Leading From Your Core

When I was 19, a doctor told me I had the flexibility of an old man. That was part puzzling, part hilarious. Over the years, I've watched the rehab community develop in their approach to what it means to strengthen your core. Some thinking has even moved from working your abs to actually considering your core to be more of your back and hamstrings than anything.  

In leadership, we like to lead from a core place of comfort and what we know. Dan Allender challenged my thinking about our true core strength.

"Core strength is like the hub of our strength, and it is far deeper than our stomach muscles. Therefore, core strength isn’t gained by doing a few or a thousand crunches; instead it grows to the degree we work at creating disequilibrium while we exercise. A set of push-ups now includes holding a small ball in one’s hand while going down, and while coming back up rolling the ball to the other hand.  Disequilibrium requires more core strength in order to return the body to balance. The first set of push-ups to build core strength feels like one is balancing on a rocking deck of a wave-swept boat. It feels uncomfortable and awkward. But in time the rhythm of disequilibrium intensifies our capacity to find a new sense of balance and strength. Our attempt to not feel off guard actually leads to greater self-absorption and the foolish conviction that we can control the world. True core strength is willing to feel helpless and disturbed, and it results in a self-disciplined and passionate life rather than in a controlling life that fears what may surprisingly arise.”  

So, are we willing to allow things to enter our daily calendar that cause disequilibrium? Are we willing to be caught off guard? Are we at a place where we can take things on that might feel uncomfortable and awkward, so that we might find greater strength?