Some years back, my husband and I took a vacation, and we rented a scooter as our mode of transportation. We’re always up for a good adventure, so our little two-wheeler was loads of fun until one evening.
We were finishing dinner, and we looked up to see driving rain pelting the windows of the restaurant. We were miles from our hotel and only a puny little scooter to get us there.
Why did the rain come when it did?
Couldn’t it have waited just 30 minutes more for us to be safe and sound?
We were frustrated, inconvenienced, and irritated. But there was nothing we could do. The rain was here, and it was falling hard.
The rain falls in our life and leadership too.
It’s often unexpected. Sometimes it moves in quickly. Other times we see it rolling in, but we’re powerless to stop it. Sometimes we’re not paying attention to the rain clouds looming, and we’re startled when they catch us off guard.
Maybe it’s the initiative that failed.
Maybe it’s an unexpected illness.
Maybe it’s a financial crisis.
Maybe it’s a tough relational issue.
Maybe it’s a problem that you can’t solve.
The rain comes from time to time, and although my immediate reaction is always frustration and discomfort, I’m learning what to value from it.
The Greatest Teacher is Found in a Challenge
1) The rain forces us to slow down.
Although we were finished with our dinner and ready to hop back on the scooter, we had to slow down and rethink our options. The rain broke the stride of our hurried pace (even on vacation!).
2) The rain challenged us to find new solutions.
When it was apparent the rain wasn’t going to let up completely, we remembered the emergency ponchos under the seat. We had to alter our plans, but we found a new way to get back on the road.
3) The rain created a community.
Not only did we slow down and talk to each other, but the monsoon sparked a conversation with other people who were huddled under the restaurant awning trying to find shelter. Where everyone would typically keep to themselves, they found support and camaraderie with strangers.
Take Advantage of Your Next Challenge
Have you been caught in the rain lately?
What could you learn from slowing down?
Embrace each challenge and see what it might teach you.
Could it help you identify a new solution? Is there some community that you need to embrace to endure it together?
My natural reaction is to run from the rain – to seek shelter immediately. But sometimes I think we need to be willing to get caught in the rain.
Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
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Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.