“Don’t leave something; go to something.”
–Elmer Towns

I had the honor of speaking at a leaders gathering earlier this month at a conference center in Maryland. One of the readers of this blog invited me several months ago, and it was a privilege to get to speak and pour into these leaders in person. 

Every time I talk to leaders, I am reminded of what a privilege and a challenge leadership really is. It’s humbling to lead others in an organization to accomplish a mission, purpose, or plan. Anyone can be critical and spot problems, but a leader gets on the solution side and finds a way to address them, seeing them as opportunities for what could be. 

I’m in a thread of posts around what’s been called The Great Resignation, a wave of people who are quitting and changing jobs (with some even changing careers). Today’s post is centered around the quote above by Elmer Towns. “Don’t leave something; go to something.”

It’s not hard to find things we don’t like about an environment, a place, or a job. I had a high school teacher who told us, “there will always be things about every job you don’t like. But if there’s more than 10% of the job that is like that, find a new one.” For him, it was wearing a tie. He was required to, so he did. But he hated it. But if that’s the worst thing about the job, is it worth leaving? Not for him. And he poured into me and so many other students, to our lasting benefit. 

I see a tendency among many people to see that the grass is greener elsewhere. I get that – I think it’s a temptation common to all mankind! Especially in a season when things are challenging on multiple fronts, the grass can seem so much better over there. A fresh start – a new beginning – a clean slate. 

But is it true?

Towns’ advice is worth remembering. “Don’t leave something; go to something.” If you run from challenges, you’ll never stop. If you run from discomfort, you’ll never stop. 

If you’re running TO something, great! That’s exciting. The passion around a new adventure, the sense that this next chapter could be the best yet – that’s what you want. But if you’re just running FROM something, be very careful, because you could find yourself bouncing from job to job every 3-4 years, trying to find what you’ll only find if you stay. 

I’ve discovered that the greatest growth in a leader is often when they are tenacious, when they persist through difficulty and refuse to let challenges derail them. 

Is leadership tough? Absolutely. That’s why most people don’t do it! 

I strongly believe that every leader needs a coach. I’ve had a leadership coach for years, and the benefits I have seen from this are truly immeasurable, especially during a season like we’ve experienced these last 18 months through the COVID pandemic, social unrest, lockdowns, quarantines, and the divisiveness that seems to be pervasive throughout our culture. This has been one of the most difficult seasons of my career, and I know many of you would agree from your vantage point as well.

My coach has helped me to have perspective during difficult days, to remember my why, and to stay focused on the “blocking and tackling” that are critical. It’s really hard to see the whole picture when you’re in the frame; that’s the value of an outside perspective, and a leadership coach has brought that value to me. 

What is your intentional plan to grow as a leader? Who is providing that coaching perspective for you, helping you to see what you can’t see yet and assisting you to grow in your own self-awareness as a leader? 

As Craig Groeschel puts it so well, remember – “when a leader gets better, everybody benefits.”

If you’d like to explore what leadership coaching looks like, I’d love to talk more with you. I have 3 individual coaching slots available right now, and if it’s a good fit, I’d love to help you gain perspective and put together a growth plan that’s designed for you. You can book a discovery call with me here to start that conversation.


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