Comfortable being uncomfortable

So, I’ve got this client (lots of my stories start this way)…

Well-run construction company, with a pretty darn solid management and executive staff. Recently, we promoted a mid-level manager to an executive level.

Big shift, major change.

I had worked with this new executive in the past; he was a participant in one of our leadership development efforts, and though he brought a lot to the table, I like to think those development efforts played some part in his promotion (a little shameless self-promotion there). Back to the story…

Anyway, this promotion thrust this new executive into a role far different from his previous position. Instead of functional, project management, he was now accountable for sales, a geographic P&L, and general management of a business unit.

Again, way different from his prior role.

In a conversation with him last recently, he said one of the most difficult points of the transition is the discomfort in knowing that he must now rely on others to accomplish anything and everything. In his prior life, he could personally control most of his world, and now, he was experiencing the discomfort we all face when our level of personal “control” is diminished.

Then, however, this guy said something that I thought was incredibly profound. He said, “I’m starting to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Think about that. In this crazy world, with our way-too-hectic jobs and never-ending responsibilities, he realized that there were things he just couldn’t control, and that his ability to influence would need to carry the day.

He simply became comfortable being uncomfortable.

And that’s not a bad idea for many of us…


Kevin Berchelmann

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