Depression: Who would have thought that leadership could foster depression?
I can still hear Bruce's words as I loaded the U-Haul truck to move to Boston and start a new organization when I was 27
"If you knew what was ahead of you, you wouldn't go. But you must go," he told me in a fatherly tone.
At the time, I had no idea why he would say such a "negative" thing. Many years and even more wounds later, I get it. Leadership has the potential to lead us to depression if we don't proactively work against it.
One of the most important skills I've learned in combating depression is knowing how to quickly answer depressive thoughts with a hopeful response. Here are some of mine.
1. You see what can be, could be, should be...BUT isn't yet. (Truth: Today is great and worthy of being celebrated!)
Inner peace definitely comes from being grateful in the present and celebrating the "now." Yet, YOU see the "promised land" of growth! People served. The needy helped. Jobs created. Lives transformed!
It's the very thing that likely led you to lead in the first place and can create dissatisfaction, even if it's what Bill Hybels calls "divine dissatisfaction." It's still dissatisfaction, and that can be, well... unsatisfying.
2. Most good people don't share your passion, vision, perspective or perseverance. (Truth: Your passion is your gift to them!)
Most never will share your passion. In fact, you likely lead what you do because you possess passion for it... or the gifts, or the calling, or the perspective others don't have. If they had it, they probably wouldn't need you.
However, that doesn't mean leadership doesn't have seasons that feel really hard, lonely and even somewhat confusing. "Why don't they get it?" you might ask.
3. You can get so busy and focused on leading that you may neglect the care of your own body and soul. (Truth: Caring for you is loving them too!)
Though the first person you need to care for and lead is in reality - YOU, you can be lulled into believing you "don't have time." Or that's "selfish." Well, it's not.
Truth is, the best thing you can bring to our leadership is our living, loving and radiant self.
Author and leader Lynne Hybels once wrote, "I died to myself and myself almost died." She now ardently teaches - That's NOT good. If you are unhealthy, you will bring unhealth into your organization.
4. Good leaders spend emotion on the "game." (Truth: Your emotion can be replenished in positive ways)
In the positive, leaders often invest emotional gifts in others like empathy, understanding, concern and care. The challenge: if your emotional gauges are running on empty, not recalibrated or refilled, you can end up trying to give what you don't have.
This is why my wife, Mindy Caliguire, now writes, teaches and speaks all over the globe on the topic of soul carefor leaders. Trust me, she doesn't lack audiences. Why?
Because leaders MUST learn to care for their own souls as their greatest and most significant education.
5. You disappoint people....even good people! (Truth: It's really OK)
It just can't be helped. People look to you and expect things: Like consistency. Like making all the right moves. Like caring about what they care about. Like being, well, perfect. And the truth is, they get disappointed. Cause perfect, you're not, right?
AND some of them let you know. They even do thoughtless and cowardly things like write anonymous notes.... attack you in texts and e-mails and even post things in Facebook. Ugh.
AND you know you're supposed to have a "thick skin" and not let it "get ya." But, sometimes it can... and does.
6. People disappoint you....even good people! (Truth: They're really OK)
Whether on purpose or not, people let you down. They don't show up. They don't care about things. They drop balls.
If you're a leader, yes, you must forgive, love and let it go... and again tomorrow.
7. You feel Pressure to reach goals and keep resources flowing positively. (Truth: You can still enjoy the ride and celebrate the now)
You can't escape it, budgets, cash flow and payroll don't disappear. (though at times you just wish they would)
How many of those 7 have you experienced?
BUT .... YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS: WHAT YOU DO AS A LEADER MATTERS! DON'T LET DEPRESSION OR SELF-CONDEMNATION GET A FOOTHOLD IN YOUR SOUL!
When you lead and serve the real needs of people, whether not-for profit, for-profit or no profit, you ARE doing God's work in this world
And you are not alone: Other leaders experience many, if not all of those seven.
The best news is a promise from the book of Isaiah:
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
May you know that strength and affirmation TODAY in deep, meaningful and soul-replenishing ways today.
Thank you for leading!
Are You Ready to Experience Your Purpose@Work? Complimentary Book!
HomeConvergence Consultation (Free!)Books by Jeff CaliguireAboutContact Us
DISCOVER RECENT POPULAR BLOG POSTS!EXPLORE
Calling & CareerPersonal GrowthPurposeful LeadershipProductivityPlatform
CONNECT WITH US
COPYRIGHT 2017 BY CONVERGENCE POINT INC. - POWERED BY HEROIK