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Archive for the ‘leadership’ Category

Many people have different appreciations for leadership. We are often drawn to different aspects and characteristics  of leadership.

I am very passionate about the topic of leadership. I am a sponge when it comes to soaking up concepts, styles, and wisdom on leadership.

One characteristic of a leadership that I appreciate in someone is when they pursue learning new things. I love when a leader gets passionate about learning. Not only that, but I love when leaders pass on what they know to others because they can’t help it.

I don’t want to be the type of leader who thinks she’s knows it all, or plateaus in learning. Lord help me when complacency like that sets in.

I respect so much the characteristic of risk taking that leaders do. I LOVE watching that happen. With the fear of failing high, I admire so much those who risk anyway.

We are all drawn to different characteristics in people. We all notice different things.

What are some small or big leadership qualities that you love/appreciate? 

Do you have a story of how leadership has been misused?

 

 

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Leadership is a powerful word. I am sure we can all think of ways that leadership has been carried out well, and ways in which it has been manipulated.

Leadership is no small thing.

The thing most forgotten about leadership is that leadership is about leading.

Leaders crave influence the most. They desire for their words to have weight; they want to know that what they offer has value.

Leaders are drawn to stepping up into directing roles. Leaders are often enabling situations to offer into.

Leadership requires the character traits of humility, wisdom, compassion, and integrity. I also believe that leadership requires the character trait of open handed leading.

John the Baptist is my hero when it comes to mastering this balance of leadership. He is always my go-to guy when I need a reminder of how open-handed leadership is done well.

What is open-handed leadership?

It is the ability to hold loosely to the ones you are leading. No one is a possession. No one is “ours.”

John the Baptist always made it clear that he was not the Christ. He was so great at directing everyone’s attention and reverence to Jesus. John freely confessed that he was not the Christ. Do we?

There was even a time where John’s disciples were ranting to him that Jesus, and his disciples, were baptizing more than they were. The people were going out to Jesus instead. John responds by saying that they should. John reminds them that he is not the Jesus.

John came to lead the way to Jesus. This is the same truth for our lives as well.

I am hugely passionate about leadership. I am always drawn to the leadership role. I love soaking up knowledge that pertains to leadership. I will most often step up and pursue the directing role as well.

There is a tension and a balance that needs to be mastered when it comes to leadership. I always need to ask myself the question of, “where am I leading to?” Leaders most often get struggle when it comes to the direction of leadership.

I confess to my own human flaws of struggling with the balance of leadership. I love influencing. I love offering. Sometimes I can forget to keep the focus off of me and on the one I am leading for.

I still struggle with jealousy when it comes to leading. I have been the one ranting to God that more people are going to him than me. That’s just honest. I struggle with fears of having nothing to offer. I struggle with the fears of not being liked, and being made to feel foolish. These are some of my weaknesses wrapped around my love of leadership.

I have been learning a lot from John about the character and value of leading with open hands.

Leadership is about leading well towards him.

So allow me to ask you…where are you leading others to?

 

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Have you ever been asked the question of what your faith is about? Have you been asked to talk about who you believe in?

I know more and more people who struggle with this answer. I have seen the deer in head lights look when the question comes out. More often than not the answer sounds like crickets in the background..

How do you talk about your faith?

How did Jesus talk about the one he believed in and followed?

For one, Jesus talked through experiences he had with his father. He talked about what he had seen, known, and experienced.

Jesus also invited people to do life with him. He didn’t always use words to explain his faith. Jesus asked people to “come and see.” Sometimes words just won’t do.

My favorite verse that is my guideline, and structure, for talking about my faith comes from 1 John 1:1.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

John did not have a hand out for how to explain Jesus; he just talked about his experiences. John talked about what he heard as truth. He retold stories of miracles and crazy things he experienced with him. I am sure he talked about the miracles he did through his name.

Our stories are our words of explanation for how we know who God is. Our life tells the tale of his finger prints.

The cross road of where he met you is a great place to start out talking about your experience with him. People love stories. That is why Jesus told so many. You have a great one that tells of who he is.

When people ask you for an answer to who you believe, give them that “which you have heard, seen, and touched.”

How do you talk about your faith?

What struggles to you have talking about your faith?

 

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Wanting is a small, and not so silent, voice in our lives. Wanting is the spark that ignites the flames of many things in our lives.

The voice of wanting is often mistaken for a call to action. Wanting says that something needs to be done – we need to make something happen.

What if Wanting’s voice is saying something completely different?

Our wants are usually the appointed speakers for the longings in our hearts. Wanting speaks to something missing or stirring. Wanting says that something has changed in our hearts and there is a void.

Acknowledging the voice of wanting can be a gift. It is the whisper to our hearts that we are waiting on something, or maybe in need of verbalizing something. Wanting is our own heart’s flag of desire.

Wanting usually evokes the response of doing rather than sitting.

The nation of Israel found themselves in a place of wanting. The voice of change was running ramped. God was no longer enough for them. God was no longer viewed as Almighty. He was someone who was not producing enough for them. They were tired of being different – the only nation without a king as a leader. God was rapidly losing his place in their lives.

So they asked him for a king, and God was rejected.

I read this story and my heart sank. How many times have I looked God in the face and asked him for a king? How many times have I looked God in the eyes and said you are not enough, I need ____?

Rejection takes over and I am on my way to filling my wants with kings.

A king in our lives is a substitute for God. A king is what I put into place when I think God is not enough and reject him.

I have placed kings in my life when it comes to my dreams. I have not waited on his timing and things, and failed miserably on my own. I have filled my life with kings to avoid the sting of loneliness and grief. I have also appointed myself as king when self-sufficiency leads the way.

God granted Israel their king. He also warned them how much this king would fail to meet their needs, as well as be what they really wanted.

God warns me as well. He is a gentleman and will never force himself on me. However, God loves me enough to warn me that my “king” will not succeed. He is always right. When my king fails, I am left with a deeper wanting then when I started. I am also back to the place where the voice began.

The voice of wanting is not a call for a King; it is a call to listen to the voice of the heart that longs for him. God uses the nudge of want for change and motivation, but not a part from him. Wanting is a message to our heart from him saying, “I am telling you something. Just a heads-up.

What is the voice of wanting whispering to you?

Have you substituted a King in it’s place?

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I have decided that GPS systems can be such a gift or totally annoying! Have you ever just bucked what your GPS is telling you to do and tried to find your own way to your destination? At times, my short cuts work, but mostly it gets me more lost. I think to myself, if this thing says “REROUTING” one more time!!!

It is when I spend an extra hour trying to get to my destination that I realized that I should’ve paid attention to the GPS.

Sometimes I wonder if God ever gets tired of rerouting me.

God introduced life principles, that if applied will enable life to the full. The tension comes when trust is required. We have to choose to trust that our GPS knows the route we need to be on.

If we trust, then we have to make choices to respond out of that trust. If we believe God is telling the truth – that he is right, then our life’s response should resemble that belief.

Believing that God is right changes the course of our life all together.

I have learned, through so many hard ways, that God is right. His principles are right. Sometimes that doesn’t make any choice to surrender less agonizing, it just takes time.

God is faithful and gracious to reroute me. We call this failure, but he calls it redirection. Learning how to change the course of our lives takes time and a process. Some things we will get right away and some things will take redefining.

Believing that God is right, and trustworthy, will change everything you thought you knew about life. I am talking in every small way.

Some changed ways in me:

These are just some of Jesus’ truth that has changed my life forever. It has taken me believing that he is right for my life to resemble change.

When you believe in his different, you will start to live different. This will make all the difference in your life.

 

 

 

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Being a counselor gives me a window into life’s consistent frustrations. Most people come to see me when life has stopped working well. I usually meet people when they feel faced with a dead end.

I have talked to many parents who feel frustrated with their teenagers who have stopped listening. Teenagers are great at bucking the family system. Parents, if most honest, feel great fear with their teenagers.

Parents love their kids. They fear anything happening to them. They want to protect them at all costs, even at the cost of their relationship with them.

Since we were toddlers, we’ve all know the words, “that’s not fair.” We all have a sense that we should have what we want when we want it.

Jesus came down from heaven to teach us life principles that would bring us life to the full. Just like teenagers, we still struggle with believing that those principles are better than our own. I can’t read proverbs without responding with, “that’s so true!” There is always a cause and effect no matter how hard we deny it.

Jesus came and shook up life as we know it. His truth shakes up our life choices. It should. Following after the invitation of Jesus will change life as we know it. Choosing to believe in God changes how we live our lives, and every decision we make. Our lives will look different when we start to apply his life principles.

This is a process – a life process. I struggle every day surrendering to his principles. However, I will say that his principles have always proven true and better. I fight his timing. I fight knowing what is best for me. I will admit to responding in pride thinking I know best. I really don’t. I have said, “God, that’s not fair” so many times.

In the midst of my struggle to surrender, I have learned that the only thing really unfair is that Jesus died for my sins and struggle. He did nothing to deserve to save my life, but he did. He did nothing to deserve death to teach me about how to know life, but he did.

He did nothing, I did everything. He still died for me.

What is fair is that he deserves a surrendered me. I am working on it. I will tell you that all my experiences of his life principles have been truth. I wish I could just get my surrender in check quicker.

We have to make the choice that God is right before change can happen. We have to believe that God is fair and truth in order to choose him. Choosing him is what he deserves.

Choosing to believe in him changes my “that’s not fair” to “he is enough.”

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Have you ever been mesmerized by someone speaking? (This can be in conversation or up in front of a crowd.) Have you ever felt captivated by someone’s words? Have you ever wanted to be in on what someone else was getting fired up about?

Those are the times where you are listening to the heart most present.

I love listening to the heart. I love listening, and responding, to people who are so full of passion. Passion makes the heart overflow.

I smile so big when the person speaking recognizes they have just had a “carried away” kind of moment.

Maxwell has a great quote that I love – “Leaders must hear from God before they speak for God.”

There is such a marked difference when someone is speaking from the heart. I am always captivated by someone who has experienced, and wrestled through, what they are talking about.

Experiences that are so a part of us are easy to talk about. I know for me, there are some things that are so easy for me speak about. This can be both topics of passion or pain. Things of the heart do not need a script.

I want to be this kind of a speaker and communicator. I want to be the kind of person who speaks from what is in my heart. Always. I desire for people to experience the overflow of my heart. I know this can go both ways with negative things as well, but it’s my desire nonetheless.

I want to encourage you to wrestle first before speaking. Maybe this is what James meant when he said, “be quick to listen, and slow to speak.” I want us to be passionate people about really knowing God. I desire so much for us to be a people who offer out of the overflow of intimacy in wrestling with him.

Wrestle with the hard things. Wrestle with your story.

Do you know how the disciples were recognized? They were seen, and heard, as people “who had been with Jesus.” I want that for you and me!

I value the heart so much. I value what the overflow is saying. So in my own version of Maxwell’s quote, internalize it before you verbalize it.

What can you talk about that needs no script?

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