gal-whitecliffs

Longing (noun) ~ a yearning desire, especially for something unattainable or distant.

God is perfect. And yet, He is full of longing.

It’s strange to think of longing as something a perfect Being would do. Most of our notions of God’s perfection imply a deep completeness. God is self-sustaining. God needs nothing. God lacks nothing.

I think all those things are true about God.

And yet He longs.

I’ve been wondering lately what to make of this.

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Lead-Better-Now

“The measure of a man is what he does with power.” ~ Greek Proverb

Whether you realize it or not, there is a question that guides you every day as a leader. This question determines in large part what you see and what you fail to see, what you respond to and what you ignore, and how you measure your effectiveness as a leader.

Although many guiding questions are possible, I have found these three to be the most common in my work with leaders. I believe each one reflects the primary developmental stage of the leader…i.e. the question that dominates your attention most of the time usually points to the developmental stage you are in as a leader.

Which of these three questions dominates your leadership?

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everyone is watching

“Heroes must see to their own fame. No one else will.” ~ Gore Vidal

It’s strange being a Christian leader in today’s rock star culture. It’s hard to know what to say about yourself, or whether to speak about yourself at all.

The Christian church, particularly in the West, is enamored with fame, and many of its leaders have mistaken being well-known for being Divinely-anointed, and personal charisma for the presence of God on their lives. Particularly in the Protestant stream of the Church, we have stumbled into a celebrity culture in Christian leadership, but with little or no clear criteria for what qualifies one to join the ranks of the elite, other than the capacity to grab the public eye.

For many faith leaders (including most of my coaching clients) this current love affair with fame in the Church has created a challenging conundrum around the quagmire of self-promotion. As Christ followers, we are called to avoid any self-aggrandizement, to let “another praise you, and not your own mouth” (Proverbs 27:2). We are taught the Way to Life is not through glorifying self but through glorifying God. So it’s clear on the one hand as leaders we should not be seduced into self-promotion, no matter how often or strongly the social media experts tell us we must.

There are no loopholes or workarounds for this. Not even the “humble brag.” That’s simply not the game we’ve been called to play.

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teamscalingheights

“Do what you do so well, that when people see what it is you do, they want to see you do what you do again, and will bring others to show them what it is you do.” ~ Walt Disney

When it comes to actually producing results, no team is perfect. Every team is a mix of weaknesses and strengths. One team excels at getting lots of stuff done quickly, another produces less but with greater excellence. Even teams that seem good at both have room to grow.

If you’re looking to raise the level of performance on your team, try implementing one or more of these 7 tips:

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WatchforWildlife

“The spiritual life cannot be made suburban. It is always frontier, and we who live in it must accept and even rejoice that it remains untamed.” ~ Howard Macey

On the highway up to my mountain home, there’s one of those electronic traffic alert signs you often see in construction areas or along the arteries through larger cities. The sign alerts drivers to any dangers that may be present ahead, like when there’s an accident on the road, or it’s been snowing and the roads are icy, or on the rare occasion when rocks have fallen on the roadway from the mountains above.

But on most days when there’s no specific danger to report, the sign simply reads: “Watch for Wildlife.” Now of course I know they mean by this that we ought to watch for wild animals and to take care not to harm or disturb them as we go our way, which is a very good practice for us all to give more thought to, I think, as it seems so many now view the presence of other forms of life in the world as completely incidental to their lives.

But lately the phrase has struck me on a different level, as if it is admonishing me to be on watch for the wild, untamed life that lives in the free forests and the high countries of my own soul.

BE ON WATCH FOR YOUR WILD LIFE

Do you know what I mean? That wild place in you. That free spirit. That raucous beautiful song. It would burst out of your chest in a roar and a dance like nothing the world has ever seen if you let it.

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GirlStandsOnLog

A thought on courage, and a challenge, for your week ~

“Why is it so difficult to take the first, necessary, close-in, courageous step to claiming our happiness in life? Perhaps, because taking that step immediately leads to a kind of radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, large parts of us, parts of us that had been kept gainfully employed for years; parts of us we thought absolutely necessary to the story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs in effect a massive form of internal corporate downsizing, where the naysayers in us that do not wish to participate are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the last fight occurs, a rear guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, is equal to the new possibilities ahead. –It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer in than we could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that that step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer the story to be more complicated, our identities equally clouded by fear and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.” ~ David Whyte

What is the simple, close in, courageous step that life is calling you to take this week?

Will you take it?

gal-bundledup
I’m really excited to welcome my friend and coaching colleague Deb Siverson to the blog this week. Deb is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. She’s also the author of The Cycle of Transformation: Igniting Organizational Change through the Leader Coach. Welcome, Deb!

It’s easy to know intuitively if you trust someone or not, but what behaviors lead to that decision? If trust is so commonly described as a quality that must be earned what happens between the time of introduction and the mystical moment when a person proves their mettle?

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