Friday, August 15, 2008

leadership thoughts

Disclaimer: The first part of this blog might apply more to the women than the men. Not to say that guys can't read it.

At the leadership conference I was at, they interviewed two young women that I was quite interested in. Both of them are young women who have taken a dream to make a difference in the world and gone out done just that. They both started their own non-profit organizations and began working for towards these dreams they had been given. As a woman working in the non-profit world I was excited to be able to hear from these women.

I appreciated just being able to hear from them about how they did it. I know that for myself I often find myself holding back from getting involved in leadership because I'm female. One of the women said these words, that have engraved themselves in my brain: "make no excuses for being a woman in leadership." I am called to lead where God has placed me in life. It may look different than how a guy would do, in fact I think it should look different, but I don't need to shy away from where God has called me to lead in my life. I don't need to be making excuses for myself. I just need to step up and do what God has called me to do.

The rest of this blog applies to both men and women.

Another thing from this leadership conference that I attended last week that has really stuck with had to do with whole topic of accountability. It is something that needs to be a part of all leader's lives! One of the speakers talked about how sometimes we need to be willing to sacrifice our privacy for the sake of accountability. It just struck me as so true. When we make ourselvses accountable to other peole, we willingly give up some of our privacy. And this is a good thing! Our lives cannot be lived in secret. If no one knows what is going on in our lives - what we're doing when we're not working or volunteering - we can very easily fall into sin. When we have people in our lives who have our permission to know what we're doing in our off-time and to ask us the tough questions. Without that our lives as leaders suffer greatly.

Another thing that hit me was when one of the speakers talked about failing at something you step out to do. I tend to be someone who takes failing at something pretty hard. It's something that I often transfer to myself, seeing myself as a failure rather than just seeing it as an event. So for me, this reminder is something that I need often.

As I've thought back over this two day leadership conference, there has been so much that has spoken to me. It's taken me this week to really begin to make sense of all of it and to pull out what I needed to learn. The biggest thing I think I took away is the reminder that it will be easier - not always easy, but easier - to lead if it's something you really, really believe in. When you are really souled out to the vision that you're working for, you will be more committed to it and more willing to stick with it through the challenges that will inevitably come your way.

OK, so up to this point, this is my processing from this leadership conference I attended. There was so much more information that came my way in those two days, but I'm learning that in situations like that I need to take the things that I need to learn and then leave the rest of the information for a later date. You can't process that much information all at once. You have to leave the rest to be learned at a later date.

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