I believe that we have developed a culture of people who can't take a joke, criticism, or an insult. All of those things are part of leadership. Pastor Paul Bartholomew, a great man I had the honor of serving alongside, once said, "Leaders cannot have a glass jaw, because sometimes you have to take it on the chin." That is so freakin' true!
If you really want to unleash your leadership there are going to be times when you have to just "suck it up." Not everything is going to go your way. To be honest, most things are going to take twists and turns you did not expect. Most times in leadership you just have to put your shoulders back, stick out your chest, and push through what life has brought you to.
I have experienced several opportunities to "suck it up" along the nearly three decades of leadership. There are times I had to apologize for what I did not do. There were moments
when I took pot shots from people who were supposed to be friends. At the end of the day, one of the greatest tests of leadership is the ability to take some hits.
I have several friends, that at the first sign of difficulty, they run in the opposite direction. They cave in. They quit. But remember, leadership is not a sprint. It is a marathon. It is
not always about who is the fastest. Many times it is more about who is faithful. In fact, too many leaders choose flight over fight. But as a lifelong New Yorker I am going to slug it out until there is no breath left in me. I am going to suck it up and keep swinging.
Every leader will face seasons when they just have to put on their 'big person pants' and do what needs to be done. Haters are gonna hate. That's why you have to keep pushing forward, beyond the difficulty, beyond the pain, to do what God has called you to do in life and leadership. Criticism is just part of the leadership journey. We are all going to face it more than we want to. Some of those criticisms are going to sting really hard or hurt really deep.
When it comes to critical words spoken to you or about you, it is imperative to look within to see if there is a shade of truth in it. Sometimes the criticism hurts so much because you know it is somewhat true. Despite the criticism we must "suck it up."
There will be people on every side of you that are trying to pull you down. Rise higher. Stand stronger. Expand your belief. God has more before you than hell has behind you! Keep being you. Keep leading well.
Leadership is not easy! Yes, everyone likes the titles, but they have a difficult time with the tests. Everyone loves the idea of leadership until they stand in the shoes of leadership. That's why you have to suck it up. You cannot lead long if you won't stand strong. Circle that. Highlight that. Better yet, post it on social media. You cannot lead long if you won't stand strong.
It's time to just suck it up