

We also had times where we didn’t want to leave our house on a Wednesday night and show up for the kids (Sorry former students who may be reading this. It’s the truth, but it doesn’t mean we don’t love you guys!).

Those nights we didn’t want to show up, we had the leadership blahs. You know what those are, right? You’ve probably had them.

What Are The Leadership Blahs?

There are many situations which could be called the leadership blahs. For me, it was the nights I didn’t want to get my stuff together and be there for the students. I wanted to be selfish and do my own thing.

I also had times where I was frustrated because I didn’t think the students were progressing fast enough. They seemed like they were stuck in their old ways and didn’t want to change.

Your leadership blahs may look different. You may be worn out from a large project launch. Your blah time in leadership may come from team members who never listen.

Whatever causes the leadership blahs, they’re depressing times. You may even think of packing your bags and leaving your position of leadership.

At that point, you know it’s the blahs…

How To Battle The Leadership Blahs

Let’s be frank here, getting through the valleys of leadership isn’t easy. You need to battle your way through.

To get through the down times in leadership, you need to be prepared. You need to have a gameplan.

Here’s how I combated the leadership blahs and kept on leading:

Remember why you’re leading – Pam and I were part of the leadership team at our church’s youth group because we believed our students needed men and women to stand up and be their cheerleaders. The young adults coming through the church’s doors were beaten and battered after a long week away from the church. They needed people to show them God’s goodness and that they had a purpose.

Looking back to our reason for showing up kept us coming back. We realized we could make a difference in the lives of these young people.

We couldn’t do that if we weren’t there.

Remember your wins – Leading students is a tough battle. We experienced a lot of rejection. We also saw a lot of failures.

Seeing students mess up their lives made us want to give up. We wondered what why we choose to be youth leaders.

Then, we’d look back on our past wins.

We would remember the student who had given us grief only to turn his life around. We would run into a former student who recognized us as we walked down the street. We would get a kind Facebook message telling us that we were loved.

These were our wins. Hearing about and seeing the lives we were impacting.

Your wins are probably different, but they’re no less important. Your wins will pull your heart back in.

Remember it’s not about you – The previous ways to battle the leadership doldrums may seem to center on YOU. It’s YOUR reason for leading. It’s YOUR wins that you’ve made.

But, the honest truth, it’s not about you. Even when the ways to battle the leadership depression seem to be.

The real way to continue to fight is to remember leadership isn’t about you. It’s about THEM. The ones you’re leading.

Your team, your students, your family… They’re really the reason you should continue to fight for your leadership.

People are looking to you. They desire to be led by someone who is willing to go forward.

The real battle is fought for others, not yourself.

Question: When you’re down in the leadership dumps, how do you fight back? Let’s talk about fighting through the tough times of leadership in the comment section below.

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