If you are ever tempted to quit, here’s your first word of encouragement: you are not alone. I will let you in on a secret: Most leaders are tempted to quit from time to time.
When you’re tempted to quit, the first question you need to answer is “Why?” Why do I want to quit? What situations tend to put you in the most vulnerable position to be tempted to quit? When are you most often tempted to quit? After coaching hundreds of leaders, I have identified three main causes for our heightened temptation to quit:
On the Heels of a “High.”
Years ago, as a young leader, I didn’t connect the dots. I didn’t realize that the critiques and criticisms, the negative “anonymous” emails, the negative phone calls, the fight with my spouse always came directly on the heels of a leadership high! The Bible says we have a spiritual enemy named Satan that literally attacks us to steal, kill, and destroy us. This means that when we experience a high, he’s going to be right there trying to bring us down from the top. We also understand that leaders everywhere experience the same types of trials and temptations. Becoming more aware of this, preparing for this, and adjusting our expectations to stay on that high forever can help you defeat the temptation to quit when you’re attacked on the heels of a high!
In general, many leaders don’t rest so well. We lead! We live in a society that doesn’t know how to rest. We don’t feel like we can rest and still be “successful.” We don’t know how to build cultures into our organizations that allow us to withdraw from people long enough to rest. We’re too available, too accessible. We become overcommitted and overextended. We get tired.Are you taking your day off? When is the last time you took a real vacation? Do you have a hobby or something you’re passionate about other than work? We can’t think about work all the time! We need both emotional and physical rest. As I stated earlier in the book, I don’t believe in balance. Instead, life is intended to be lived in rhythm: intensity followed by rest. Both are necessary to stay vibrant and healthy!
When I am feeling discouraged and defeated, everything within me says: “Withdraw,” or “Pull away,” but that’s actually the worst thing I can do. The most common mistake I see leaders make is ISOLATION. When we are alone, we don’t have someone there encouraging us to keep going. Also when we get isolated, we stop learning from others. When we stop learning, we stop growing. When we stop growing, the organization will eventually stop growing!Don’t allow this to happen to you!
This is just another reason I believe in coaching so much. Coaching provides a safe place for us to talk through what’s keeping us awake at night. Coaching also allows the encouragement and accountability we all need.
I beg you: Don’t quit in the middle of a low. We would love to help! Sales pitch intended!
1 Peter 5:6-9 (NIV) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.