Know Yourself. Lead Yourself. Lead Others.

Perhaps much of our struggle lies in that we attempt to lead others when we haven’t yet learned how to lead ourselves.

My new life coach/counselor is having me read the book, Better Than Before: Master the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin. In this most worthwhile read, the author proposes that there are 4 basic tendencies: the upholder, the questioner, the obliger, and the rebel.

These tendencies cause us each to have different styles of doing everything: living, loving, habit formation, absolutely everything….

And if we haven’t taken the time to assess ourselves – we may just be attempting to apply someone else’s habit-system-solution which may actually be counter productive in a person with our particular design.

So as I’m reading this book in an attempt to finally conquer a life-long struggle with procrastination and become more productive, I am learning that I am a rebelwith just a touch of obliger.

And… I must confess. At first I thought this odd combination of tendencies was just a bit unfair. Perhaps God was expressing a warped sense of humor when He created me. I mean, how the heck am I supposed to get myself to do anything when my natural tendency is to resist outer expectations and inner expectations… mixed with a touch of people-pleasing tendencies!

Oh, and to top it all off – my professional background and passion for changing healthcare for the better tends to land me in positions that are typically filled by the 100% obliger type. (You know, the “You say jump – I’ll say how high” follow-every-rule type?). So… I work in the most highly regulated industry ever in roles that are supposed to enforce those regulations and create structured frameworks to bring about positive change. Yet I have the tendency to want to do the exact opposite of what I’m told. What’s up with that??

So….. This morning I was talking to Father about this. (The Maker-of-my-soul-Father – not my earthly father, Dad, a.k.a my most faithful blog reader who I’ll call later!). And, since Father’s ok with His kids being real with Him, I let Him know my frustrations in a “What were you thinking when you designed me like this?!?” kind of way. And He lovingly and graciously asked me, “You want to lead and make a difference for me, right?”. Yes, of course. Then He softly spoke this simply profound truth to my soul:

If you can lead yourself, you can lead anybody.

So, in other words, if I can convince this stubborn-rebellious-wild-child-wrapped-in-a-sweet-submissive-compliant-looking-shell to do what she’s supposed to, I can lead anyone??

EXACTLY. (If God texted, I am pretty certain it would always be in bold, italicized all-caps).

Huh. What about that. Maybe my Maker knows what He’s doing after all.

So let’s stop over-complicating things and just get to know and love Him, ourselves, and each other. Then we can simply live and love well as we walk out this crazy adventure called life!

The Leadershp Style of Jesus

Jesus’ Leadership style:
He valued people. He communicated DIRECTLY and clearly to His #team members – a.k.a the Disciples. He didn’t depend on layers of bureaucracy and angels or assistants to send out memos or take messages so He wouldn’t actually have to deal with people Himself. He chose to live AMONG them not ABOVE them.

I highly recommend the free YouVersion reading plan, “Learning to Lead Like Jesus”. I just finished the short reading and video for day 1 and have gleaned so much already! 

When We Learn to Keep It Simple….

abe team of rivals insty

When we learn to keep everything we do simple, focused, and intentional – we are in the company of the some of the best and most brilliant thinkers and achievers in all history.  Of course, because President Lincoln was leap years ahead of his time in so many ways… it is not surprising that he ran his campaigns and his country in a highly efficient manner.  Lincoln implemented a highly productive team approach to provide maximum value for every U.S. Citizen long before business and industry defined Lean and other methodologies.

Good Advice from Greatness

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” – President Abraham Lincoln, after being asked for advice on how to become an attorney.

This is not likely to be the last Abraham Lincoln quote you see from me as I am reading Team of Rivals. It is my drive time audiobook listen right now. Although I am only several hours in to over 40 hours of listening – I am learning so much already! I am gaining a new appreciation for this great leader and the incredible team he selected.