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Leader: Sometimes being a great leader means taking stock of the potential consequences of charging forward on a quest and saying, “Enough. It’s time to turn back.”

This past weekend I hiked to Lake Agnes, a gorgeous alpine lake in State Forest State Park in northern Colorado. While my family was fishing (I do not fish), I proceeded to hike with my pup Ronan around the lake.

The trail on the east side of the lake was forest floor with a bit of rock scrambling. Easy peasy.

The trail on the west side of the lake was visible, but went through a rock slide field.

I didn’t have my trekking poles. My dog did not have booties. I wasn’t carrying my FidoPro dog evac harness. (Yes, it’s a thing. Colorado company, natch.)

As much as I wanted to complete the hike, I knew that the risks–a sprained ankle for me, and especially a cut paw or broken ankle for my pup–weren’t worth it. 

I stopped halfway around, took in the gorgeous view, appreciated the opportunity to experience it, and then headed back the way I came.

While goal achievement is a driving factor for me, I knew when to call it, when the risks were too high, especially for my “team.”

As leaders, sometimes the goal achievement just isn’t worth the consequences, especially when those consequences are on the health and well-being of the teams we lead.

Sometimes, being a leader means you look at the route ahead, appreciate and learn from how far you’ve come, set your ego aside, and have the courage to say “Enough.”

I’d love to hear your stories: When have you stopped short of a goal in the best interest of yourself or your team?

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