If you’ve ever walked or driven across a bridge (and this includes most of us), you know that every few feet, there are gaps in the surface. Now while it is unnerving to be high on a bridge and look down to see the water, this is actually a good thing. Those gaps are expansion joints – they are what allow the bridge to adjust to the forces of heat and cold and wind – to bend without breaking.
Leaders are like bridges – they span from one point to the next and carry heavy responsibilities and precious travelers. And leaders need to have expansion joints. The fact is, no one person can do it all. Even we D-wired folks can’t…do…it…all. (That was hard to confess!) We must have expansion joints built in that allow us to bend without breaking. We need a little breathing space.
So how do we, as leaders of homes, companies, or ministries stay strong and create this breathing space?
1. Build on Strong Support.
Strong leadership structures are built on solid principles (like those taught by John Maxwell) and with well-trained teams.
2. Check Suspension Lines.
Just as you need strong support to hold you up, you also need strong suspension to hold you in. Choose a coach or mentor who is not afraid to rein you in if you are making bad decisions.
3. Observe Load Limits.
Every bridge has a load limit. Every person has one, too. Beware of overload!
4. Perform Regular Maintenance and Safety Checks.
A bridge that is not properly maintained will eventually collapse. As a leader carrying heavy burdens, you absolutely must take time for regular recharging of your batteries. How many great leaders have fallen – either due to ill health or bad judgment – simply because they were exhausted. Whether you’re the owner of a company or the mother of small children (or both), lives depend on you. Take care of yourself for their sake if for no other reason.
How strong is YOUR leadership bridge?