Developing your own untapped and unrefined potential is a bit like remodeling an old house: First, you have to tear out some things—like pride or extreme self-sufficiency or bullheadedness, or trying to over-control people or _____________ (fill in the blank with some attitude or behavior of yours that makes you say “ouch!”).
I had an experience that helps illustrate how certain personal qualities can trip us up: A few years ago I was in Greenville, South Carolina on a business trip. Before heading the next destination, in Waynesboro, North Carolina, I asked the man I was with for the best route.
“Take the interstate north until you hit such and such highway, and drive straight west. That’s the way you want to go.”
As he talked I was glancing at my map and noticed another route that appeared more direct. “What about this road?” I asked. “It looks like a more direct way to go.”
“You can get there that way, but I would not suggest it.”
So guess which road I took? I thought I knew a good idea when I saw it—and isn’t a straight line the shortest distance between two points?
Well, if I cold have driven in a straight line across all those mountains, I would have been pleased with my choice! But it turned out to be about the curviest road you could find. I have never driven so many hours in low gear. My appointment was for 2:00 PM, and I probably would have made it by taking what seemed to be the longer (and suggested) route. But when I rolled in at 5:00 PM, horribly embarrassed—my hands claw-like after gripping the steering wheel that long—I was a more humble man.
That particular day it would have been good if I had let go of a crippling misconception of reality.
Letting go—it opens the door to growth of ourselves and, then of others on our team. What is it that you’re holding onto that needs to be let loose?