In sickness and in health
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be a guest at my cousin's wedding. Because it was an outside wedding and it was windy, I couldn't hear everything. Still, I'm pretty confident that there would have been a line in the vows about "in sickness and in health". The idea that the couple would be there for each other in good times and in bad.
It reminded me of a quote from Jerry Seinfeld...
"I think the best part of a relationship is when you're sick. And the best part of being sick is when you're in a relationship. And if I was to get married, you know all those vows; for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, all I need is the sickness. That, to me, is the most important one. Do you take this man in sickness? That's the only time I need somebody there. Rest of the time, go out, have a ball, do whatever you want, but if I get the sniffles, you better be there."
I love a lot of Seinfeld's observations on life. This one is true in many domains. For example, my daughter was off school sick earlier this week - she needed more attention and support then than other times. It's part of the deal for leaders as well. I read a Brene Brown quote recently where she tweeted...
"Grateful for people who keep showing up. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard."
Not sure how often people link Brene Brown and Seinfeld, but it seems like they are saying similar things. Much like Seinfeld says that the best part of being sick is being in a relationship, Brene Brown is suggesting that perhaps the best part of having a rubbish time at work is having a leader that will be there with you and for you during those times. As a senior leader this might look like leaders in your team that don't shirk their responsibilities during tough times. As a leader, if you can be consistently showing up - especially when it's hard - then that is when those that you work with will feel your value the most.
Last time I wrote about how leading was hard. This week is a reflection that when leading is hard, it's often the times when it's most valuable.
A couple of questions for you to consider:
Has someone ever supported you in a time of need? What do you remember about that time and that person?
Will you be ready for the next time you are required "in sickness"?