Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 35 To our clients and friends April 12, 2005
It Takes Guts to Leave the Ruts
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Habits that are binding can be broken

Ted, a foreman for an acoustic construction company in Hood River, Oregon told Session 3B of the Leadership Development Lab™ (LDL):

"In March of 2001 I was working for a construction company on the new Marriott Hotel next to the Markham Bridge. For years I had battled with the disease of drugs and alcohol addiction. Some battles had been won, but the disease was taking its toll on me. I was missing a lot of work and getting sicker and sicker everyday. I had hit my bottom mentally, spiritually and physically.

After a weekend of heavy abuse I had a moment of clarity and looked into entering an in-patient rehabilitation center. I had to leave my comfort zone (stop drinking and using) and tell my boss and my field supervisor that I needed to go into rehab. They were both very supportive right along with the rest of my co-workers that I considered my friends.

I have not regretted leaving that old lifestyle behind for one minute. My life has done nothing but improve you could say that I implemented my own program of continued personal improvement. After almost two years of sobriety my supervisors asked me if I wanted to be a foreman and run a new library project my company was going to build in Hood River.

I accepted the challenge knowing I

was way out of my comfort zone and I have not regretted it at all. It has been three years since I entered my new life of sobriety and a little over one year as a foreman and I feel honored in both endeavors. Most importantly, my personal integrity has been restored.

The lesson I learned from this experience is when I feel stuck in life and want to move on for the better, I need to put fear aside, exit my comfort zone and trust the process of growing mentally and spiritually as a human being.

The action I call you to take is when you feel like you are in a rut and canít seem to pull yourself out, take a chance, leave the comfort zone of that muddy old path and move on. The benefit you will gain is the feeling of accomplishment of bettering yourself by leaving your comfort zone. You will gain gifts like personal integrity and a wealth of gifts that are just out there waiting to be claimed."

In your role as an empowering leader, you have an opportunity to create the relationships and safety that will lead your team to being open with you about their personal challenges. Think of the costs to Ted and his company if he hadnít felt comfortable enough in his relationships to admit to his boss what his problem was and what action he was going to take to fix it.