Magic in The Room Podcast #1 – Why Is This So Hard?

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Magic is found in every room where people connect over a shared purpose. In this weekly podcast, Luke Freeman, Hannah Bratterud, and Chris Province explore the role of purpose, courage, mindset, and culture in every leader’s quest for transformational performance.

In the opening episode, we discuss why the “soft” stuff of leadership is the “hard” stuff: human dynamics are incredibly complex. Anytime we are in a role where we work with people in some capacity, it gets hard. This episode dives into the challenge and possible solutions to this leadership quandary.

Episode 1: Why Is This So Hard?

Most leaders we have spoken to have dared to ask the question, why is this so hard? We are all very unpredictable creatures ruled by so many unique variables. Everyone has different emotions and motivations that drive their behavior. So, maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised why leadership can feel so challenging.

Edwin Friedman often speaks about the need to be courageous when being a leader. In his book,  Failure of Nerve, Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, he states the tendency of organizations to adapt to immaturity and to sabotage strength is so often characteristic of chronically anxious systems.

When leaders try to pull any institution out of regression, they are often called cruel, autocratic, heartless, hard-hearted, unfeeling, uncooperative, selfish, and cold. But Friedman argues that when this happens, there’s a good chance you’re going in the right direction.

It’s encouraging to understand that sometimes, this is just how it works. We discuss how it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the wrong path when you’re facing that resistance. That’s just the way it is sometimes. Maybe it’s supposed to be hard because we have to go through the process to learn.

At a certain age, when we achieve a certain amount of experience and success, it’s easy to think you should arrive and deserve it. But that’s not reality. One of the reasons why we are excited about doing this podcast is we want people to know that leadership is a journey, not a destination.

We all find ourselves saying, why is this so hard? Maybe we should be asking, why shouldn’t leadership be hard. In this opening episode, we also talk about the underlying assumption that as leaders, we’re all evolving and driving towards the change that we want to facilitate.

Hannah shares how we don’t find the purpose in our “Why” until we can connect the dots. But we can’t connect those dots until we can look back at our experiences and hard and challenging times. Only then can we start to connect the dots of when we were the best version of our selves. These moments of clarity are what helps us do more of the same.

After listening to our first episode, we invite you to share your leadership stories and experiences with us by commenting below.

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