In the sports world, you usually don’t have to look too hard to find signs of selfishness rising to the surface. As a matter of fact, in the modern sports media it is often recognized and celebrated to the point that some are fooled into believing this behavior is what we should be striving for.
If there is anything selfishness is good at, it is shirking responsibility. Rather than reflecting on what they could have done differently to impact the undesirable outcome, selfishness sees only the justification of its decisions. It views results through the lens of the individual, themselves, rather than the team.
Never at fault, selfishness breeds selfishness.
Why Should We Care?
In leadership, servanthood, relationships … life our impact and fulfillment will always be tied to our willingness to take responsibility. We will never achieve beyond the level we are willing to bear burdens.
The more burdens we are willing to bear, the more impact we are capable of having. Yet, we are drawn to dismissing our responsibility when those burdens present themselves. Rather than jumping out of the way, we should be charging towards the very burdens we seek to avoid.
Stepping towards rather than away from burdens forces us to honestly assess our actions and behaviors. It pushes us to improve while establishing our position as a servant to those we lead. Void of the improvement we are shackled to our current state. Void of the position of servant, we become nothing more than self-serving hypocrites.
Burden bearing is an aspect of leadership in which an understanding, and acceptance of, is a must. People are more than willing to give their burdens away. Purpose and courage go hand in hand as the foundation for the bearing of burdens. It’s not for the faint of heart.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
I used to be averse to the phrase in sports, “My bad.” I mean, if you miss a ground ball and say “My bad” after you boot it, I want to say, “No kidding, I didn’t boot it.” Thankfully, my perspective has changed. Now I can see the power of “My bad” when it comes to burden bearing when it’s said and processed genuinely. Here are a few thoughts when “My Bad” is a good call.
Bearing burdens should not be viewed as a duty, rather it’s an honor we should embrace to lighten the load for those we serve. When we bear the burdens for others, they will often begin to bear our burdens as well. This is the essence of a team.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.