Last week I had a dream where I was working toward a difficult goal that was important to me and my health. The people in the dream were not challenging me nor holding me accountable to that goal. They all told me I didn’t need to do it – that I was fine the way I was.
Maybe a few years ago I would have fully accepted their protection of me and listened to their opinion. Not today!
I woke up from that dream mad that everyone I encountered was protecting me rather than holding me to a higher standard – challenging me to be a better healthier person.
It’s not that protection is bad, but protection without challenge doesn't create an environment where people get to be the best that they can possibly be. It turns into a culture of making it as easy and as nice as possible, but that doesn’t allow people new opportunities to grow.
My natural tendency is to protect and, if I’m accidental, I will function as a shield to keep everyone ‘safe’ and free from conflict. I’ve had to learn how to bring healthy challenge to people but not drop the level of support I’m natural at giving.
The big idea is to bring BOTH high support and challenge to those you lead – to be a liberator. The skill of being a liberator comes with learning how to calibrate it differently for everyone in your life – including yourself.
How good are you at bringing high challenge and support to yourself? Are you a liberator by fighting for your own highest possible good?
Or, are you living in a culture of indulging yourself with only support and encouragement? Or, on the other hand, are you someone that tends to dominate yourself by being your harshest critic?
If you are not functioning as a liberator for yourself, then you can’t give away what you don’t possess. It’s very hard to be a liberator for other people.
Take a look in the mirror and have an honest assessment. Ask yourself:
“How am I doing - really?”
“Where is the opportunity?”
“What does growth look like?”
“How do I set realistic goals or challenges that enable me to be the best that I can be?”
Support without challenge (or visa versa) is a barrier to you being a 100X leader – being 100% healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally while multiplying (X) your skills and knowledge in to those you lead.
"Where there is good leadership, people long to be part of that culture." - Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram, co-founders of GiANT