For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12 (NLT)
I sat confidently and expectantly in my leadership evaluation meeting as I listened to the words, “We will go through all of the sections and then we can discuss everything, in detail, at the end.”
Now those words should have been enough to cue me in that I may hear something that might ruffle my feathers…just a tad bit.
What’s there to discuss? I am almost perfect, right?
Not so much.
As I glanced at the pages, I saw the word “Emerging” in a couple of spots. In my temporary state of ignorance…arrogance…or whatever silly word ending in “ance” that would fit; I thought maybe, just maybe someone upgraded the meaning of the word “emerging” in the dictionary and thesaurus. Could this word now mean “tip top”, “stand-out”, or some other adjective that holds the sentiments, “You are AWESOME!”?
Not this year. Perhaps the word will be up for review in the future.
This timing was very interesting…perfect even. Just a week earlier, I was expressing to a dear friend that I was seeking out mentors who could and would speak truth into my life (even truths that were not so pleasant to hear at times). Sure it is delightful to have so many people in my world cheering me on, telling me how wonderful I am. But as with everything, this area of my life needs to be balanced as well.
And “balance.” Let’s talk about that a bit. As I prepared to enter 2015, I decided I would hone in on two words, “balance & focus.” As God began to open some long-awaited doors and pour in some other blessings as well, busy has elevated to another level in my world. This led to lots of juggling, always playing catch up, and sometimes forgetting a task here and there. Alas, it has been surfacing in my personal leadership roles and responsibilities. And NOW is always a great time to deal with a need for improvement.
I have always prided myself for craving and welcoming constructive criticism.
Hmmmm…could this have been because I do not get it often enough?
The jury is out on that one. And I have no problem with them taking a little more time off.
Nonetheless, the opening Scripture assures us that God allows correction to come simply because He loves us.
Great leaders “emerge.” They do not just appear. And in keeping with my debut blog, Excuse My Flaws…I Am Still Under Construction,” we sometimes have to hear the hard things, the unpleasant things, to provoke us to grow in leadership.
I wish I could declare that God only allowed such a conversation, during this evaluation period, just so that I could have something to blog about today. But actually my grandson had already provided me with some great material to expound on (come back for Whimsical Wednesday next week to read it).
I also wanted to postpone this topic for a week or so in order to honestly say, “I had a past experience…blah blah blah”. But this meeting was just yesterday.
Yep! Me…slapped by the “E” word! E-merging.
Though my eval was passing and there were many areas of proficiency and even distinguished, in some cases, I was stuck on that “E” word for a moment.
Truth is, I am navigating the new territories that God is opening up to me, I am “merging” all that He has entrusted into my hands, thereby E-merging into the leader He has designed for me to be. And I have to remain open to hear what He is allowing to be spoken to me about certain areas I need to grow in.
As leaders we must be able to do the following:
- Humbly lead by precept and example.
Even when it comes to hearing the hard things, like “here is how you can improve.” How can I coach my team, if I am not coachable? How can I teach anyone anything, if I do not a have a teachable spirit.
- Take ownership without giving lip service.
I would love to say that I sat and said, “Thank you for pointing out my flaws and the areas I can improve in.” Nope. I had the nerve to try to explain. And while my explanations were valid, I am reminded that leaders “take ownership”…without making excuses.
In all actuality, I was aware of the opportunities for improvement as it pertained to some of my leadership responsibilities. Leaders should do self-evaluations…often. When you do, correction will come as confirmation rather than by surprise.
By way of loving correction:
Leaders beget leaders.
Leaders discipline leaders.
Leaders encourage leaders.
Leaders produce leaders.
Leaders raise up leaders.
While we are born with leadership potential, our leadership skills must be developed through nurturing. I am fortunate to have great leaders in my path to groom, guide, and even redirect me through correction, when needed.
Even if that is not readily available in your sphere of influence, I highly suggest you seek it out. I am part of a huge church. And if I wanted, I could totally fly under the radar and just coast. But recently I have been seeking God for more mentors to speak into my life, even those who would lovingly have conversations that are not just singing my praises.
Everyone needs a check in their spirit every now and then. And the sooner it is brought to your attention; the sooner you get to address it; the less your flaws are exposed to others…who undoubtedly sees them, but would not dare bring them to your attention.
Last note…If everyone in your circle is only telling you how amazing you are, it is time that you expand your circle.
Lord, thank you for being the best example of leadership. Oh how I desire to be more like you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
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