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Review of The Catalyst Leader

When you are living out your calling, your work will be better, and you will naturally work harder ~ Brad Lomenick

One of the deacons at church actually introduced this book to me with the condition that I needed to pass it one when I was done reading it.  After this goal is complete, I will pass it on to the rest of my Mpact team so we can discuss what we need to do to improve our clubs and grow membership.  After the meeting we had today, I definitely see we need to make some changes.

The eight essentials listed in the book are

  1. Called: Find your uniqueness
  2. Authentic: Unleash the real you
  3. Passionate: Live in pursuit of God
  4. Capable: Make excellence nonnegotiable
  5. Courageous: Prepare to jump
  6. Principled: Anchor in your convictions
  7. Hopeful: Build towards a better tomorrow
  8. Collaborative: Draw power from partners

As you can see, I have lots of notes in this book.  I think the best plan of action will be to review two chapters each week

Called

“Be focused and intentional about celebrating others.”  Our church went through an interesting time a few months ago.  Really long story short, it has been a mess.  One of the greatest things that makes me sad is how we stopped celebrating the good that was happening in the lives of other people.  For some, that mean joining a new church that had the programs they needed to continue growing.  For some, it meant taking a break or a step back from all the service they were doing.  For others, it meant taking on more responsibilities.  We didn’t congratulate each other or get excited for the changes God was initiating.  One thing I felt called to do was celebrate the girls each month, and the other Mpact leaders agreed.  We pick one member from each of the clubs to celebrate for their attitude, their growth, and their ability to make an impact for good in their club.  Next year we have already discussed adding birthday gifts and a monthly spotlight.

Writing a calling statement is something that really stuck out to me.  The proposed 6 Questions to ask yourself as you prepare to write a calling statement are as follows:

  1. What are your passions and gifts?
  2. What would you work on or do for free?
  3. What energized you as a child?  Does it still animate you?
  4. If you could do anything and take a pay cut, what would it be?
  5. What barriers are preventing you from pursuing your true calling?  How can you begin to remove those?
  6. How can you change your current role to better engage your gifts and talents where you are now?

Writing, dancing, teaching, and reading have all been things I’ve enjoyed doing.  I would do all of them for free, and yes, they all still animate me.  The barriers question has come up several times in the past three months — different people, different places, different contexts.  It’s one that I have got to sit down and face in the next week.

Higher calling matters.  When you care so deeply about the why — why you’re doing what you’re doing — then and only then are you operating in a way that allows you to overcome the obstacles ~ Dave Ramsey

He who has a Why can bear any How ~ Viktor Frankl

Authentic

I’m sure many of you pick a word to focus on for the year.  I decided in December that my word was going to be Transparent.  Then one Sunday during worship, I was praying over my word and I heard in my head, “Not Transparent; Authentic.”  In the book, Brad says, “authenticity requires intentionality.”  That is so much deeper than being just transparent.

Authentic leaders need to be approachable, real, humble, personable, laugh often, self-aware, focused on people.

In Young Author’s Club last week, Joy was talking to the kids about character development.  There is how the character is viewed by him or herself, how others view that character, and the reality of who the character is.  As an author, you have to expose all of those layers to the reader.  It made me think about this chapter.  How do I view myself different from how others view me. This is not a new question — I had a 20 question paper written up a few years ago that I was going to ask my closest friends to answer, and somehow never got around to it.  I’ve been looking for that paper this week, and I’m not sure what happened to it.  I’m betting I typed it up and saved it to the external hard drive that bit the dust this summer.  My call to action this chapter is to remake those questions with the idea of being authentic forefront and then follow through and ask my five to answer honestly.

Jim Rohn said something to the effect of “You are the sum total of the five people you are around the most.”  I have taken this into consideration when I pick the ladies I spend my time with.  I also strongly believe that we all need three people in our lives: someone older who has been through our stage in life and can give encouragement and support, someone going through the same stage in life, and someone younger to mentor.  With the age ranges I have, I have a few older ladies I turn to for advice, a friend with teens, a friend with littles, a friend with a toddler, and I’m constantly looking for someone younger to mentor — most likely the reason I teach in so many capacities.  These ladies make up the core group of my five.

Three things I need to work on this week

  1. Face my barriers and figure out what I need to do to start removing them.
  2. Write a calling statement for Mpact girls (and this blog).
  3. Create questions about my leadership abilities to ask my core group so I get a clearer picture of who I am as a leader so I can begin to make some improvements.

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