A friend of mine said she was mad at God when the choice she made didn’t work out the way she planned. And I started to question her… then I remembered the stupid thing I did when I didn’t pay attention to my inner knowing, the God voice whispering, the feeling in my gut.
I thought about the clear revelation I didn’t hear … the thing right in front of me that I didn’t see … the mistakes made more than once.
And I shut my mouth.
“People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?” Proverbs 19:3 MSG
Inhale Discernment, Exhale Disregarding Your Knowing… Inhale Action, Exhale Discounting Your Options… Inhale Ownership, Exhale Diminishing Your Responsibility… Just Breathe
My leadership experience began early in life; as the oldest of five and the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I was often “voluntold” to lead my siblings and/or cousins in some activity, an exercise usually like herding cats but nowhere near as smooth as that EDS commercial from a few years ago…the one where cowboys are herding cats…but I digress!
That early leadership experience showed me that, with no authority, I needed some other ways to influence my “team” to carry out our responsibilities. I needed to communicate with clarity. I needed to keep my emotions in check. I needed to be more compassionate sister.
People in leadership positions, whether earned or wanted … or not, are always communicating. Their words, their actions and reactions, their body language, their clothing…everything presented in public is seen and interpreted. So it’s imperative to be intentional about what is communicated.
Otherwise, positive or negative, people will hear (or see) what was communicated as what was meant.
“Be impeccable with your word.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
I heard a former Army officer claim a level of U.S citizenship above those who had not served. But we don’t convey citizenry based on military service, race, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation; all born or naturalized in the U.S have the same rights and responsibilities.
At least, that’s what our founding documents proclaim…
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” 14th Amendment
Leaders often allow underperforming people to stay in positions because the leader is concerned about their feelings. Awareness of how leadership decisions impact team members is a leadership responsibility.
But to leave someone in place when they aren’t doing the job is an abandonment of leadership responsibility and possible sacrifice of the organization’s goals.
Sometimes, “…the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” ~ Spock, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
“We’ve had this in our mind that if we were struggling offensively, that we would give Tua an opportunity, even in the last game… I thought Tua would give us a better chance and a spark, which he certainly did.” ~ Coach Nick Saban on his decision to switch QBs during the 2018 National Championship Game
One of the speakers at a recent TED talk commented that childhood is a “creation of the 19th century,” and though he didn’t mention it, I was reminded that adolescence is a 20th century social construct.
It’s a construct that I’ve been fascinated by ever since the older Boomer’s kids started coming back home. Because even as a better food supply or, possibly the hormones in our food has accelerated the onset of puberty, we have slowed the acquisition of adult responsibility and lengthened the time of transition to adult roles.
And it’s impacting us individually and as a country…
“Adolescence is society’s permission slip for combining physical maturity with psychological irresponsibility.” ~ Terri Apter
I’m a fitness instructor with bad knees. My clients are often surprised to see me taking an elevator instead of the stairs after a class. I don’t take the stairs because walking up and especially down stairs puts a lot of strain on my knees. I save my knees for demonstrating the best form when I’m teaching and being in the best form when I’m taking class.
My knees let me know when I’ve gone too far. My knees are the reason I challenge my clients to push themselves to THEIR limit versus what I might think they can do. Because each client is the only one who really knows if she’s pushing herself, challenging what’s comfortable and living up to her potential.
In life as in fitness, you are the only one who knows if you’re giving it your best shot or just coasting. And you’re the only one who has to answer for you.
“The journey to wholeness requires that you look honestly, openly, and with courage into yourself, into the dynamics that lie behind what you feel, what you perceive, what you value, and how you act.” ~ Gary Zukav
Self-awareness is scary and hard. Because once you understand the consequences of your choices, once you realize the responsibility for your life choices lie with you, once you acknowledge your role in creating your life, you have to choose to do something …or not.
You can choose to intentionally impact your life or not choose and be unintentionally be impacted by your life. Not choosing is a choice.
“People can be divided into three groups. Those who make things happen, those who watch what happen, and those who wonder what happened”. ~ Anonymous
“Be impeccable with your word.” ~ don Miguel Ruiz.
Have you noticed how one negative comment can negate a thousand positive praises? Like any decision, what we decide to say has consequences. Likewise, NOT deciding, intending or being deliberate and conscious about the possible impact of our words is also a choice.
How people receive and respond to what we say is their responsibility. Making sure we share our words in truth AND love is our responsibility.
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.” ~ Ephesians 4:29 MSG