We live in Northern Italy where the mountains are steep and the roads are wild. If you’ve ever driven these mountain roads and see how some drivers pass other cars in the most impossible hairpin turns you’d be happy to find the safety railings that are intended to keep drivers from going off the cliff.
This analogy has come up a lot in some of my recent conversations with different leaders. We realised that there are times that everything feels like easy sailing, and then there are other times when we’re about to face some real challenges ahead of us. Financial challenges, relational challenges, marketing challenges, marital challenges, you can add to the list. When we see those challenges arriving on the horizon we know that this is not a time to switch into a higher gear and go passing other cars in front of us, but we need to find ways to put safety railings in place to stay on track and go for longevity.
Our safety railing in real life might look a lot like accountability – a word that for many of us sounds dirty and is often spelled like c-o-n-t-r-o-l.
It can feel like we’re being limited in our options, we’re being controlled and told what to do. I’m writing to leaders, visionaries, entrepreneurs, and we don’t like to be told what to do, do we? Here’s my challenge to all of us today: let’s allow those safety railings to be put in place, not to limit our freedom, but to sharpen our focus.
Only when there’s a foundation of appreciation and trust in relationships we can truly appreciate others asking us the hard questions to help avoid us from driving off the cliff.
What do you do when you approach some hairpins in your leadership? Who do you go to when you face challenges in your personal life? Do you try to prove yourself, speed up and pass more cars right before a sharp turn over a deadly cliff? Or do you respect the railing, welcome the questions, take a breather and surrender freedom to sharpen focus?