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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Encouraging or Enabling?

We've heard of leading from the front and leading from behind. But, what about leading from below? That's how I led for years. Trust me--it's not a good model.
 
When I would see potential in others, my passion often overcame my wisdom. Unfortunately, I spent valuable time and energy trying to convince others that they could reach the goal I established for them because I believed in their ability to succeed.
 
Moved more by my excitement than their own desire to move forward, they would often climb on my back and let me carry them to the finish line. By the time we arrived at my goal (not theirs), I would be exhausted; but, they would be energized and ready to go for another ride to another goal. Why not? I was doing all the work while they rode along in a carriage of dreams.
 
I thought I was leading from the front. In reality, I was leading from below as people took advantage of my good intentions. In fact, I wasn't leading. I was enabling. And, it was exhausting!
 
Becoming trained as a coach has taught me the importance of helping people set their own goals and assume responsibility to be accountable for follow-through. As a result, I've learned to come alongside and encourage people to reach their own destination, not mine. Now, we're all energized.
 
Are you exhausted? 
 
What needs to change for you to become energized?
 
What boundaries could you put in place that will help you become an encourager instead of an enabler?