How can a stomach virus possibly be a good thing? How can it yield inspiration for a thoughtful leadership lesson? Am I being too “Pollyanna-ish” – looking for the good in situations and circumstances that truly only stink?

With nothing much to do yesterday but recuperate from the stomach bug that knocked me out two days ago, I had time to contemplate this…endlessly. Those who know me know that I always, or almost always, look for good in everything and everyone I can. Perhaps, some might say, to a fault. So as I lay in bed yesterday with nothing much to do because I didn’t have the strength yet to be productive, I thought this through.

And, yes, I found a silver lining. Maybe not a shining silver lining, but a silver lining nonetheless.

I had really needed to slow down. I had really and truly needed a day, preferably in bed, where I did nothing but rest. I was laughingly making my way through my jam-packed schedule, informing everyone around me that I was not focusing on what was right in front of me; I was, instead, focusing on what was on fire the farthest behind me. What had I dropped that now was an extreme issue? That was what I needed to handle in the moment.

And so my body quit. Revolted. And Shut Me Down. I had no choice but to comply. I lost two days of rushing around getting everything done – and rested. I had no other option.

So my leadership lessons – First, to remember to stop and rest, even when I don’t have time. Second, to remember that if I don’t get everything done that I know I have to get done, chances are that things will be okay. Third, to remember that, even when I may hate the way it shows up, I am most often given exactly what I need in every moment.

And I’m glad I feel better today!

What do you think? Where have you found leadership lessons – in places where most people would say there are none?

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