Great stories require 5 elements. An inciting incident. Conflict. Resolution. Protagonist. And an Antagonist.
The antagonist is usually an enemy. The Joker to Batman. The Taliban to the US army. The resistance to your creativity.
As you lead, you tell a story.
You face an unseen enemy in your leadership. It raises it’s ugly head and tries to tell you it’s okay.
That things shouldn’t be this hard. You should have it easy.
One of the enemies of leadership is convenience.
Why It’s An Enemy
Convenience becomes an enemy because it creeps in and tells you the lies you want to hear. How your job should be easier. How you’ve arrived and others should serve you. That you don’t need to work as hard.
When you begin to listen to and accept these lies from the enemy you will begin to become lax in leadership. It’s easy to slip into the comfort convenience offers and believe the lies.
Before you know it you’re surrounded in comfort and no longer leading.
How To Break Free From Convenience
To continue leading well you will need to rid yourself of convenience. You’ll have to enter into times of trial and trouble. You’ll have to go where you’ve never gone before.
Breaking free from convenience will cause you to be uncomfortable and unsure of yourself at times. You won’t know what the path ahead holds for you.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
Want to get away from convenience? Want to continue leading strong? Try doing any of these three suggestions:
- Rid yourself of those who surround themselves in comfort: It may sound harsh but when you surround yourself with those that seek only comfort, you’ll begin to seek comfort and convenience as well. It’s true that we’re the average of the five people we associate the most with. If you want to be free of convenience you’ll have to get away from those that seek it.
- Remove yourself from convenient solutions: Humans are creatures of habit and comfort. We love to find convenient solutions and use them over and over again. We must be willing to break this habit. When the urge comes to find easy solutions, note it in your mind. Decide to look for other, opposing solutions that will stretch and test you. Put yourself out of the reach of convenience.
Pam and I did this in our daily life by getting rid of our microwave. This was a struggle for me at first. I longed for the convenience of putting dinner into the microwave and pushing a button. Minutes later, dinner would be ready. Now it takes time to prepare and eat. And I don’t miss the days of the microwave.
- Create challenges in your life: You don’t have to do anything drastic but set up small obstacles in your life. Something that can throw a wrench into your plans. And get you thinking differently. The challenge could be as small as finding a new way home from work tonight. Your brain will begin to fire in new ways and generate new ideas. Be willing to let challenges enter into your life.
Getting rid of convenience won’t be easy. You’ll be tempted to fall back into old habits. That’s the problem of convenience. It stunts our growth.
Yet when you’re ready to break free of convenience you’ll begin to see new solutions and new ways to lead. Your creativity will return. Vision will flourish. You’ll be ready to lead well.
Question: How has convenience stunted your growth as a leader? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.