Friday 5…Finally

It’s been awhile, but here it is and it’s about something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, probably because I have been experiencing all of them.

Friday 5: Five Things Being a Leader Means…

1. Restless or Sleepless Nights – Being a leader (no matter what the capacity – a leader at home, at school, at church) you are going to have nights (and days) where you are restless and it’s hard to shut your brain off.  That just comes with the territory and something you step into when you become a leader and you have to learn to embrace it.  Your mind will wander, you’ll want to tackle ideas right away, you’ll be afraid you’ll forget an idea if you don’t write it down or start taking action.

2. It’s important to have a notebook or paper handy. – In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a notebook with me everywhere I go specifically for things to write down with regard to Quest.  It’s been so good to have it when an idea pops into my head while I’m in a meeting or in the car and an idea comes to me.  No, I don’t write it while driving, but I know when I reach my destination, I can just pull it out to write my thought down.  It also forces me to be more focused and think on a larger scale about how to tackle things.

3. You have to be willing to look at yourself before setting an expectation for others. – I am thinking about this a lot as we are beginning to consider some ways we can better serve our volunteers, but before we put certain things in place it is becoming so much more important to me that we set the same standards for ourselves and that we hold ourselves accountable.  Transparency and honesty are important.  Do you set and live by the standard?

4. You must be inquisitive. – To develop others you first have to work on yourself.  This kind of goes with #3, but you have to want to seek out the tools and be disciplined in developing yourself.  By tools I mean reading blogs, books, talking with others, etc.  These things can help you become a better leader and then have the ability to pour into others.

5. Sacrifice. – What do I mean by sacrifice?  You’ll have the sleepless and restless days and nights, you’ll be willing to drive the extra mile to meet someone, you’ll buy the meal, you will arrive early somewhere, you’ll go to a conference and pay your own way, you’ll give up several hours after your workday to meet someone in order to encourage them, you will spend the time creating documents to help those you lead and to help yourself, you’ll pay for the gas, you will spend the time writing the emails and making the phone calls to make sure people feel like they are part of a community, you will write the thank you notes, you will have the hard conversations, you will take the lead and set the example, you will be willing to compromise, you will be willing to make changes, you will be willing to look at systems and procedures to find what needs to be looked at, you will live with integrity, you will be the one to call out the potential in others that they don’t see…  It could go on and on.

The end result of all of these things…  For me, it’s been a humbling experience and an honor to be able to serve others in this capacity.  To see others empowered and living with their potential – there’s nothing more fulfilling.  I’m so thankful to be where I am.

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