Clay Staires: This is Clay Staires with Leadership Tulsa podcast number six, and on the Clay Staires’ Leadership Tulsa podcast today I’m going to be talking about the expansion and the stretching of a leader. Because from my perspective as the founder of Clay Staires’ Leadership Tulsa, I have found that many, many leaders are continually trying to get to this place of comfort. We get put into a leadership position, and what we are looking for quickly is, I want to get to a place where I feel comfortable. I want to get to a place where I can anticipate and I can expect things to happen a certain way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often because as leaders, we are always on the cutting edge. As leaders we are always in the place of pressing into new territory. So I found, as the leader of Clay Staires’ Leadership Tulsa, I will tell you, that it is by design that you are stretched and you are pressed as a leader. Business Speaker Tulsa
There isn’t a place as a leader where we will get, where it’s all of a sudden, “Oh, now I can coast. Now I can just dwell here.” Now you’re always as a leader going to be pressed, going to be stretched. My perspective on this thing is that it is by design that you are stretched because there is something inside of you as a leader. I’m convinced that each of us are called, each of us are destined to be leaders. Now leadership may not be a huge company, leadership may not be a huge organization, leadership may not include 5,000 people. Leadership may just be the leadership of your family. Leadership may just be leading your community or small-group. Leadership may be, “How about this?” Leadership may just be you learning how to lead you.
Each one of us had been designed to lead. It is in our makeup, it is in our natural wiring. Now it’s definitely possible that as we grow up, we have experiences that we don’t interpret well. We have hurts, we have pains, we have issues that we grow up with and because of these mindsets it limits us with how we view our self as a leader. If you’re not careful, you’ll turn your feelings into reality because I feel this way about leadership, that must be what reality is. I just want to, again, just want to encourage you and even shake you if I can as the founder of the Leadership Tulsa. I want to shake you to let you know that you have been designed to lead. Business Speaker Tulsa
So this idea of being stretched, I think that the universe call it the great unseen hand, as Napoleon Hill calls it. Call it the hand of God if you would like. But there are forces in the atmosphere that are constantly going to challenge you and stretch you so that you can become the person that you have been designed to be. It is definitely a part of our culture to find a place of comfort and rest, and coast. Business Speaker Tulsa
What is inside of you, what you’ve been made up of is constantly going to be at battle. It’s constantly going to be at odds with the cultural surroundings of status quo. So for us to begin to listen to that voice that’s on the inside of, “There’s more, there’s more.” To begin to listen to that voice is automatically going to put you on a path of struggle. It’s automatically going to put you on a path of stress and pressure. Because if we use the example, if we use the model of concentric circles and have a small circle on the inside, a bigger circle outside that and a bigger circle outside that, that’s life’s path. Especially as a leader, that is life’s path that we move from experience, we move from capacity to capacity, to capacity. So I think, once again, that in your leadership position, in your life as an individual, in your life as a parent, in your life as a husband or wife, in your life as a business Speaker Tulsa leader, community leader, team leader, wherever you find yourself that there is constantly going to be a pull into the next circle. That the universe is going to design that because it’s in that next circle that you will tap into the next level of you. It’s in that circle that you will experience the challenges that come with growth. Growth is not an easy thing, growth is not a painless experience. Growth always requires change, and with growth will always come change. If you resist change as a leader, then you’ll find that little growth will happen.
So I want to encourage you to, as you are experiencing stress and pressure, whether it be in the job, whether be in your personal life, in your friendships, financially, those pressures are invitations. Those pressures are there to reveal where you need to take forward steps, where you need to learn, where you need to expand your capacity. For me, for years and years I kept trying as a leader, I kept trying to get to a place where there was comfort. A place where I could slow down and coast, and because that was my mindset, I always struggled with pressure. For me personally, I always found myself getting angry when struggle would come. Business Speaker Tulsa
If I needed more money, I would get angry. If people didn’t do what I told them to do, I would get angry. If there wasn’t the production in my life that I wanted, I would get angry. As a school teacher, if students didn’t do what I was telling, I would get angry. It was any time there was stress, anytime there was pressure, any time there was something that made me uncomfortable, I got angry. Because in my world I pictured if I was a good leader, then things would be smooth, and that is not true. It’s a lie and it is a mindset that will trap you and keep you from moving forward as a leader, because you can’t lead where you don’t go. So the struggles and difficulties that come along our way, if we would be willing to embrace those struggles and embrace those difficulties, and go there, and learn how to navigate the practical steps and the technical steps, and the financial steps, and the emotional steps that are required to overcome those boundaries and overcome those difficulties, then now not only have we overcome, but now we have the tools and we have the resources to help others overcome.
Now what I have done because I was willing to step into that, I was willing to stick with it and overcome it, now my leadership influence has expanded. I don’t just have a hardship, but I have an overcoming experience. I have a path that I can now use to help other people overcome very similar difficulties. Even though they may have different circumstances, I think that the difficulties are pretty similar across the board. Again, circumstances can be different for every single person, but when it comes down to the actual inner struggles that each of us have, it’s not like there’s different struggles for every single person. It’s very common to our human existence to have certain struggles in our life. Business Speaker Tulsa
So I want to encourage you the next time that you are experiencing a situation at work where somebody is talking about you in a negative way, a situation at work where you are having to produce something that you think is unfair, if you’re put in a position where people are expecting things out of you that you cannot deliver, in a relationship if somebody is not being truthful, in a financial situation where you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, I still have more money or more month after the money.” If you’re in these positions, I want to encourage you to look at this through the lens of, “How can I embrace this and learn from this? How can I grow? What steps do I need to take?” Because with that in mind, with that question in mind, with that mindset, you will automatically and naturally begin to ask questions. Questions are the evidence of growth.
Once again very different than what I used to think growing up. I used to think that the sign of growth was answers, the sign of a good leader was, you always had the right answer. But I’ve come to discover, maybe it was just me being young, but I’ve come to discover that the sign of growth, the fruit of growth is questions, are you asking the right questions. So the next time you have an opportunity to overcome struggle, overcome difficulty, I want to encourage you to step into that because it’s very possible that that is an invitation from the great unseen hand for you to expand and dig deeper, and find the gold that is deeper inside of you than you have ever experienced, and to become the person, become more of the person that you’ve been created to be. Once again this is Clay Staires with Leadership Tulsa talking about the reason for struggles.
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Clay Staires