September 01, 2010 A little paperback called Leading on Empty (by Wayne Cordeiro) has recently come to my attention. The author and publisher (Bethany House) give permission to quote small portions in written reviews, so I'm sharing a few lines.
"I used to be like a muscle car without full traction, complete with spinning tires and flying gravel. I would fishtail from side to side, burning rubber in great clouds, and with some spectacle, I would make forward progress.
"But I am finding that I can move forward at the same pace if I slow down in order to gain full traction—and use that traction to proceed without fishtailing, effectively saving energy and minimizing wasted motion. I don't make as much of a spectacle as I used to, but I think I can do without that."
Cordeiro, a much sought-after motivational speaker, was out running prior to giving a speech at a conference. That was his custom—the running. The adrenaline geared him up, energized him. The way he tells it, one minute he was running—the next minute he was sitting on the curb, bawling uncontrollably. Blindsided, he came to the realization that he had reached a crisis in his leadership and was trying to lead on an empty tank.
After an anxiety attack, which also surprised him and left him thinking he was probably having a heart attack or something, he sought help.
At one point in the book, he quotes from Dr. Archibald D. Hart's The Hidden Law Between Adrenaline and Stress: "Adrenaline arousal can be compared to revving up a car engine, then leaving it to idle at high speed."
Cadeiro had mined so much wisdom from the pain through which he had gone that he wanted to share. As someone whose vocation is all about giving, he now knows how futile it was to try to keep on giving without being intentional about refueling. If you're at a place where you know what he's talking about, find the book. You'll be glad you did!
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Willene Tanis is a longtime resident of the Imlay City area and an active volunteer in the community. Many readers find her 'Perspectives' column to universal and uplifting.