The tax you pay is having the followers you lead doubt your leadership abilities.

The tax you pay is having your motives questioned around taking action, resolving a conflict, or moving in a different direction than the one you were moving in before.

The tax you pay is patiently listening to well-meaning lectures from caring parties who don’t know all of the facts on the ground.

The tax you pay is ignoring or avoiding hard truths now, to get buy-in on hard decisions later.

The tax that you pay is showing up to a conflict situation and actively listening to the other party’s feedback when it’s off-base, untrue, or coming from a place of emotional hurt.

The act of being patient, listening thoughtfully, internalizing quietly, holding your reactions inside until they can become strategic responses; these are all part of the tax that you pay in order to move through a world filled with other people whose ideas, opinions, and emotions you may find disagreeable.

No one likes paying taxes to the government.

No one likes paying taxes to other people in order to preserve decorum, civility, or to build a polite society.

But just as rendering unto Caesar is distasteful—but necessary—rendering unto society, culture, and other people is necessary in order to preserve the thin veneer of culture that has taken centuries to build.

Jesan Sorrells

Jesan Sorrells

Jesan Sorrells is the CEO and Founder of Human Services Consulting and Training and leads on HSCT's flagship product, LeadingKeys. Contact him directly at