He’d come home, put his things on the table, sit down to a dinner that Mom cooked, and begin to talk. She never had to ask. He just talked.
Dad would begin sharing about his day.
“Well, the #3 machine went down today. Had to send Jim up to the powerhouse to reconfigure the fuses…and while he was there we got another call…”
Dad would walk her through the events of the day. Mom would listen. You’d hear her ask questions and he’d answer.
On other days, Dad would try and talk and Mom would ask a question.
Dad would quip, “Let me finish!”
Mom would dart back, “I’m just asking a question!”
Dad was trying to figure out a schedule for a major upcoming project at the mill. He would bring home a massive spreadsheet with names. He’d sit down at the table–pencil in hand–and begin to stare at that paper.
He’d write a little…think…write a little..think…wash, rinse, and repeat.
As he did, he’d talk to Mom about it.
“I’m thinking about putting Roy here for six hours so that I can put Steve over there.”
Dad was sharing his world.
As a leader, he knew he couldn’t keep all this stuff bottled up. A leader needs someone they can share life with: the ups and downs, the doubts and questions, the celebrations and the crises.
Dad knew he couldn’t do leadership alone. It was simply too much, so he talked to Mom. This helped Dad’s stress level by having someone in his corner who empathized with his stress and burden. It gave him a sounding board. As he talked to Mom, he had a judgment-free zone where he could vent about others and confess his own faults.
He also knew there was someone ALWAYS in his corner. Mom would defend him no matter the story or situation Dad shared. Leaders need that because there are days each of us feel very alone.
Dad was intentional talking about his job and the stress that surrounded it. Mom never had to beg him to share about the stuff.
Want to last as a leader? Share your world with someone.
Be like Dad…share your world.
Do that and you’ll be on the path to leadership endurance.