“Fatigue is the price of leadership. Mediocrity is the result of never getting tired.”

– Oswald Sanders

Leadership is a mountain, towering, demanding. It begs you to climb higher, to reach for the peak. Fatigue is the footprints you leave behind. Each heavy step, each short breath, is an affirmation of your resolve. As you ascend, every fiber of your being screams in protest, yet you push on. The sting of fatigue is a badge of honor, a testament to your pursuit of the summit. It’s the ink of the story you’re writing, a tale of pushing limits and redefining boundaries.

Mediocrity, meanwhile, sits comfortably at base camp. It’s the easy tent pitched on level ground, where challenges are few and comforts are many. It refuses to sweat, to ache. It prefers the warmth of the familiar over the chill of the unknown. Yet in its refusal to exert, to tire, mediocrity stagnates. It remains within its boundaries, comfortable but confined, never stretching, never reaching for new heights.

So, the contrast sharpens. Leadership and fatigue are intertwined, a dance of growth on a stage of struggle. The fatigue you feel is not an enemy, but a teacher. It’s a mirror reflecting your efforts, your growth. Every sleepless night, every decision wrestled with, are the building blocks of a stronger, more resilient you. Fatigue becomes a compass, directing you towards self-improvement, towards the potential waiting to be unlocked.

Mediocrity, however, is the resignation to the status quo. It’s the still water in the pool of comfort. It chooses the lull of ease over the growth spurts of challenge. It courts rest, shunning the sweet ache of effort. It whispers a lullaby of satisfaction, but in that refrain lies the hollowness of unrealized potential, the void of never knowing the high of improvement, the thrill of surpassing oneself.

In this journey of existence, fatigue, leadership, and mediocrity set the stage, offering a choice. Embrace leadership, welcome fatigue, and unlock a version of yourself that outshines yesterday. Or settle in mediocrity, deny fatigue, and stay within the same old boundaries.

The decision is yours. But know this: true growth is a conversation with fatigue, a dialogue that propels leaders to reach for the peaks they once thought unreachable.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.