Back in the day, I used to run track. I’m not going to go into if I was any good or not because that’s really not the point. I used to run hurdles, the open 400 and the 4 x 4 relay. I was either the 3rd or anchor leg (can’t remember but whichever leg makes me sound fast, think of that one). Although I really didn’t enjoy running the open 400, I did enjoy the relay.
There was something about the team counting on one another to win that motivated me to do my absolute best even if I was dog tired at the 250 mark. There were members of my 4×4 team that was fast enough to run the entire mile ALONE and do well. But the idea of a relay is to pass the baton to the next person. This whole idea made me think about my role as a leader.
There was something about the team counting on one another to win that motivated me to do my absolute best…
In my life so far, I have started a business and a nonprofit. I’ve also taken up leadership roles in my community. Many doors have opened up for me and I’m super humbled and grateful. The more birthdays I encounter (because I refuse to say “older” cause I ain’t OLD) I think about the baton in my hand. Do I really want to be the one to run this entire race? Is it meant for me to carry my idea, business, or nonprofit to the finish line? Or is there someone else to pass the baton off to? I will admit, handing off something that I started or am in charge of isn’t easy. That means relinquishing some type of control. That means giving up a title. That means sharing the glory (hello EGO). You know what else it means? It means that someone else can step into their calling. It means that someone else can take my vision further than I ever could.
Is it meant for me to carry my idea, business, or nonprofit to the finish line?
I watch politics a lot. And you know what bubbles my blood? When I see these OLD men (and sometimes women) sitting in seats that they should have given up a long time ago. Nothing at all against the elders of our time BUT there’s something to be said about acknowledging when our time has come to pass the baton. There’s another leg of the race to be run and I (nor YOU) can’t do it alone. This isn’t an open sprint girl. If you are a leader (and I say you are whether you have that title or not), look around you. Perhaps it’s your daughter or son. Perhaps its that one young lady who follows you on social media and loves all of your posts. Or maybe you have to intentionally seek after the one to replace you by offering mentorship. There might be another race ahead of you that you cannot start before you finish this one. You know what happens when the hand-off isn’t complete in a relay? It jacks up the entire race.
Don’t be that bottleneck in the race. Trust the process of letting go. When you let go, you are opening your hands for something greater and you are also opening the door for those who are coming after you. Don’t see the one who you are supposed to run with as someone you should run from. They are not your competition. Encourage them to meet you and cheer them on when they run ahead of you. Are you ready to pass the baton?