To lead well, first adult well

To lead well, first adult well

I wrote this phrase down a few days ago as I was watching some basic responsibilities that were simply ignored by people.  Hear me out.  Sometimes the best of intentioned, smart, nice, and just ‘good’ people do not adult well.

Adulting is defined by the Urban Dictionary as to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.  In other words, to do the things that are required of you as an adult.  Basic things.  Common sense things.  The responsible thing.

Wisdom is not found in condemning others for their shortcomings.  Wisdom is found in examining one’s own life to see what is working and what is not working.  As I see in others this tendency to not adult well, it caused me to stop and reflect on my own life.

Here is were I am landing:

  1. There are some things that can not be avoided or put off.  You just have to do them, this is life.

  2. Feelings should not be the motivator for adulting.  Responsibility instead should be our guide.

  3. It is not about me.  So much of my lack of adulting comes from my desire to take care of myself first. (I do not like saying that out loud)

  4. Some things are uniquely my responsibly – blaming others for my lack of adulting is foolish.

  5. On some days, adulting takes courage, strength and of grace.  On other days it takes a whole lot  of courage, strength and grace.

To lead well, first adult well

So at the core, these basic principles of living and being of life are baseline for all leaders.   Leaders (aka people that have influence of over others and over things) must first be adult well.

Why bring this up for?  Many times we convince ourselves with fancy talk, illusions of grandeur, and other high words that we know how to lead.  WE talk about leading as higher way of being. 

Yet, real leadership is based on the foundation of simple adulting.  When we chase ideas of ourselves that are not true, we at times are become champions of deceiving ourselves that we are greater than we are.  We are our own chief enabler.

We slip into the trap of skipping over the basics of adulting to talk very complex ways of leading.

That is like talking about the complexity of piloting a plane when you have not completed the classroom portion of ‘how to fly a plane.

Here is to learning to adult well so that we can then lead well.

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