“We do not have to become heroes overnight.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Somehow it seems like many, if not all, of my clients, think they need to be on some sort of fast track. They identify a problem or challenge. Someone points out to them a development area. They see a gap in their leadership.

Something goes “wrong,” and they have an immediate need to fix the situation (or themselves) immediately, if not sooner. Seemingly overnight.

I get the pressure and the anxiety that fuels this need for instant relief. I can have that pressure and anxiety and need for instant relief at times. But here’s the bad news. Instant relief is generally not possible. Quantum changes, paradigm shifts, rewiring our reactions and building new behaviors and thought patterns. All of these take time and effort – and usually a bunch of time.

Here’s the good news. Despite our internal task master screechingly informing us that we need to “fix this yesterday,” we do not, as Eleanor Roosevelt points out, need to become heroes overnight.

There are times of crisis when an instantaneous – or nearly instantaneous – response is needed. If the ship is sinking, we need to do something and do something now. If the project (or the person leading the project) is about to blow, a quick steam-release-valve is a good idea. If we are in danger, we should act as quickly as possible.

But that is rarely what is happening or what is needed, even if it feels like it is what is happening and what is needed. Most often we have time and space to reflect, act, reflect again, act again…and to continue this cycle into our hero-ship. It takes time and we generally have time to close a gap in our leadership, tackle a problem in our project or team, or rewire our challenging behaviors. And again, the good news is that we often have that time.

Certainly we don’t have forever. We do need to pull our head out of the sand and deal with what’s facing us. But we don’t have to soar immediately. And we don’t have to become heroes overnight.

How has your “hero-ship” developed?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in being the best hero you can be, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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