I was recently watching an episode of the ABC sitcom, The Middle. The Heck family, a middle class family of five are piled into the car after a long day of work and school. Hungry and tired they are trying to decide where to go for dinner. As expected each of three kids, all opinionated and strong-willed demand their choice of restaurant. Tired and exhausted the parents throw their hands up in exasperation and they all wind up eating cereal at home.
It’s a picture of any one of our families on a crazy and demanding day, but it’s also the picture of a great leadership lesson.
Both parents had the power to make the decision. They had the influence, authority, responsibility and right to make a decision and settle the argument. But rather than lead, both parents were overwhelmed by the demanding voices.
This is a common challenge for leaders. Responsible for guiding a team of strong-willed, opinionated, bright, driven, passionate people we can often be overwhelmed by the drone of their demands. We too look like the Hecks – tired, exasperated, spent.
In our exhaustion we forfeit our right to lead.
We settle for cereal and miss out in leading our teams to greater things.
Where is exhaustion hindering you from making decisions that will lead the team forward?
How can you pause to re-energize?