I remember when I was still studying. I always dreamed about graduating, and I always said to myself that once I graduate, life will be sweeter.
And I did graduate. I quickly learned that life after graduation was not as sweet as I thought it would be. To my surprise, working on a career is far more difficult than studying for a degree.
I had a lot of jobs. When I became a call centre representative, I usually had discussions with my teammates about being promoted and how life would be more comfortable once I did.
And I did get promoted. To my surprise, getting a leadership post is far more difficult than working in a rank and file position.
Taking on a leadership role means you become a pioneer of change. Leading the way for others can be extremely stressful and exhausting, so I looked for inspirational quotes that would encourage me to continually strive for innovation and being ready for it.
I encountered a quote from Jennifer Hyman, Co-founder of Rent the Runway. They offer clothing and accessories for rent. This is really a quote for life in general but I still got leadership principles from it. Here’s the quote:
“I think that life is difficult. People have challenges. Family members get sick; people get older, you don't always get the job or the promotion that you want. You have conflicts in your life. And really, life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and all of the ups and downs with a positive attitude.”
These are my takeaways from what she said:
1. There will always be challenges in life.
If I expect that the promotion will give a life of complete comfort, then I would be extremely disappointed. Challenges will come in all sorts of form, and it’s all about how we handle the pressure.
2. We need to be resilient in life.
It’s our attitude. It’s how we respond to our challenges. Will we have a victim mentality and feel sorry for ourselves all the time? Or will we be the victor and fight until we win?
I remember walking up the train station stairs full of fear because the task at hand is challenging and there is a high risk of failure. The Holy Spirit reminded me of a quote about courage, and it says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but it’s how you go through the challenges despite fear.” I felt encouraged knowing that it’s okay to be afraid. As long as I don’t quit I’m a man of courage.
Here’s what the Bible says,
1 Peter 5:1-4
New International Version (NIV)
5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
The Bible says leadership requires us to be like Jesus and that means leaders need to sacrifice for their people. As we go up the ladder of success, we don’t become like a privileged royalty who knows nothing of responsibility and just live a life of comfort. Godly leadership requires us to become a servant of the people, and it’s not going to be easy.
Yes, striving for leadership is hard work but think about this, you’ll still face difficult challenges regardless of where you stand, so why not stand in front and lead the way. If we accept greater responsibilities for God’s Kingdom, we can expect greater empowerment from the Lord.