On the one hand, love is all we need. On the other hand, sometimes people just need a swift kick up the ass.
There is a dance between these two poles. A tension that exists, and must be held. Leadership exists in that tension.
The world at large is actively training you. Moment by moment, each situation you find yourself in has a natural gravitic pull towards a particular way of you relating to it.
People often start working with me because they think I will be a hard-ass for them. They just need someone to hold them accountable and really kick their ass and get them into the grind. And these people are actively training me, from the moment we first meet, to do exactly that. To give them the swift kick up the ass that they are convinced they deserve.
They’re training you in the same thing, and they’re training everyone around them in it as well.
“Kick me. I suck. Make me work by kicking me. I know I deserve it.”
They’ll wait for you to kick them. They’ll dawdle and procrastinate and try kicking themselves. You will find it almost impossible to avoid kicking them. You want to do it so bad. And the irony of this is that neither of you realize this is even happening.
Our training is invisible and magnetic.
If not rigour, then they’re training you to hang out in the other polarity.
“Look, I know I said I was going to do this, but I just felt into my well-being, and I really needed to rest (for the sixth month in a row). Once I’m feeling less tired, I’ll be ready to take this on.”
The person in this example is training you to just love them. Just love me exactly as I am, and don’t make me look at the messes I’m living with.
Training, training, training.
Twenty-four hours a day, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year. From the moment you step into leadership, you will be dealing with the training you are trying to give the rest of the world, and the training the rest of the world is trying to give you.
I’m not saying you should always provide people the opposite of what they’re asking for. This isn’t about a formula — rather, it’s about getting that the formula is what will mess you up.
If you’re training the world to kick you into motivation, you’re going to go looking to apply that same training everywhere else.
When you are working with someone that has learned to beat themselves over the head with a stick, they will do that until it stops working, and then go looking for someone else (you) to hit them with the stick instead.
When you’re working with someone that is unwilling to hold their own feet to the fire, they’ll heap love and acceptance onto themselves until they are sick and tired of not creating what they want in the world, and then go find someone else to heap on the love and acceptance, justifying them staying right where they are.
Leadership exists in the ability to distinguish all of this, and choose what will cause things to shift.
What is your training?
What are you currently being trained in?
And what would have it go differently?