What I have learnt about leadership this week…
Life, human development, the journey of leadership is not a straight line. There are highs and lows, peaks and valleys, not the eternal sunshine promised by fairy tales and our modern day “it’s all about me” culture. The valleys can be extremely wearing on the body and mind. But don’t stay there. Keep on Keeping on! for you never know what wonderful surprises are just around the corner. A quote that has sustained me when I contemplated giving up “Keep on going on and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.” (author unknown to me).
Last week this time I was violently ill…no there was no polony involved (just in case you’re wondering). I wondered if I would get better – the kindness of colleagues and family helped me to do what I needed to do. I also wondered how I would get through the next couple of days, crammed with deadlines and demands.
But surprise surprise, how wonderful this week has been. My cup has overflowed.
The blessings started on Sunday, receiving incredible teaching from Pastor Lizelle Simons on “Having a Daring Faith”. She reminded me that God will take us from battle to battle, from victory to victory and from strength to strength.
Monday morning quiet time left me with such sense of peace, ready to take on the challenges ahead. I am still surprised by this paradox, that in order to be more productive and effective I need to first take time to rest, be still first and to sharpen the saw. Also reading “My God is my CEO. Following God’s Principles in a Bottom-Line World by Larry Julian” brought the following revelation:
Business Principles versus God’s Principles
Unwritten Business Rules
- Achieve results
- What can I get?
- Success = money
- Work to please people
- Fear of the unknown
- Leadership is being first
- Take charge; surrender means defeat
- The end justifies the means. Get to the outcome regardless of how you accomplish it.
- Short-term gain
- Slave to the urgent
- You can never produce enough
- Serve a purpose
- How can I give?
- Significance = people
- Work to please God
- Living with hope
- Leadership is being last
- Let go; surrender means Victory
- The means justify the end. Do the right thing regardless of the outcome
- Long-term legacy
- Freedom of choice
- Unconditional love
How liberating it is to know that I don’t have to surrender to the tyranny of urgency that I can choose to respond rather than react to the demands that sometimes come like a tidal wave. However, learning to say no in a way that the other person still feels respected and valued is something I still wrestle with and hope to get better at.
And so, boosted by the stillness, wonderful teaching and the incredible teamwork at the Parent Centre, all the deadlines were met. I am well again, with even greater energy.
And then… when I thought the week couldn’t get any better, I got to meet and experience Rob Parsons at the Wisdom House event at CommonGround Church. Rob’s unique style of teaching had us all totally captivated. I hope you get to experience it for yourself some day! Some of the pearls of wisdom that I believe have changed me:
Dealing with Difficult people –Learn to live with them; love them; sometimes you have to change yourself first, when you give them something different to relate to, maybe it will inspire change in them.
Be yourself – Sing you own song. You are loved. There is nothing to prove.
Seize the day – Truly happy people focus on the now. They are not stuck in the past nor worry about the future. Most things we worry about never happen.
Friendship – If you want acquaintances tell them your successes. To be good friends you need to be vulnerable/share your fears. When you open your heart to others they open their hearts to you. It is hard to have a relationship with someone who wants to be in control.
……..And then, I heard that Cape Town has made world history, we have broken the World Record for Water Saving. We have managed to reduce our water consumption by 60% in 3 years. The country that comes closest is Australia, with a reduction of 50% in 12 years. Well done, Cape Town! No matter what you believe about the Day Zero campaign, this is reason to celebrate!!
Wishing you a blessed week ahead…Keep on Keeping on