I know that the title seems a little strange but it’s also why you decided to check out this blog right? Anyway, I had the honor and the privilege of hearing former NBA great, Stephen Bardo speak about being in the locker room with his fellow teammates talking about pressure. The phrase in the locker room was that “pressure bursts pipes”. In other words, if you allow the pressure of playing in the NBA, the wild and crazy fans, and the tough coaches get to you…. you’ll potentially fold and wash out. Ultimately, you have two choices. You’ll either succumb to the pressures of the NBA, or you will rise above it and allow it to make you stronger and better than you were before. We’ve seen this time and time again in professional sports. The ones that wash out are the ones we call, a “bust”. Well, it’s no different for the rest of us who aren’t athletes. Pressure does not discriminate and it doesn’t care who you are. Everyone will encounter some type of pressure in their lives regardless of if it’s on your job, in your marriage, your friendships, etc.
A diamond is a result of three things: heat, pressure and raw product. If any one of these are not there, you will not receive the outcome (diamond) you desired. Over a period of time the minerals below ground are under intense heat and pressure and eventually infuse and form what we call diamonds. As leaders we’ll also go through extreme pressures and heat in order to prove how great a leader we are.
See pressure, unfortunately is a part of life that we can’t avoid. The key is learning how to deal with it and persevere. Pressure has the ability to force you to sharpen your awareness or cause you to become overwhelmed. It gives you the ability to show everyone including yourself what you’re made of. It pushes you to another level but it’s up to you how it will affect you. For example, take a piece of coal for instance. With tons of pressure and over a period of time, it will transform into a beautiful diamond. On the other hand, when there’s enough pressure in your pipes…. they will eventually burst under the right circumstances. Bottom line, you need to learn how to deal with pressure and figure out a way to make it work in your favor. When you do, you’ll come out shining like a diamond because of all the growth, experience, knowledge and insight you’ve gained under that pressure.
Take some time today to think about where you are in your life and career and determine if you are a busted pipe or an up and coming diamond. Whatever you give the most power to will grow. Will you give in to the pressures of life and let it take you down? Maybe you will persevere and overcome the pressures and become the diamond you are meant to be. Great leaders are called just that because of their consistency and ability to perform under duress, not to mention their ability to rally the team around them. The choice is yours and the ball is in your court. What are you?
Remember…………Great leadership = great results……….How are you leading?”
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