Every once in a while...especially in busy seasons of life or ministry, I hit the wall.
I know I've hit the wall when:
• I've reached my compliant quota. When one more complaint, question, or criticism will put me over the edge.
• Questions become personal attacks. A simple question for clarity feels like a personal attack on my judgment or character.
• The idea of being with people stresses me out.
I don't think it's unusual for leaders to hit the wall. Leadership is relational. Leaders are faced with many decisions, problems, and concerns. In fact, leaders typically deal with the toughest, most emotionally challenging issues within the organization. But as leaders we have to be aware when we're about to hit this wall, and we have to take steps to put on the brakes before we crash into it.
When I see the wall closing in on me, I need to:
- Evaluate my emotional and spiritual health. Great leaders are healthy leaders. Don't convince yourself you're superwoman. Take time for rest and rejuvenation. And most importantly, take time with God.
- Rework my schedule. Where have I over-committed? What can I change, move, or cancel? What can I delegate to someone else? Everything on my schedule becomes open for discussion.
- Stop. When the wall is closing in on me and I'm running at a break-neck speed, I can't think clearly enough to make good decisions. This is when I literally stop for time enough to think. Make a pit stop and regroup your thoughts. Fresh perspective often comes from a strategic pause.
- Seek counsel. Who knows you well enough to speak truthfully about your strengths and weaknesses, priorities, and dysfunctions as a leader? You need to invite their voices into your life. They just might be the emergency brake that saves you from a crash.
How do you keep yourself from hitting the wall?
Jenni Catron serves as the executive director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. Her passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip, and encourage other women to do the same. That passion drove Jenni to start the women's leadership community, Cultivate Her. Jenni blogs there and at www.jennicatron.tv.