By: David Stollman, CAMPUSPEAK President & Speaker
Nobody talks about it, but anyone that truly cares about their organization has thought of quitting. It might be a fleeting thought, but it is there. Don’t feel guilty about it. It is a natural part of caring as much as you do.
You’re reading this because you’re a leader or want to be one. You care deeply about your organization. You love what it is, almost as much as what you know it could be. You have a vision of how to get there, and you want to make a difference. Members want things to be better but are resistant to change. Change is scary, uncomfortable and risky. It takes strong leaders to shoulder the responsibility and to suffer the frustration and setbacks in order to guide a group through change.
“The pose doesn’t begin until you want to quit.” Huh? Sounded like some Zen, Yogi bullshit to me at first. But, it’s true. We only grow at the edge of our comfort zone. When we are pushed and think we’ve arrived at our limit… we grow. Our muscles, both physical and emotional, don’t grow when we are comfortable.
Leadership is filled with challenges and disappointments. For each success, there are thousands of pain points along the way. Take them with poise and even gratitude – they make you stronger. Expect that friends will let you down. Some will – but, don’t focus on the disappointment. Instead, pay special attention to those that stepped up; especially the ones you never expected would.
When it happens, when you hit that wall… know that you CAN get through it. It is a natural part of leadership. See burnout for what it is. It is just another step toward success.
Burnout. Maybe you’ve felt it before. Surely, you’ll feel it again at some point in your journey. Remember that burnout isn’t caused by how much work you do. It’s caused by how much work you see others not doing. One strategy is to focus on those that will be led. SW, SW, SW. One of the best things I learned about leadership. Some Will. Some Won’t. So What. Work with those that will and don’t focus on those that won’t. They’ll burn you out if you let them. Take energy from those that will work with you to get things done, and let them remind you why your membership matters so much.
Leadership isn’t supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be filled with lots of work, and effort, and stress. What’s great about fraternal organizations is that you have the opportunity to lead, to try, and to fail. And when you do, brothers and sisters who have sworn a sacred oath to you, are there to pick you up, dust you off, and help you start all over again.
- Wanting to quit is natural. It means you really love your organization.
- It is OK to get frustrated. Leaders grow at the edge of their comfort zone.
- Burnout is caused by seeing others not working. Focus instead on members that want to work.
Learn more about David Stollman at campuspeak.com/stollman.