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Farmers and cowboys in Western movies share a coaching euphemism: “Pull yourself up by the boot straps.” Common sense tells you it’s not possible…when you fall over (or get knocked down) pulling harder on your boot straps will only make your boots tighter, unless you pull the boot straps off…which means you just ruined your boots.
All kidding aside: the ‘pull yourself up’ message is about resilience and personal accountability.
Modern sage Seth Godin wrote a clever little book about the “boot strap” thing — it’s called The Dip. He described ‘the dip’ as that moment when you realize you’ve lost momentum in something you are building (or chasing) and you are feeling the urge to ‘quit.’ He argues sometimes the best course of action is to quit — specifically when you are locked in a Cul-de-Sac and quitting will help you get back on course. But alas, quitting seldom feels good…and rarely seems like the best option. So that means we have to pull on our boot straps.
In our book What Really Works, Blending the Seven Fs one of the good leaders we interviewed plainly said: “sometimes life is hard.” And then she said: “that’s why we have our faith and our friends.” Our faith helps us understand our convictions and provides a values system to filter out toxic thoughts when we are in the dip. And our friends are there when we need them — and when our friends reach out and pull on our boot straps, it actually gets us back on our feet.
Senior leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs often talk about how it’s “lonely at the top.” The loneliness adds to the weight of ‘the dip.’ I believe nothing significant is ever accomplished alone. And, the best way to embrace ‘the dip’ is to call on our friends and ask for help. Funny…when our friends pull on our boot straps, we are lifted up. And we get back on track. Looking back, the dip sharpens our convictions, and deepens our friendships.
Good leaders understand that sometimes life is hard — and surround themselves with people who pull on our boot straps.
Drop me a note: if you experienced ‘the dip’ recently, what helped you make it through?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]