The Price of Leadership
Confined to a bed.
That’s often how Abraham Lincoln dealt with the stress of his presidency.
Lincoln’s days were marred by the war, constant criticism, countless competing voices, and a hellish rollercoaster of a personal life that would cripple most anyone.
Raging stress-induced migraines coupled with frequent trips to the “privy,” made for less than ideal working conditions. To accommodate the President, Lincoln’s cabinet members and assistants would surround his bed so the work could continue.
I can’t fathom the scene. The President is extremely sick and beyond stressed, but still, he has to make decisions. Beyond that, how dedicated is the staff—meeting by his bedside—while he’s struggling?
This scene teaches us a very scary principle: leadership has a price.
Chances are that your price as a leader will never have to be this high. Let’s face it, the day-to-day decisions we make are not on Lincoln’s level of importance. But there is a price…
Your price will include time, emotional toil, and personal doubt. You will have to release team members, account for wrong decisions and take corrective measures. Such a price brings with it a great deal of worry and so much more.
No dream becomes reality for free. You must pay the price. It’s the cost of sitting in the chair. The same is true of achievement. It doesn’t wander to your doorstep. It must be earned.
Many people want a book bearing their name sitting on the shelf, but few want to pay the price of actually writing it. Others want to be professional basketball players, but have no desire to practice like Michael Jordan.
In Christian radio, there is always a great need for additional staff and new equipment, but we’re too embarrassed to go ask our donors for those dollars.
As it has often been said, “The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.”
Lincoln’s dream was a united America and a land where all people were free. His price: having to work through debilitating stress and sickness.
What’s your dream?
Are you willing to pay the price to achieve it?
Pay the price. You’ll be glad you did.
Do that…and you’ll be on the path to enduring leadership.
Brian Sanders serves as Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio. He regularly writes and speaks on leadership topics. His new book, “Leadership Endurance,” is pending publication and is scheduled to be available early this summer.