This week we’re on Maui to continue our celebration of 30 years of marriage. The weather is rather predictable on the Hawaiian islands, but we’ve been surprised on this trip by very high winds—high enough to warrant an official wind advisory warning of sustained winds up to 30mph and gusts up to 50mph. The alert indicated the possibility of flying debris including tree branches. Walking outdoors, I’ve nearly lost my hat several times. When I walked along the beach to take the picture above, I was pelted from head to toe with flying sand and tiny rocks. It really stung!
We’ve all seen pictures of ocean waves rolling into shore. Maybe you’re blessed like me to witness this first hand! You see a rising curve of water that breaks into white foam as it crests and falls onto the advancing water below.
Take a closer look at the picture above. That white, foamy water at the top of the wave is being blown back out to sea by the gusting wind, creating clouds of white mist on the other side of the wave.
Leadership is more like the picture above than the picture of waves that most of us carry in our minds.
Leadership does not advance steadily forward without opposition. Leadership often meets fierce resistance. Leading often feels like being blown back out to sea as we make our advances toward the beach.
Opposition in leadership is normal. “High winds” are to be expected. These high winds come in many forms: people, circumstances, resources, and more.
The interesting thing about ocean waves is that they forge ahead without giving up or changing direction. They keep going until they arrive on the beach or until hitting some immovable object or greater force. As leaders, we can’t be so indiscriminate in our approach.
Nevertheless, keep the picture of the windblown surf above in mind when you feel beaten down. Take heart—it’s normal.
Dr. Scott Yorkovich is a leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, small and medium organizations, and ministries. Contact him at ScottYorkovich[at]LeadStrategic.com with your questions.
Photo by Author