Are you durable?

Yesterday I was bit by a German Shepherd while on my weekend run. I’m fine. It barely got me as the combination of the small woman trying to hold the leash and my reflexive shuffle step kept us mostly separated. Still felt the teeth (and the adrenaline).

I didn’t stop running.

It wasn’t a big deal. No blood.

After I got over the irritation of small people who can’t control their big dogs, my mind settled on another concept.


[Cut to] There is a new billboard ad I saw on my way to work the other day. It’s for an injury lawyer. If you get hurt, he will get you money. The sub text of the ad is the counterbalance to getting hurt is compensation.

It isn’t.

Life is a contact sport. You will get hurt. Physically. Emotionally. Financially.

The real question is: can you take a hit? Are you durable?

Do you have enough float to go six months without a check?

Can you fall off your bike and bleed as you pedal home?

Can you get fired and leave without embarrassing yourself? (Forget the goldfish, Jerry).

These are all hits. And these are the costs of having a daily opportunity to do something great. Durability means we can keep forging ahead on the work that matters despite the hits. We don’t have time to get derailed by every hit.

Keep going.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on September 9, 2019

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