Have you ever wanted to do something that you couldn’t? For an entire week I had planned to go on a trip with my cousin to NorthStar Ski Resort in North Tahoe. With great excitement I left my house at 7:00 a.m. to meet my cousin. We quickly packed up and headed up Interstate 80 toward Reno. The drive was beautiful, and though it is summer, we were able to see small snow packs still on the mountains. As we arrived at NorthStar, we paused with great hesitation, because of the beauty and the excitement of the day’s activities. You might wonder why we are at NorthStar Ski Resort in the summer, but there is much more to do at this resort than Ski. Mountain biking is a popular activity this time of year.
My cousin is so excited to go on this biking adventure and I am excited to stay in the resort to do some typing and some hiking. In the evening we will be traveling along Lake Tahoe to find an open space to stargaze with my powerful telescope. While I am doing a lot of activities myself, I must admit my desire to go the distance and go with my cousin on the bike trails, and therein lies my dilemma. I am not a bike rider, but the more active I get at the gym, the more I desire to do physical activities I have never done before. I am at this point, completely unable to take the bike trails. It would be very dangerous to do so, so I will continue with my plans.
Albert Einstein wrote,
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Einstein is absolutely correct! I do not normally take big risks, such as going down a mountain trail at top speed, which scares me. But to not miss out on the next opportunity to go mountain biking, I must prepare myself and learn to become a great bike rider.
Preparation is often half the battle. In leadership we tend to face similar obstacles. There can be areas in our leadership we are afraid to try because were unsure of the path ahead and the obstacles, whichlie before us. Preparation helps us to gain the strength, endurance and the mindset to deal with these new feared areas. Those things that are uncomfortable are only uncomfortable, because we do not have experience in those areas.
For your leadership obstacles develop a simple plan of attack to gain experience. If you are charting new waters start off around the coast line before you go out any deeper. To gain experience on the mountain bike trails I must first start riding my bike more. As I am able to go further I must start to go up and down small hills and move toward larger hills. If I never attempt do do so, I will never progress. The same goes for your leadership, if you do not make a plan and set goals you will never increase your ability to lead in difficult areas. Developing a plan to reach past obstacles helps to develop more powerful leadership.