Acceptance is a leadership skill.
But I used to completely misunderstand acceptance: I felt it was something totally passive, like rolling over and letting whatever life or work brings wash over me. It felt like giving up control.
I was allergic to the word. I was a leader and a fighter — my job was to push through whatever challenges came my way or to our teams. I was in charge and acceptance felt like being helpless.
But acceptance has nothing to do with rolling over and letting things be as they are.
The skill of acceptance is seeing how something is with clarity vs. judgement and then using that as your starting point to decide what to do next.
It’s about shifting from judging and reacting to acting with clarity and intention.
It’s about not wasting so much emotional energy fighting with what is and instead, using that energy to help you make the best next step, even in a difficult situation — and to lead your team to do the same.
Acceptance is the least passive thing you can do. It allows you to be in the driver’s seat of your life and work instead of being held hostage by your emotions.
And as a leader, it’s a non-negotiable skill if you want to help your team get through challenges with resilience.
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