Leading Through Impossibility

A leaders job is to provide the vision, tools, and encouragement necessary to make the impossible possible. When faced with a goal or a task that seems impossible, it is a leader’s job to see past all of the obstacles, all of the reasons it cannot be done, and to provide the vision necessary for others to see optimistically into the future. A leader shares his or her vision of success with others so that they, too, believe that success is possible. A leader gives hope where there was none before. A leader does not use a lack of time, resources, or preparation as an excuse to fail because a leader sets his or her team up for success in spite of limitations, restrictions, or setbacks. A leader does not say that his or her team is not ready for a mission. A leader ensures that they are. It is exactly the moments of impossibility, of hopelessness, and of inevitable defeat that define a leader, for it it is in these moments that leadership manifests.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Artwork by Ana, except where otherwise noted

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