It’s amazing to me how when I choose to focus on a topic, things come up based on that topic. I know it’s the Law of Attraction (defined as the belief that what you focus on — positive or negative — manifests in your life), but it still amazes me to see it in action.
Last week I got my survey out and compiled my answers. Being honest, I was a bit nervous. After all, these are my closest and dearest friends who know me better than anyone else — the things they could (and probably should) say about me, especially since I had it set up in an online anonymous forum. The answers came in, and I cried over their honesty. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be (Hello, Jana! These are the people closest to you! It’s no wonder they are my BFFs!). The two questions that pertain specifically to leadership are as follows:
Q: What leadership qualities do I have?
A: Lead efficiently, Organized, Honest, Inspirational, Committed, Self-sacrificing, Approachable, Never asking someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself
Q: What leadership qualities can I improve on?
A: Setting boundaries, learn to say “no”, worry about organizing too much, you don’t delegate
Ok. Now I have some direction to where I need to go as a leader. I took advice and delegated some of the assignments for out upcoming Ladies Tea Party. The conversation didn’t go as I had hoped — I had a few of my leaders refuse to help out which was shocking. Then I realized that I had never explained the expectation of being a servant-leader, and I don’t have a clear idea of what they expected to do as leaders. GULP! Time to back pedal a bit and get some things in place so we can move forward.
Next on my to do list was to write a calling statement for both Mpact girls Clubs and this blog. I decided to make it a calling statement for my life in general since I think we as leaders of Mpact need to write the calling statement together. My calling statement is: To live the authentic life of a Christian lady, to inspire others to become who God has called them to be as I become who He wants me to be. I realize this is a work in progress– but so am I.
The final task was actually the first one listed (did you notice how I accomplished them backwards?) and it was the hardest. I think my biggest barrier is myself — I do organize and over think things WAY too much. It’s time to trust God and jump in expecting the best. I DO NOT want to face God at the end and tell him I did good enough.
Good enough is the enemy of Best ~ Jim Collins
“The way we live out our personal callings says a lot about how we see ourselves.” How do I live out my life? I go back to the survey.
Q: What evidence do you have that I possess the 8 Fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-Control)
A: You love even when you are frustrated. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Things you put up with at school show your patience. You are faithful to go to work, come home to run a family and lead at church. Faithful to follow through when you say you will do something without judgment. When you start something, you give it your all.
Q: How have you seen me inspire others?
A: All the time at church (3 M’s, Mpact). You listen to and follow God. You inspire me (and your teens) to set goals. You help others and never ask for anything in return. When someone is in need, you bring Jesus to them; people see the light of Christ in you.
Q: How can I improve in this area of my life?
A: Love yourself. Keep praying. Remember you are enough. Take time for yourself; reduce stress. Go for a run with me!
“Sustained leadership requires practicing the discipline of replenishment”. I need to be intentional about replenishing myself through prayer and scripture study. I do have time in the mornings to do my daily devotionals and pray, but I also know that it is lacking. I need to make a place that is free from distractions so I can focus better — in the middle of the kitchen with dishes to do, meals to prepare, homework to be done, is not an ideal place for me. Even Jesus took time to go away and pray.
“Excellence is nonnegotiable”. I definitely think I live this out in my own life — helps to be a perfectionist with OCD! In all seriousness, this is where I struggle when working with other people. I do expect things to be as perfect as they can be, and I lose patience with people when they refuse to rise up and be the best they can. At the same time, I expect myself to do my absolute best even when I’m going in several directions — wife, mother, teacher, leader at church, cook — it gets tiring when at the end of the day I have fallen short, and everyone knows it.
Sideways energy, the unnecessary force that wastes time and energy that should be spent elsewhere, is a problem. I need to learn how to define what excellence means in each area, then pursue that with “authenticity, passion, vigor and distinction.” I can best honor God with giving Him my best.
In the book, Capable leaders are defined as:
- constantly pushing forward
- team players
- own their mistakes
- willing to take risks
- constant learners
- aren’t entitled
This reminds me of an acceptance speech I heard given by Ashton Kutcher at the 2013 Teen Awards. He talked about always doing the job because the work is never below you. When I was taking a business class at the University, we had to look at management styles. I believe it was Jack Welch we were studying, but I don’t fully remember, and I haven’t found my notes from that course in a few years. Anyway, we talked about leading by example and how those we are leading will follow better if we are in the trenches working with them. I put this into practice at the restaurant I was managing, and was surprised at how much better the employees did what I asked over the other managers. It taught me a valuable lesson — don’t be above the work. I saw this picture on Pinterest, and loved it — it is exactly what I try to be as a leader.
This plays into my needing to delegate. I need to trust the people who surround me to do their part to the best of their abilities, and let them do their part. As the coordinator, I am the one who has the vision and guides them towards it.
Call to Action
- Set aside intentional time to replenish myself at least once each week.
- With the leaders of the clubs, define what excellence is, and how we are going to achieve it together.
- Reduce sideways energy during club meetings.
- Delegate responsibilities for the Tea Party and the Daddy/Daughter Date. Leave it alone and don’t micromanage.