I recently read a story of a warrior named Benaiah that lived some 3,000 years ago. A short account of the story is as follows:
Benaiah was just outside his village on a winter day when snow had covered the ground. He heard the roar of a lion, and unlike what most would have done, Benaiah ran towards the roar. He saw tracks in the snow and followed those tracks until he found the lion. He would eventually encounter the lion, fall into a pit with the lion, and kill the animal.
You see, Benaiah knew that a lion that close to the village was not safe. He felt responsible for the people of his village and had to take care of the threat/obstacle. He immediately went into action to eliminate the threat. While most of us would have run from the roar, he ran to the roar.
Now most of us will probably never encounter a lion like Benaiah, but those in leadership positions do encounter obstacles or problems on a regular basis. How we deal with those issues define how effective we are in leading others. So the real question is how do you deal with obstacles or problems?
Do you ignore the problem hoping it will just go away? (The Avoider)
Do you pass the obstacle off to someone else because you don’t want to deal with the uncomfortable conversation or encounter? (The Coward)
Do you feed into the problem by joining in the issue rather than seeking to resolve the conflict? (The Instigator)
Do you just accept less than desirable situations by blaming others and denying any responsibility to those you lead? (The Victim)
I can ask these questions because I have been guilty of all of them at one time or another. Maybe you have to. The key is not to be this kind of a leader going forward.
Running toward the roar means we deal with issues timely. It means we are willing to do the uncomfortable to resolve a matter. Too many of us avoid uncomfortable situations or hard things in general. Think about it, an athlete only gets better by working hard, experiencing some pain, and putting himself/herself through some uncomfortable times. A doctor only get certified by going through a difficult residency. A Navy Seal only becomes that level of a soldier through uncomfortable training. I could go on and on, but anything worth achieving takes a willingness to do hard things, go through uncomfortable situations, and get out of our comfortable life from time to time.
So what do you need to do? What conversation do you need to have? What issue do you need to address? What bottleneck do you need to remove? What do you need to take responsibility for?
For that matter, what lifestyle change do you need to make? What hard things do you need to do?
That’s a lot of questions to consider, but the final question is:
Are you going to “Run to the Roar” and make a difference?