Stop Making It All About You

To lead well in life is to be a person who lives with an attitude on not making everything about ourselves. To stop making ‘me’ the centre of everything.

People who lead well in life are the ones who have made the decision to not be led by emotions, by opinion or by circumstances. Instead they are led by values, convictions and character. 

Phrases that could be thought of as ‘below the line’ are significant by their absence in a great leaders life. 

That’s not my job. 

I’m not happy with the decisions being made. 

I’m being ignored. 

I don’t like the way I’m being treated. 

I can’t work with them. 

They didn’t acknowledge me. 

I haven’t been thanked for ages. 

Leading well in life is about more than position, it’s about me as a person. Yes, I need to demonstrate some competencies but how I demonstrate them is often of greater importance. 

Let’s be leaders who think carefully how we speak, think and feel and work at removing any below the line attitudes which can make everything about us. 

Just some thoughts – tell me what you think. 

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Give What You Want

To lead well in life is to not get stuck being someone pointing out problems and becoming someone who chooses to become a part of the solution. If you want something, then instead of pointing to others and asking them to ‘sort it’, why not start and try to give it yourself.

Here’s how it can work…

Need more friends, then be more friendly. 

Want people to listen to you, then begin by listening to others. 

Feeling you’re being overlooked, then start noticing people. 

Never receive any thanks, then give some. 

Want to be more connected, then be the one who makes connection. 

Aspire to be a leader, then show a greater willingness to be led. 

Believing for a great future, start believing in a great now. 

Hey, you might add others to this list. It’s just a thought that follows on from my others this week about how to lead well in life. Check them out and tell me what you think…

Leading Well in Life

Be Willing to Learn

Stretch Yourself

Stretch Yourself

To lead well in life is to know how to stretch ourself. It can be one of the biggest frustrations as we learn to lead well in life. 

It’s about being happy and content with where we are but actively stretching ourself for the future we want. We have to learn to live in the now while preparing ourselves for the future. 

It’s about working hard and being loyal to those who lead us but stretching ourself and becoming the person we need to be for all that lies ahead. If we only live for a certain future we may begin to resent where we are now and become unhappy, angry and overly cynical too. 

It is to understand that the stretch you want will not always come from others, instead you learn to develop, grow, stretch and increase your capacity. We do need to be equipped by our leaders but our personal development is (obviously) our own responsibility. 

It’s about learning how to create your own stretch. Even if it doesn’t lead to greatness or the opportunity you want, that is irrelevant. In the process of the stretch you will have become a bigger person. Then God can use you anywhere, not just in the place of our own choosing.

What do you do to help stretch yourself?

Frame Your Life with God

Joseph didn’t seek to find a solution to every problem that came his way. He didn’t look for a way out. He didn’t assume that quitting would provide a better option for his future. Instead he trusted God for a way through. 

As we travel we will encounter many opportunities where we will have to make a choice. Which way will we go? The way of self or the way of God? To find a way out or a way through? To go for what we think is greener grass? Or to wait for our grass to grow?

Choices are often based on how we frame our life – the values, beliefs, and convictions that help us decide things? Many are almost subconscious, framed by experience, childhood, upbringing, and the so many more influences. 

When I look at Joseph I see someone who didn’t allow all ‘things’, ‘people’, ‘circumstances’ or ‘experiences’ to frame his life but only the faith he held in God. I read it and think it’s amazing he could do that, especially when you see what he went through. 

In an encouraged and challenged to live the same kind of live…

To keep the frame of my life set as God. 

To live within this frame so the choices I make are based solely from it. 

To guard the frame from other influences which may cause me to be led away from wholly trusting God.

Ready to keep walking with God. Thankful that God is always with me and His Holy Spirit is there to help me too. 

See God In It

It is amazing that after all Joseph went through, he finally stood before his brothers and revealed who he was to them. 

They were a little bit fearful, after all he was now second only to Pharoah in all of Egypt. He had power and could so easily exercise it over them. 

Yet he didn’t. Instead….

He was able to forgive them and not fight with them. 

He was willing to be peaceful towards  them and not punish them. 

He was able to see Gods hand in it all and not just there doing. 

The life of Joseph can teach us so much, the hardest being ‘to see God in our lives even though we cannot see God in our lives’. 

‘What you meant for evil, God used for good’. 

That’s the ultimate of seeing God even though you cannot see God. He knew God was with him. He recognised the favour he had in difficult circumstances. He kept trusting that even though it looked like nothing was happening, that in reality, behind the scenes, everything was happening. 

My prayer is to be able to live the same way. How about you?

Don’t Quarrel

When Joseph sent his brothers home loaded with provision and carts to bring the whole family back he gave them one very clear instruction.

Don’t argue with each other on the journey. 

What great advice. If we want to learn to travel well then we need to learn a few things:

1. Settle our hearts.

2. Recognise God is not shaping us for a moment but for any moment.

3. Don’t argue with others. (Genesis 45:24)

Arguing makes it all about me and what I think. Arguing causes stress and division. Arguing can create upset and unnecessary hurt.

Instead we should learn to practice all of these:

  • prefer one another
  • let some stuff go
  • learn not to react to everything
  • to understand that just because it can be said doesn’t mean it should be said
  • to look for the best in others, to trust one another
  • to forgive
  • to recognise not everyone is like you
  • to put ourselves in their shoes
  • to think maybe they have some stuff going on

Let’s commit to giving this a go and see what a difference it might just make.

Frustrated (& Distracted)

In a moment of quiet this evening, we waited on God. Music played. We were encouraged to just soak in the presence of God. 

Not the thing I find easy to do. As soon as I quieten down my mind fixated on all the ‘stuff’ that needs doing. 

Yet a moment of clarity came. Frustration. I’m frustrated. With myself and with God. I’m not as focused as I would like to be, I’m not making progress in things like I wanted. Then, He (God) seems to answer others yet I feel stuck, overwhelmed by things that just aren’t changing or have hold on me, on us. 

Then the still small voice. ‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Created out of love on purpose for a purpose.’ A timely reminder. Plus the words playing in the background ‘everything is gonna be alright, everything is coming together’. 

It was like the words were just mine, only heard by me, everyone else hearing something different. 

It only takes a minute with God to get your focus regained and know that even though you cannot always see it, God is still in it, still there. 

Why Should People Follow You? [Friday Leaders Post]

follow-me

I have learned the hard way that leadership is about more than title, it’s about more than being in a role for a long time, it’s even about more than being the oldest person in the room.

Maybe we are in a leadership role or we have a desire to be a leader in the future. Wherever we find ourselves on the leadership journey it is important that we are willing to reflect on our progress.

I have made a quick list of things that I think every leader should reflect upon., especially would-be leaders.  They may not be worded brilliantly but I hope you get the sentiment behind them. This is the kind of self-awareness I would rather discover for myself, while praying and seeking God, than have some random person come up and tell me.

Take some time to think about which side of the sentence you fall on?

You want to be a leader who others will follow but are not willing to be the follower of your own leader.

You talk about being an example but are not an example. 

You talk about giving but don’t give. 

You are happy telling others what needs to be done but not happy to do anything yourself. 

You consider your own image and reputation to be more important than that of your team. 

You say it’s all about Jesus but when people see you their opinion would be that it’s all about you. 

You talk about being teachable but are unwilling to listen to others and learn. 

You talk about a need for grace but are unforgiving towards others. 

You talk about being a leader but don’t actually lead. 

You want to be judged by your intentions while judging others based on their actions. 

You are quick to complain about others but not quick to receive the same complaints made about you. 

You see the speck as a problem in another’s eye but avoid the honking great tree in your own.

You pay attention to the level of good character and integrity in other leaders while not paying enough attention to your own character and integrity as a leader.

Leadership isn’t easy, not should it be. Like anything we want to be successful at, it takes hard work, determination, perseverance, a lot of honesty and a willingness to learn and to change.

What might you add to the list?