(Here at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit praying for God to give me new insight to help me in leading with Operation Christmas Child. To learn more about OCC click here...)
Bill: A few years ago I talked to you about blind spots—weaknesses a leader can’t see. I’ve always wanted to speak about what I think is almost a universal blind spot in type A, driving people – there’s a blind spot about reflection and pushing the ‘pause button’ and realizing the importance of self-reflection and getting a picture of what’s really going on in your life. I’m activistic and want to keep moving forward but I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t punctuate my activity with self-reflection I pay and everyone around me pays. What we’re going to do in this session—we’re going to provide you the time to experience a few minutes of reflection on the illusions of leadership:
1. The illusion that you can carry ever-increasing amounts of speed in your life and simultaneously keep your soul line heading in the same direction with the same margin. As God blesses us He gives us more to manage and we just go faster and faster but at some place on this line of increasing speed I start losing touch with my soul. The connection with God gets a little more distant and I just start asking God to help me keep my speed up. I start going too fast for the people in my life. It’s not just God and other relationships—it can affect your health, your recreation. The illusion all of us suck into—in my experience you can’t keep going. It must involve flattening out the speed and having new relational practices and goals.
Speed Vs. Soul – Take 2 minutes to evaluate your own life and what God is whispering to you to do about it
Dr. Henry Cloud – new book “The Power of the Other”—
2. The most important thing is: who are you connected to? Here’s a GPS—Write down this map of connectedness—the map of the leader’s world. There are only 4 possibilities of connectedness—
Corner #1= no connection (leadership can force you into no connection) Corner #2= bad connection (someone’s in it with me but it leaves me feeling I’m bad and a loser)
Corner #3=fake good connection (relieves the pain but a pseudo connection like an addiction or driving to greater numbers)
Corner #4=real connection (the power of the other—real relationships that operate with a particular formula and that is I must walk into that corner from a place of need and accept the help of the other—God calls us to come home to corner #4—we need to surround ourselves with people who can be in corner #4 with us)
Take 2 minutes reflecting on which corner you are in most often? Why? What keeps you from going to corner #4?
3. The illusion of achievement. Shauna Niequist (my daughter) sent me the manuscript of her new book “Present Over Perfect” and she will now read me an excerpt from that book: (paraphrase) thinking that achievement would make me happy—my life began to feel like an obstacle course and I felt exhaustion and isolation—so I began the journey back to grace and love and connection and rest. This is my greatest regret: for a season I placed my marriage and my family on the altar of competency and efficiency. I was giving the best of myself to people “out there” while the core of my home was fragile. I thought I would feel gladness if I broke my back for my work but that didn’t come. You find the gladness in the people around your table, in prayer, when you sit in silence. It’s not in numbers or bank accounts. The love you’re looking for isn’t something you can calculate; it’s something you receive. In the silent space the love you’ve been looking for that comes from God Himself will come.
For the next 2 minutes do a “satisfaction audit” on a 10 scale. Are you satisfied? Where are you finding it? Where are you not finding it? Are you open to the love of God and the work of the Spirit in your life?
No matter what illusion you’ve believed in the past, God love rewriting stories and making things new. He loves to mend and restore. You think about that as this promise is sung over you.