More Love

Growing Pains

Mar 29, 2021

I took a deep breath and savored the salty morning air as I neared the end of my historic bike ride.

After more than 6 hours, my tired legs pedaled more out of habit than conscious effort.

My bike computer’s readout confirmed my achievement—I had just completed my first-ever “century ride” of 100 miles.

Years of cycling taught me the difference between bad pain and good pain:

⚡ Bad pain shows up in your joints—it happens when your bike isn’t configured to fit your proper “geometry” or when your technique or posture is lacking.

⚡ Good pain shows up in your muscles and lungs—it happens when you’re working hard, growing, and developing strength and endurance.

Bad pain must be addressed.
Good pain must be accepted.

The same is true when it comes to employee experience and engagement.

A certain amount of discomfort is inevitable and even necessary in a dynamic work environment.

💪 Good pain shows up with stretch goals, new and improved ways of collaborating, or short bursts of intense effort.

🚑 Bad pain shows up when there’s misalignment of objectives, poor leadership, or mistrust.

Not all pain is the same—resist the urge to explain away what you should address or to adjudicate what you should accept.