This is just a simple fact, but one that so many of us don’t realize or accept. In fact, if you read through the creation accounts in early Genesis you’ll start to see that God created Adam and Eve with limits too. Limits remind us of something – that we need each other. We can’t do it alone.
And here is how this relates to leadership.
Leaders are often reluctant to embrace their limits. They push harder, they work longer, and dig deeper. None of this is bad in the short-term, but in the long-term it’s disastrous. To pretend that you can lead and push through and not acknowledge your limits will kill your leadership. It might not today, and it might not tomorrow, but it will happen.
When you refuse to admit you’re tapped out, you are actually denying part of the essence of leadership: relying on and empowering others. Pretending you don’t need anyone or don’t have any limits doesn’t help you, and it certainly doesn’t help your organization, business, or team. Limits are inherent to who we are, and knowing them helps us to lead better and longer.
Of course self-discipline, drive, and a strong work ethic are crucial to leadership. But so too is knowing when you start to run dry.
So here are two questions I ask myself at least once a month. And I think they are good questions for anyone in leadership to ask. It’s this:
- Have I not asked for help this month when I needed it?
- Have I embraced both my limitation and my responsibilities?
These two question help me stay on track and I hope they help you too.