Being in leadership is challenging. In fact, the quicker you learn this principle the easier your leadership becomes. I have personally experienced a lot of pain from being a pastor. Yes, I know, everyone is supposed to love me, support me, and encourage me. That is never the case for those in leadership. The truth is everyone has fans and everyone has anti-fans. The fans bring us pleasure, but the anti-fans bring us pain.
Pain is defined as "suffering, or stress." It could even be "torment." Leadership has all of that and then some. The key to longevity in leadership is to embrace the pain. You can't run from it. You can't avoid it. You must embrace it.
Lied about? Been there.
Screamed at? Yes, me too.
Attacked via social media? Yep.
Ripped apart by email? Oh yeah, many times.
Falsely accused? Experienced that too.
Those are just some of the price-tags of being in leadership. People only take shots at those who are in the forefront, not at those who are lagging behind. Good news: If you are experiencing some of those pains you are probably leading well.
Now, let me say this some leaders cause their own pain. Unfortunately, I have to admit that some of the pain I went through was self-inflicted. Sometimes via poor decisions, failed communication, immature leadership, or even false assumptions. Healthy leaders can admit their own personal failures or short-comings. That's not the focus of this article, but I believe we must be aware of that potential and reality.
Sam Chand said, "Leadership is a magnet for pain." Ouch. But in nearly three decades of leadership I can shout out a big, "AMEN." And that pain comes from people, places, positions, and periods of time. Every leader will go through pain. That's not the question. But how will you go through that pain? That's the ultimate enigma.
PROTECT YOUR PEACE.
When you are in the middle of a difficult season it will be the internal peace that protects you. Jesus said, "You will have trouble, but take heart" (John 16:33). No one is immune to trouble. If you are leading trouble will find you and that's why you must protect your peace. How do you do that? Understand, even though trouble is around you, don't let it in you. Your peace comes from your heart and mind. Keep your mind focused and your heart protected.
Too many leaders lose their peace in the middle of struggle. Or at least I have. But I want to encourage you to PROTECT YOUR PEACE. That person is not worth your peace. That problem is not worth it. The season you are in is not worth it. You will get through what your leadership has brought you to. If, let me say it again, if you protect your peace. If you lose you peace, you might lose your place.
How do you protect your peace?
Stay faithful to God's call on your life.
Don't let something on the outside get on the inside.
Move forward without anger.
Embrace the pain. There is probably something you need to learn in it that will make you a better leader. Remember, the pain you can endure will release the potential you will experience. So, get out there and just embrace it. God is going to use it.