The Rub: What I Learned About My Values & More


Leading is not for wimps! As a leader, you are forced to learn and grow if you wish to lead successfully and sometimes that’s uncomfortable…and expected.

I’ve also experienced an uncomfortable place as a leader that was of a different variety. In the moment, I wasn’t able to put my finger on the exact issue, but the rub was real!

I remember having a similar experience with a favorite blouse. It was literally a pain in the neck! Every time I wore that super cute blouse there was much adjusting and tugging in an attempt to get comfortable, but nothing seemed to bring relief. I tried cutting the tag out of the blouse, but the tiny itty bit of tag that remained continued to irritate my neck.

Whenever I wore that blouse I regretted it. A few hours in and I couldn’t wait to change clothes! It made it tough to focus on anything else and it always left a mark! Ouch! The only way to be free of “the rub” was to ditch the blouse. It’s hard to let go of a favorite blouse!

Maybe I’m extra sensitive, but some tags have a way of rubbing you raw! It left me wishing that the maker of my blouse had gone tagless too! Remember the “go tagless” campaign back in 2002 that Hanes launched? I think it was a brilliant idea!

Eventually, I had to get rid of the blouse!

I’ve experienced irritating rubs as a leader; situations that were mighty uncomfortable! Because I loved the people I served, I tried a variety of ways to eliminate the rub in those roles just like I did with my blouse with the same results. The rub was still there. In hindsight, ditching the leadership role like I ditched the blouse would have been best.

The good news: God always has valuable lessons for me. Here are three lessons I learned from my tag-like leadership role:

Lesson #1:

Anything that is in conflict with my values will inevitably create a rub.

My values are unique to me. I value…

    • Relationships (with God, family, and friends)
    • Communication
    • Stewardship (using my time, money. & energy well especially in the area of health, learning, relationships)
    • Creativity
    • Practicality

My values drive my priorities and my choices, just like your unique values will drive yours.

There are no “right” values. God made me an original, just like He made you. As long as your values aren’t in conflict with God’s ways, the possibilities are endless.

As I live and lead with my values, those around me will be influenced by me. And it’s crazy, but more often than not, the influencing moments happen when I don’t even realize it!

Looping back to the Hanes company, they made the decision to go “tagless” because they wanted to stay true to what they value: providing comfort, and to continue to thrive financially. Going “tagless” served them well! And “tagless” makes me happy too!

Lesson #2:

If my values are at odds, I must take action.

If I feel the rub, I need to be proactive. It doesn’t hurt to communicate my values, the rub, and explore better ways of working together. It may be possible to come to a creative solution where my values are still honored.

If that process doesn’t alleviate “the rub” then it’s time for me to make a change. Not because I’m a failure, or I’m giving up, but because of “the rub.” Moving on not only benefits me, but it will also make room for someone else who is a better fit! It might even motivate those behind to make appropriate adjustments that will make for a better team or organization.

Now when I purchase a blouse, I make sure that the tag is not one that’s going to bother me. These days I’m more preemptive. When opportunities present themselves, I clearly communicate my values up front. Then there is less confusion and I know if the opportunity is a good fit for me and possibly avoid potential rubs.

Lesson #3:

I can’t change circumstances or people – I can only change me.

That seems pretty obvious, yet it’s easy to slip into expecting others to switch up their values to accommodate mine or to conduct themselves in ways that work better for me. If the rub is still there, I need to focus on what I can change, and sometimes it means moving on.

Leaving a role isn’t easy – yet nothing lasts forever, right? I know from experience that with the right heart and attitude, God leads me to healthier more satisfying options; something that utilizes my skills and abilities and taps into my passion.

Because I can only change me, it’s critical that I be open to the possibility that there are ways I need to grow or to prepare for what’s next. It never hurts to explore…

    • How is my Fear Monster at work in this situation?
    • How can I operate more out of who God created me to BE?
    • What skills need improvement – areas like communication, time management, self-care, etc.?
    • What conversations have I been avoiding that might ease the rub?
    • Who can give me honest feedback about how others are experiencing me at work (or in life)?
    • What is God saying to me about this situation?

The beauty in “the rub” is that it is a chance to expand yourself as a leader. And “rubs” don’t just happen at work – they pop up in all areas of life.

Where are you feeling “the rub” personally or professionally?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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