The vice president of people operations at Google (Laszlo Bock) had something particularly potent to say in an interview with the New York Times.
…when faced with a problem and you’re a member of a team, do you, at the appropriate time, step in and lead. And just as critically, do you step back and stop leading, do you let someone else? Because what’s critical to be an effective leader in this environment is you have to be willing to relinquish power
I know that at times I feel as though the direction of my family is up to me alone. The burden is on me, if you will, and I am fully responsible for the success and/or failure of it.
This is a common mistake that leaders make, especially us husbands, and while I believe there is a grain of truth in it, it’s something that deserves closer consideration.
Husbands should have the discernment to know when to lead; to take that step of confidence and show your family the way. Not through brute force, mind you, but through example.
On the flip-side, however, a husband should have the integrity to realize that not every situation will be solved by his own hand, but that at times the touch of the wife is what is needed in the moment.
Leadership, as Bock so brilliantly suggests, is about knowing what time is appropriate for which action, and I’m convinced that this knowledge is not an automatic result. Such wisdom only comes through times of quiet solitude, and acceptance of God’s direction.
I have a hard time with this.
It’s normal for me to feel the need to be on top of everything in my family. Heck, I even feel that need in environment beyond the family, and not always to my benefit! But there’s an unneeded amount of pressure placed on oneself when this is the default response.
It drags you down when you fail, because you haven’t allowed the beauty of companionship to flood your marriage. Instead, it’s become a burden that you carry by yourself. At the moment of failure, you’ve removed the very help that was designed to be with you in the first place.
Sometimes I need help, and it’s good to remember that I’m not alone.