Life is messy. It has the tendency to kick the livin’ snot out of us. And sometimes, as Connected Leaders, we run out of gas. It is during these times that we need the supportive people in our lives to step in.
These are people at work who say “don’t worry; I’ve got you.” Clients who guide us for a change. Friends who show up with linguine and clam sauce. Team members who pray. These are the people who stand in the gap for us when we are sometimes too weary, overwhelmed, or grieving.
When we are broken wide open or just struggling with more ordinary challenges, we need people to show up with ease and without question.
Empathy – the ability to feel another’s emotions because you are consciously aware of your own – is a leadership super-power. It starts with us learning to be kind to ourselves. It motivates us to leave the comfort of our own lives to be present to others. It is about connecting with and empowering others so they soar in ways they did not think possible, even during dark times. When we nourish the well-being of our colleagues and loved ones while also tending to our wholeness, courage is able to ride shot-gun with us.
A firing-on-all-cylinders work culture and loving personal circle is created when we say to others and hear others say to us, “you are not alone. I get it. Me, too.”
There was a three-day period recently during which I did not leave our house. I stayed in my pj’s, and quite simply put, cried me a river. It was a normal response to a heartbreaking situation. The months of trying to be strong in the face of being broken caught up to me. Friends called. Family members flew in. And I knew what it was like, once again, to have people “stand in the gap for me.” A friend. Thomas Becker, reminded me of this powerful phrase as so many lift us up with their love and prayerful thoughts.
In the toughest times, we rest on the grace and generosity of others.