Looking back on the past two and a half to three months, I realize that being a leadership consultant is extremely similar to riding a roller coaster. You may giggle at this comparison but just hear me out…
Waiting in long lines to get onto a roller coaster.
Depending on the ride, the line is either extremely slow or very quick. It seems that the rides that scare you the most have the quicker lines. This is the same for leadership consultants and the months leading up to getting on the road. To me, I feel like I blinked and training was over. Do not get me wrong, I was extremely excited to head off on my first visit, but at the same time I was a little scared of the outcome of the ride.
Finally arriving to the roller coaster, you sit in the cart and strap yourself in. Personally, I have always tugged on the seat belt to ensure that I am safely secured. Much like the tug for reassurance, when an LC packs up for that first visit, we make sure that we have all materials that will ensure that we are strapped up for success. Not only do these materials include our laptops, binders and Sigma Kappa related materials but also materials that help us feel a sense of safety when the ride gets tough like pictures of our family and friends, a Bible or inspirational book of quotes, or any sentimental item that motivates us through the tougher days. These items are much like a seat belt, they hold us in when we fill like we are slipping out.
The ride before the peak.
As a roller coaster slowly makes its way to the top, I always look back every so often to see how far we are from where we started. The closer the ride gets to the top, the more anxious and excited I get just like I have with each visit as an LC. After each visit or meeting whether it be with the F/SA, an officer, an executive council, or even a chapter, I always look back to see where I started to not only give me a sense of accomplishment but to prepare me even more for the next ride ahead.
Most of all, enjoying the ride.
When a roller coaster makes the first plunge, it is a complete adrenaline rush much like walking into a chapter house for the first time. After that first sense of anxiety, the rest of the ride is full of excitement through all of the ups and downs – more ups than downs, of course. As the ride may seem to slow down, it surprises you with sudden changes turning your world upside down much like being a LC. The number one thing that I have learned from this job (more of an opportunity than a job) is that each journey is unpredictable, taking you in all different directions, It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone. Even when the ride gets a little bumpy or scary, I have learned to enjoy and appreciate every second of it because before you know it, the ride is over and you are wishing to do it again.
Being a leadership consultant has pushed me far outside of my comfort zone but with the help of my personal materials (my Bible, inspirational quotes, many pictures of family and friends, etc.), I seem to find a way to feel balanced allowing me to enjoy every second of the ride.