Sometimes the best place to be is completely beyond our capacity.
Comfort creates complacency.
In chaos and complexity we are forced to face our limitations.
We are challenged to confront our fears.
The limits of our faith and trust in God are exposed.
We tediously work to manage our world so as to stay within the bounds of our control and capacity.
But certain seasons force us out of the comfort and leave us glaringly exposed.
Our nerves are frayed.
Our insecurities are rattled.
Our fears run rampant.
These are the pivot points of our leadership. We can choose to grow or we can choose to retreat.
What is stretching your leadership today? How can you choose growth?
Don’t point out a problem without offering a solution!
This is similar to the idea we discussed last week about presenting a pipe dream without a plan.
As a leader, you are a problem solver. You don’t have the luxury of bringing problems without plans. It’s an elementary attitude to cry wolf without a plan of attack.
Leaders must identify problems, but when you constantly point out problems without providing solutions you are simply a critic, a complainer, a whiner.
Your solution doesn’t have to be THE solution, but when you bring a suggestion for remedying a problem you are showing your commitment to solving it. You’re not passing the buck. You’re partnering to figure out how to help overcome it.
When you bring a possible solution, you bring hope of overcoming it.
What problem in your organization needs a suggested solution today?
A recent episode of Parenthood featured the storyline of Max Braverman and his attempts to get a vending machine back into his school. This initiative was the driving agenda for his recent election as Student Body President and he was prepared to battle the well-intentioned PTA members who had lobbied for the vending machine to be removed. Confident that he could make this happen, Max is defeated and extraordinarily frustrated when his request is denied.
Feeling her son’s disappointment, Max’s mom goes to work to help him (unbeknownst to Max). She studies the issue and pitches the PTA on the idea of bringing the machine back but with healthy snack options. A win-win for everyone.
Max arrives one day at school to a crowd of cheering classmates surrounding the new vending machine.
Max erupts with joy exclaiming “I did it! I did it!”
Max’s joy in that moment is contagious. He truly believes he accomplished this great feat, completely unaware of how his mom was working behind the scenes.
I just couldn’t help but imagine that this is what most of our life looks like.
We find so many joy in our accomplishments without recognizing who is at work behind the scenes.
I suspect God beams with pride and joy as he watches us enjoy the successes we experience.
This too, is a picture of leadership. As leaders, we need to be willing to be behind the scenes, doing the leg work that allows others to shine.
“Who in your life needs a little boost from you so that they can exclaim “I did it! I did it! ?
Don’t present a pipe dream without a plan.
Dreaming is easy. Doing is hard.
Fantasy is fun. Reality is challenging.
This distinction is what sets you apart as a leader. Anyone can dream, but leaders bring dreams to life by developing a plan and leading through it.
What pipe dream of yours needs a plan?
History most remembers those who were lynchpins in turning points. These are the moments where leadership is essential.
“It is generally in tumultuous times that people make the greatest difference in their world. The greater the crisis, the greater is the opportunity for leaders to make a difference. Those who complain about their difficulties or shrink from crises prove they are not leaders regardless of whether they hold such an office. But people who recognize the opportunity history affords them and boldly accept the invitation will change their world.”
Henry & Richard Blackaby from Spiritual Leadership
Everything you do is preparing you to lead through a crisis. What you read and how you spend your time is training. Every small issue you face today is preparation for a greater crisis ahead. Don’t shrink from or attempt to avoid the crisis. It will surely come and that’s the moment you will be most needed.
The famous leaders throughout history were intense learners which equipped and prepared them for the moments it mattered.
How are you preparing for your next crisis?
How are you maximizing every experience?
Where are you gleaning all the wisdom that you can?
There will come a moment where it will all matter… I promise!
“The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands.”
Lyndon B. Johnson
Whatever your leadership role, there will always be an element of impossibility associated with it. In the moments you feel strong, someone or something will remind you that you are not. And in the moments when you are weak, you will summon your greatest strength.
Don’t let the role define you. Just Lead!
Keep your head down and attack.
That’s a principal I employ when I’m facing the daunting task of running hills. The theory is that we’re easily defeated by the looming mountain ahead of us but it becomes much more manageable if we just tackle it step by step. Focusing on this concept is the only way that I can continuously conquer the rolling hills of Tennessee.
But I’ve realized this is far more than a running principle. It applies to so much of our life and leadership.
God didn’t intend for us to focus on the mountains, the challenges looming in the distance. He asked us to focus on his guidance for the next step.
When we focus on the mountain, we become victims of fear, doubts and insecurities. We become overwhelmed by the belief that “I can’t do it”. We stumble. We falter and sometimes we stop. We give up.
The truth is we can’t do it. We can’t because the mountain is the wrong focus. Our responsibility is the next step.
The step in front of is always smaller than mountain ahead of you.
With every step of willing obedience God provides the endurance for the rest of the journey.
Step by step our obedience sharpens our faith and the mountain shrinks before us.
When our faith collides with our obedience we realize that we can’t but God can.
What mountain are you focused on right now?
How could you change your focus to simply being obedient to a next step?
THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED: Congrats to @thetrask4 who was the winner!
On February 23rd, Nashville will be graced with a Girls of Grace event.
This event for Teen Girls is hosted by the Award-Winning Trio Point of Grace and features performances by for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew and Lindsay McCaul.
Renowned Guest Speakers Include Chris Wheeler, Annie Downs (one of my friends!!), Constance Rhodes, Amber Lehman and Trudy Cathy White
The conference is a powerfully impactful event for teen girls featuring live music, speakers and interactive sessions teaching them biblical principles and equipping them with the tools they need to find security in Christ. The conference covers timely topics such as body image, good health, being content with oneself, relationships, good choices, social media, fashion and other teen-related topics.
If you’re a parent of a teen girl or a youth leader, be sure to check this out!
Tickets are on sale here.
I also have a huge giveaway for you! The Girls of Grace team are giving away a huge gift package that includes the following:
- A pair of tickets to the event here in Nashville on Feb 23rd
- Point of Grace cookbook
- Point of Grace CD
- for King & Country CD (one of my favorite albums!)
- Group 1 Crew CD
I will pick a winner on Monday, February 11th.
To be entered to win, just leave a comment telling us what you think is the greatest challenge facing teen girls today.
Great movements occur when a leader gets discontent enough to make others uncomfortable.
We’ve seen them throughout history….
Joan of Arc
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We’ve also seen them in our communities… church planters, community leaders, founders of non-profit organizations, moms who fight for health, eduction and safety.
Great leaders are comfortable making others uncomfortable for a vision of a greater good. They understand that keeping others happy perpetuates the status quo. And they’re willing to risk being liked for being extraordinary.
Where are you settling for status quo?
What movement has God inspired you to lead?