I had a simple objective. Obtain a glass of ice water from the kitchen.
As I placed my cup under the in-door ice dispenser to fill my glass with ice, there was that ever elusive piece that evaded capture and fell to the floor. I bent over to retrieve the rogue piece of ice to avoid it melting, which I would have inevitably stepped in later (a scenario that may or may not have played out a time or two before).
I started to think back of my previous ice fetching missions and I realized that there is always one. One cube of ice that always falls to the floor. It doesn’t matter if my intention is to retrieve 1 or 100 ice cubes, there is always one that I can count on to simply fall by the wayside and land on the floor.
My involvement with Club 37 prompted me to think about how this interaction with ice cubes applies to leadership.
Answer: There’s always one.
As leaders, we are not alone. We always have that one…
Challenger: There’s always that one person in our organization or in our life that challenges us. Whether they intend to or not, they have the unique ability to challenge our thoughts, actions, and behaviors. What can we learn from this challenger?
Listener: There’s always that one person in our organization or in our life that we can count on to simply be there for us and listen. Without judgements, and without trying to fix it. Just listen.
Supporter: There’s always that one person in our organization or in our life that we can count on to show up when we need them to support us. Remind us as leaders to focus and honor what is important.
Motivator: There’s always that one person in our organization or in our life that we can count on to make sure that we don’t quit. Encourage us to embrace who we are and keep on fighting, even though the outside world or our self-limiting beliefs show up to hold us back.
As leaders, we are held to high levels of expectations. Expectations create demands. Demands create stress. Stress requires coping. To cope we need the assistance of others. There will always that one ice cube that we can count on to escape our grasp and fall to the floor.
Who will be that one person that you can count on to fill these roles and help you be a better leader?