What are you doing with your wounds?

It was nice to hear someone finally stand up and say it.  A few weeks ago the pastor at church said it.

Anyone who has led for a significant amount of time could sit and tell you stories of being hurt several times.

I found it refreshing to finally hear another leader say publicly they love what they do but it had come with many wounds.  Leadership cultures rarely speak of the hurt because it represents failure.  The failure doesn't bring everything to a halt, it just leaves a wound.

What are you doing with your wounds?

I've found that the depth of the relationship is equal to the wound.  The closer the relationship the deeper the wound and the stronger the response.  So my response is not always the same, it varies from:

  • Dismissal
  • Annoyance
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Lash back
  • Obsessing over the wound

I wish I was perfect and instead my list looked like:

  • Grace
  • Forgiveness
  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Bigger picture

Although I wish my list was the latter a reality in leadership is the difference in this list is an exact reason why the wounds happen.  Many people have great misunderstanding of leaders, as if they are perfect and that's how that person became a leader.  I remind myself the higher the pedestal the higher the fall, for me or for anyone I put on the pedestal.  And people discover a leader isn't perfect and wounds occur.  Or, on the other side a leader sees someone who has the ability to move everyone forward but we learn that many talented people are human too.  If you lead, wounds will happen so what do you do with them?

Weekly, I take out the trash.  I set it on the curb Monday morning and it gets taken away.  Last night, however, I put out what's called "big trash."  It's a scheduled pick up for the things I can't put into a trash sack and put on the curb, I use this service once or twice a year.  As I was placing items on the curb last night that had managed to pile up in my house I thought, "I could use a big trash pick up for my heart."  Every leader carries some big trash in their heart but what you do with it might influence how long you lead.

What are you doing with the "big trash" that gathers in your heart as a leader?