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I realized that there is something comforting about being safe and secure. It is a basic human need that we all seek after (and desire gets stronger, as we get older). But with a lot of things in life, when something goes to the extreme, it might not be the best for us.
We live in a society, where we wince at the thought suffering, hardships, and challenges. But without challenges in our lives, we will never grow and be the person that God destined for us to be.
In my years of watching and learning from great leaders, I have not found one leader that does not love a challenge. In fact, almost everyone that I respect and know in the field of leadership are constantly motivated by various difficulties and challenges they face. I guess there is something about a challenge that fuels the fire of every leader.
Challenges require faith. Challenges require taking risks. Challenges require leaders to lead. Therefore, maybe challenges are avenues for leaders to shine.
Believe it or not, we will all be leaders to some extent. We will be parents where we will have to lead. We will be managers in a company where we will have to lead. We will be in group projects where we will have to lead. We will be volunteering at an organization where we will have to lead.
Unless we are resolved and resigned to the fact that we will face challenges, we will not be able to lead effectively. This is why being connected to God (Jn 15:5) is a very crucial part in leading. As we are connected to the God of the universe, we are able to not only face the challenge but to overcome it with faith.
John Maxwell, the leadership guru in his article, “A Leader’s Greatest Motivation: A Challenge,” writes,
I was doing a telephone interview with a magazine not too long ago, and one of the questions was how do I spot a leader. Once you understand what to look for, it’s not very complicated. Leaders love challenges. Anytime there is risk involved and a person backs up and doesn’t want to take the risk, they have already made a statement about their leadership ability.
Leaders love uncertainty. They love being on the edge where they don’t know if they are going to make or break it. They love not knowing how things are going to end up, but one thing is for sure: Good leaders bet on themselves. They will take the potential reward even though it could end up being a potential loss.
If you are looking for leaders in your company, give them a challenge, problem or issue that is way over their heads, add a little risk to it, and see if they are willing to put a little skin in the game.
I get very nervous when someone is about to launch or lead something who isn’t willing to take the risk that I’m willing to take. Because I know what will happen when it doesn’t go well. They will look to me for a parachute to save them. Leaders love a challenge.
If you are serious about growing as a leader, then remember that challenges are your friend and the very avenue in which to develop as a leader.