Leadership is hard. We may have a vision that we are trying to pursue, but for some reason it’s not happening. We feel stuck. We feel despondent. We don’t want to give up, but what else are we going to do? We might even think it’s time to quit.
One of the great stories of perseverance is the American Revolutionary War and George Washington’s dogged determination to not give in. It was in large part Washington’s commitment to the American cause of independence and his refusal to give up amidst overwhelming odds that was the key to the birth of the United States.
We have spoken of how inspiring a group of people with a shared vision is one of the hardest challenges in leadership. Growing your vision is not easy. Having your vision impact the world for generations is perhaps the ultimate goal for a visionary, but such a goal can feel like climbing Mount Everest. Impossible! However, Jesus did it. The key is to create a growing wave of ambassadors for your vision across continents and generations.
One of the hardest areas of leadership is to inspire a group of people with a common vision, a shared vision. Why is this?
Typically, leaders are in love with their vision. They have a hard time letting anyone touch their vision. More often than not, their vision is years in the making and a culmination of all their hopes and dreams.
A miracle happened over the weekend in Australia. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison won what was called an unwinnable election. All the indications from the polls and the experts was that Scott Morrison was going to lose.
Who would argue that the abolition of the slave trade was not one of the most impactful events of the nineteenth century? British historian, G.M. Trevelyan said this was “one of the turning points in the history of the world.” William Wilberforce was the driving force behind this.
Our beliefs form the very core of who we are. They are the essence of our true selves. Living and leading our life in harmony with our most deeply held beliefs is a major step toward leading a life of significance – a life that is not about us but about serving others and making a difference in the world.
John Fairfax, my great-great-grandfather, is a perfect example of a man who did not let his crucible experience define him. Rather, his crucible experience was the springboard to bring his vision to life. It created an inflection point that changed the path of his life and the course of my family’s future.
I have found that when you use a crucible moment to help others, it can be very healing. When we take the focus off ourselves and try to use what we have been through to help others, it can make a huge difference in our spirit and our lives. Living such a life — using the pain of a crucible experience to help others — is what leading a life of significance is all about. But how do we get to a place where our experiences empower us rather than define us?