The Awkward Stage

Remember your middle school years? Braces, glasses, weird hair, big feet, long skinny legs, pimples… It’s just an awkward stage. Horses go through the same thing. My husband and I used to raise Paint horses. We’d breed a mare to a great looking stud, and then it was like, “What the heck? An ugly horse!” But you know, time brings beautiful growth and before you know it the colt outgrows its awkward stage.

Leaders aren’t much different.

There is a time when up and coming leaders go through an awkward stage of leading. This includes learning how to make decisions consistently; finding the balance between being firm and being flexible; knowing how to be productive through others versus producing as an individual; and learning that leadership is about being a servant and steward not about being the boss.

It’s easy to give up during this awkward stage because it seems too hard. But as time allows, the new leader has a chance to practice (act on) their leadership responsibilities, and the coordination of leading becomes more natural.

Then the awkward stage returns. I’m not sure you can totally get rid of the awkward stage unless you decide to stop growing and stop impacting. I think the awkward stages come back throughout our careers as we grow through each season. Every time we move into a different career season, the awkward stage returns until we become coordinated with the new level of responsibility.

So how do you get through this awkward stage? Well, if you know you’re going through it that’s a step in the right direction. Realizing you are in need of growth will make you more open to learning. Seek out others who have been where you are going, and most importantly, look toward the future and figure out how you need to grow to get through this awkward stage.

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