Practice fields for life
In leadership theory over the years, there has been two broad schools of thought on how leadership is developed. There is the “great man” theory, and in its time, it was meant as “man,” that suggested that there may be a leadership gene — that some people are just naturally gifted to be in charge. But then there is another school of thought that suggests that leadership style and abilities emerge from experience – from constant leaning. We work, we experiment, we make mistakes, we learn, we make adjustments, and we work some more. All in the hopes of making a contribution to the common good of the community. I subscribe to this second theory.
I call this kind of learning “practice fields for life.” Similar to practicing for a sport, we introduce practice fields into our personal and professional development. A practice field is simply developing proficiency in a skill or character improvement by repeated exercise in or performance of an activity in a semi-simulated environment. In a practice field, we purposely introduce challenge, and by association suffering, into our lives because we understand that growth happens outside of our comfort zones. God places the best things in life on the other side of fear.
When I keep pushing myself, when I figure out ways of getting though the low moments in life, I find that I gain the most satisfaction. Running long distances certainly does not have to be your journey. But can we agree on the benefit of each of us finding a practice field for life, something that takes us outside of our comfort zone. And in doing so, we find a world of rewards on the other side of our discomfort that enables us to build up a reservoir of resiliency to take us through the difficult moments in life. This run is most certainly a practice field for me.
Today Terry Yoder joined me. He will be biking with me for two days. I also had the nice surprise of David Miller joining me for about 10 miles. Both really helped to make the time pass. So far my body is holding up well. No major blisters or injuries. Good chance that may change in the next several days.