How brokenness can make you more effective

I read the story below several years ago and really struggled with it…

A young woman sang a solo in front of a large audience. Her vocal technique was splendid, her intonation excellent, her range significant.

Coincidentally, the man who had written the piece of music she sang was sitting in the audience. When the young woman finished, the person sitting beside the composer leaned over and said, “Well, what do you think of her?”

Softly the composer responded, “She will be really great when something happens to break her heart.” ~ C. Swindoll


My heart pushed back  ~ “Why does something have to break your heart before you become really great?”  

Part of my brain argued with the thought and then shut down.

…A few years later, I walked through the most significant struggle in my life…

It was a three-year period of time that was filled with lies, loss, change, grieving, and an almost incapacitating confusion that hit hardest at night.

When morning would come, I would struggle to get up, and go to work.   And although my drive and intensity was not the same, I still managed to serve my employer well, and then collapse at the end of the day.

When I finally began to emerge from that struggle, I ‘d been altered into a strange mix of being both softer and stronger.  

  • Today I cry easier, I experience everything at a deeper level and at the same time I have more courage, deeper insights and a strength that I never imagined. (I share more about this season in my life, and a profound discovery in a new book called Energize Your Leadership.)  

If there is someone on your team that experiencing an extremely painful season in their lives, don’t assume they can’t or won’t contribute now or ever again.

  • My employer loved what I created during that time, even though I wasn’t at my best.
  • There are diamonds all over our world that are waiting for someone to see beyond their rough exteriors.  (Click here to read more.)
  • Serving others is one of the best things they can do as they work through their own struggles.

What if committing an act of leadership could be as simple as committing an act of kindness? @SusanMazza

If you are THE ONE in the midst of a season that is breaking you, then be encouraged.

You will emerge softer, and stronger and wiser.  (Click here to read more.)

I wrote this article last week, this morning this quote came across my Facebook feed.

Be really great, embrace the broken places in your life and leverage those learnings to serve others.

Brokenness and Leadership

Image Credit:  Ace Concierge



President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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5 thoughts on “How brokenness can make you more effective

  1. I suppose the heart breaks that I’ve experienced in life have played no small role in making me the person I am today and giving me the compassion and strength to serve the people I do in the kind of ministry that I do. I am deeply driven to reach out to hurting and broken people who’ve known more than their fair share of rejection and sorrow in life, but I think that right now is perhaps my greatest challenge as I am figuring out how to best be there for my wife who is fighting cancer and asking God if walking through this will somehow make us better people. I suppose it will, but it also makes everything else I’ve struggled with in life seem small. None the less, I am doing my best to believe that good will come from it, not just for us but also for others, who perhaps can be helped in some way by our going through this difficult time. I do know that all the adversity that I have faced in life so far has made me a more loving and stronger person, so I have no reason to believe this should end up being any different. At least I hope not. 🙂

    • Wow Mike! I didn’t know about Martha until I read this. Praying for all of you! …And without a doubt your pain has resulted in compassion and strength for others. Have you ever read Max Lucado’s An Angel’s Story? It’s a short read, but filled with great reminders about how God uses everything for our good and his glory!