Monday nights are good nights for me, I really look forward to them. A few men in my community will meet for what we call accountability group. Nothing is off limits in the discussion. We talk about how to love our wives better, be better fathers, better employees and employers, and how to manage successes and failures. This group, and other groups like it, have been a huge part of my life and something I have been involved with in some shape or form for over 20 years. Everyone in the group has issues and sometimes we laugh like crazy, and some moments are very serious but one thing we have learned, after we leave that group every week, we take the power back over our issues!
Do your issues own you or do you own your issues? Just in case you think you are good to go and don’t have any issues, take the next five minutes and talk to ANYONE sitting around you right now and ask if they think you have issues. That should clear things up a bit. Now that you are sitting there with your issues, you have to realize a couple of things. The first is that as a leader, your issues influence others. That is right, the things that frustrate you most about yourself influence those around you. The closer they are to you, the greater the impact. What is astounding to me is how few people are willing to share their issues with people around them. Our issues lose power over us when we share them with others. Here are some reasons people do not do this:
- FEAR (This is the biggest reason)
- Fear of what others will think
- Fear of what could result if others know
- Fear of losing position
- Fear of losing credibility
- Fear people will find out that you don’t actually know what you are doing
- Fear of … fill in the blank for you
This is why Dr. Brene Brown calls vulnerability the greatest measure of courage (TedTalk). Our issues maintain power over us and render us much less useful when we try to hide them from others.
As a leader, you have most likely participated in some sort of strategic planning exercises so you may be familiar with how they go. At an organizational level this is most likely board initiated. The board wants to see a plan for growth over the next several years. Sometimes an outside company is brought in with industry experience and data and lead teams through discussions until a plan is developed. The outside company may assist in putting together an accountability plan to assist executive team with execution and establish a process to communicate progress to the board. If we believe in this process for a successful business, why don’t we use this process for a successful life? Do you have a board of directors for your life that can help you work through your issues?
As 2016 approaches, give this idea some thought. Make it a goal in 2016 to formally put together a board of directors for your life. Give them authority to help you establish a strategic plan A.K.A a goals program or set of goals. Take what might be the most courageous step you have ever taken and create a group around you that you can talk about your issues with. Gain power over your issues by finding someone and talking straight with them. We all have issues, but we all also have choices. You can choose the way of fear and continue to allow your issues to negatively impact you and those around you, or you can choose to be courageous, develop a board of directors, and together gain power over your issues and positively impact the world around you.