Traveling with compatriots along the path of leadership provides opportunities to safely get lost. We will never be too far gone if we connect with others and nurture professional relationships with colleagues who encourage, constructively challenge, and support our visions. Leaders offer encouragement and accept it. Strong leaders recognize the gifts of mentors and realize when it is time to reciprocate and help others find their ways.
The craft of losing is a tricky one. At one point I realized that, as a public youth services librarian, I would never be the type of children’s librarian I emulated: I had to lose my vision of being a performer and regaling assemblies of children with tales of magic and wonder because, gosh darn it, I was just too uncomfortable and not very good at it. In that loss I found success. I discovered that I am most comfortable connecting with colleagues to create services and programs that allow others to shine, thrive, and succeed. Leaders learn that loss is necessary and that strength is found in the evaporation of ego, presumption, and fear.
What have you lost? What have you found?