“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.”
— Charles Dickens
Leadership often leaves us feeling “high and dry”; leading the pack with nobody to talk to! As leaders, we often find ourselves juggling many burdens and think we have to keep them bottled up within ourselves. This can quickly lead to excessive stress and burnout if we aren’t careful. If you have ever felt like you are carrying a huge amount of burdens with nobody to talk to, you may find this article helpful.
Recently in my daily devotional, it discussed the scripture “Cast your burdens upon the Lord…” (Psalms 55:22). The interesting point the devotional made was that we are not to cast our burden on the Lord and simply walk away. It alluded to casting your burden on the Lord, and allowing the companionship with the Lord to lighten your burden; it will allow you to see you are not alone through your trials; it will allow you to learn from the challenges so you can be more effective in moving forward.
That naturally got me thinking how similarly leadership works. If we fail to cast our burdens on to others, we can become overwhelmed. By casting our burdens, we talk about and share our troubles & challenges with others (in confidentiality) in order to seek advice, guidance, and assurance. If we choose to hold everything in without sharing, we can become stagnant, unproductive, and ineffective to the people around us.
It’s important for leaders to have safe havens — places we can go and people we can talk to in full confidentiality to share with and to learn from. Many times this can be a mutual relationship, where everyone benefits equally. Other times it’s a one-way conversation. Either way, it allows us to cast our burdens in a safe environment and to have companionship through it all.
Here are four types of relationships that all effective leaders should have:
1. Professional Relationships
These types of relationships come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and include peers, mentors, mastermind groups, coaches, and colleagues. One of the biggest benefits of professional relationships are they are usually very familiar with your specific business burdens, and this is commonly a two-way relationship — you can all share and offer guidance, support, & advice. Having people you can share your burdens with who have “been there; done that; survived that,” can be very uplifting through your challenges. Over time, these relationships can bolster your effectiveness on the job.
2. Personal Relationships
Personal relationships are primarily your spouse / significant other, family, closest friends, and your “inner-most-circle” of friends. These are the people you can share your most personal burdens with and they know you better than anyone else. These people have seen you at your best and worse, and are always there to show support. These relationships can have a drastic impact on your effectiveness in all areas of your life. Personally, I know I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my wife. She has always been my biggest “fan,” supporter, and closest confidant — I can share anything with her!
3. Community Relationships
There is something unique about having relationships with people in your local community. This can be at your local church, farmers market, Rotary or Kiwanis Club, American Legion, VFW, the local Jeep Club, etc. Regardless of what club, church, or organization you are involved in, the relationships you develop in locally are familiar with your burdens “close to home” and can offer suggestions, guidance, compassion, or just a caring ear to listen. These relationships can directly impact the quality of life in your home community.
4. Spiritual Relationships
No matter what your beliefs are, there is something very powerful about being able to “cast your burdens on the Lord.” Religions all around the world have their rituals and ways of speaking to their deity. I believe the most important thing about casting your burdens spiritually is you can say anything & everything your heart desires, and it’s between you and God. Quality time spent alone in meditation, pouring out to God, or in silent thought, has a way of cleansing your inner soul and lightening your burdens in every area of your life.
The bottom line is nobody should feel like they have to contain all their burdens to themselves. We can all contribute to each other whether at work, at home, or in our community. The key is to be willing to be available to have a relationship with others. The healthier your relationships are, the more you can cast your burdens and lighten your heavy loads. Relationships don’t create an avenue for you to ‘pass the buck’ onto others; they open up opportunities for you to share with others in a way that you all can learn from one another and become the most effective leaders for those around you. Cast your burdens today, and get the companionship you need to make it through your trials. Happy sharing!
Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!
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You can contact Paul directly at [email protected]
Originally published at medium.com