Early last year, I received a call from Sergey Shchepotkin asking if I would be his assistant coach for the University of Northern British Columbia’s Women’s Basketball team. I had met Sergey when he coached my daughter’s basketball club over a couple summers and had helped him out on a couple tournaments. I was surprised at the offer and honestly, didn’t know if I was up to the task. I tried to say no a number of times. I talked with family, friends, and the previous assistant coach looking to each for reasons that would disqualify me from taking on the role. Finally in an act of surrender, I accepted the position not knowing how I could benefit the team or what lay in store.
Often as leaders, we are put in the awkward position of having an opportunity or challenge to face and trying to decide whether or not to accept that task. Many leaders are often frozen by indecision, overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, or too tired to consider anything different than the mundane situation that we are living in. The result is that we are hesitant to take on change that will take us out of our comfort zone.
Sometimes as leaders we are so focused on being in control, that we attack situations to ensure that we get the outcome we believe we need. I remember one time I was buying a commercial building and the environmental assessment wasn’t something that I thought would enable us to get a loan. I called the assessor and challenged his assessment. While my confrontation didn’t change the report, I thought I needed to do something to ensure the deal went through. In hindsight, the assessment had little bearing as the bank was willing to loan us the money we needed and my aggressiveness didn’t earn me any friends and was in poor judgement.
The difference between surrendering to what life is offering us and trying to remain in total control can sometimes be subtle. There are times when we are backed into situations where we need to go on the attack to protect our reputation, our business, our family or even our life. However, having been in such situations, if we start by surrendering to the fact that perhaps we are put in this position for a reason the outcome is often better than we can imagine. In this situation our attack changes from fighting the losing battle that this can’t be real to, okay, this is the situation we are in, what do we need to survive and thrive.
As I stepped into the gym last August, I was hesitant about what I could bring to the team. I knew that Sergey Shchepotkin had considerable technical basketball expertise and a successful history of coaching that dwarfed mine. Not only that, many of the players knew the sport much better than I did. Yet, surrendering to the experience enabled me to gently find my place and embark on a season that provided me with experiences and relationships that have enriched my life and hopefully made a difference in the lives of the players I encountered. I never would have been able to experience such joy if I resisted being out of my comfort zone.
Being open to possibilities and surrendering to the understanding that we don’t need to control all of our outcomes, positions us to experience a life that is beyond our limited imaginations. What are you facing this week that might set you outside your comfort zone that might entail surrendering your control for an uncertain future of experiences? I challenge you to try to surrender your control and live your life on the edge, it's amazing what you might discover.
Dave Fuller MBA, is an Award-Winning Business Coach and the Author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Surrender your question to Dave and find out what happens email firstname.lastname@example.org