Dec. 1, 2020

Ep180: The Value of Suffering

Ep180: The Value of Suffering

If you’ve ever seen a debate about student loan forgiveness, then you’ve heard some version of, “I had to pay my loan back, so should they.” But at what point does “fairness” become lack of leadership, and focusing on individuals cripple a...


If you’ve ever seen a debate about student loan forgiveness, then you’ve heard some version of, “I had to pay my loan back, so should they.” But at what point does “fairness” become lack of leadership, and focusing on individuals cripple a system?

Why is that important for business? 

To be successful, companies have to be nimble and not beholden to the past. At the same time, we have to be careful not to blithely dismiss or alienate those who have concerns – is there merit in the process (like a chick needing the struggle of hatching to develop) or is it merely an issue of “I suffered, so should you.” 

If there is an opportunity to fix a systemic issue in your business that might be holding people back from exceling, personal experiences shouldn’t trump the needs of the company. It is the responsibility of a leader to help people grow in how they think about an organization. If senior people are too side-tracked by things remaining the same as they experienced, it is a signal that you have work to do. You will need to work to help your team build their muscle of seeing from an organizational wide perspective instead of as an individual contributor.

If you or someone on your team thinks people need grit or struggle to be better at their jobs, it’s worth asking: “is there a better way to build grit?”

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