Owning and leading an organization is a forging process. The outside forces imposed on us daily through the challenges we face have the ability to refine us, to make us stronger, better humans.
When I work with business owners, nearly all want to leave the forging process as soon as possible. They strive to fight to a clearing and then find the success they dream of, believing the forging process is their enemy. At times we all miss the lessons that life is attempting to teach us. However, it truly is an honor live in the forging process, let me tell you why.
Bob Kramer is a blacksmith who makes some of the most expensive kitchen knives in the world. He starts with meteorites which are very rare and expensive raw materials.
The star stones are melted in a crucible, removing the dross to purify the metal, then pours it into metal blocks. These blocks go through a process whereby they are heated to a temperature that makes them maluable, then crushed in a large hydraulic press to compress them. This forging process is repeated until the strength desired is achieved, and then the knife is cut from the metal.
It is a powerful metaphor for the entrepreneur, the pastor, the founder of a charity. This is what life is doing to you, forming you as your form your organization. You are priceless raw material, you are one of one for eternity. But raw material must be formed and molded regardless of its rarity, if it is to be useful and effective.
The hardships you face when building and scaling an organization become your forging process. They are the tools which life uses to mold you. The forging process starts with a crucible to purify the metal. Consider this definition:
A situation of severe trial, in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.
The objective of the forging process, starting with the crucible is to create the next version of you. A stronger better version.
The forging process that follows is made up of two elements that are repeated until the material is deemed “forged.” Those elements are heat and pressure.
Heat makes metal malleable, pliable, moldable. The heat you have to face daily has this intention for you.
Heat is followed by pressure. The pressure of crisis, large and small, caused both by our doing, and by others, or simply from circumstance, impending or invisible when it arrives, forms us with intention.
There are two things the Divine is attempting to communicate to you today:
1 Life is attempting to teach you lessons that you may not be aware of.
There is a huge difference between personal growth and business success. When we only focus on how to grow and scale the organization, we lose the personal growth opportunities that come from the forging process.
I have never seen an organization outgrow it’s leader and sustain that growth. The truth is that personal growth often precedes vocational success and organizational growth.
As we become introspective during hardship, we can identify and remove the dross that holds us back from growth.
2 The question is, what type of person will you allow the forging process to shape you into?
Will you be a person of higher capacity, more discerning, empathetic, a better listener, a better communicator, higher resilience, adaptable? What is the next version of you and how will that person shape and lead the organization?
Think of it as a software update for human mapping. If I skip the updates on my MacBook, eventually it becomes irrelevant and will not integrate with other applications. The forging process holds your personal software updates.
Take a minute to ask yourself these questions and reflect:
1 What have been some of the most difficult challenges your organization faced this year and what growth opportunities were hidden in those challenges for you?
2 What were your biggest work related failures this year? How must you change and evolve to avoid those in the future?
3 Regarding your growth plans, reflect on what type of person they will require you to become.
As you evaluate your life and the ever evolving challenges you face, don’t just look for a solution, ask yourself “how can these events help me grow and mold me into who I want to become?”