Words of Wisdom: Challenge

Whatever you face in life, choose to GROW through it, rather than simply GO through it!

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You are not alone

Life is challenging  :0)

Relationships, responsibilities, expectations, beliefs, emotions, disappointments the constant hustle and bustle of life mean that we are going to face struggles. I’m pretty sure there is a quote that goes along the lines of

“There is nothing in life more certain than that we will face struggles”

Not sure sounds about right but I could have my quotes crossed. Anyhow when we do face these struggles how are we dealing with them – Do we curl up into our own world or do we reach out.

When facing struggles it’s easy to fall into the trap of going it alone. There are many dangers in this:

Namely that going it alone means going inside your own head which unfortunately is full of well-intentioned but misguided. ‘Voices’ all vying for attention, all influenced by a real or imagined past push and pull at your consciousness telling fighting for you to see te ‘reality’of your situation. The deeper you encourage these voices to grow without being checked, the more you feel that yours is the only situation like it, that there must be something seriously wrong with you because nobody could be experiencing what you are experiencing.
This is a lie. Think back to the past 9 months to a ‘drama’ which unfolded in your life and you since have gotten through (and survived). Focus on the conversations that were going on in your head at the time of the drama as you went at it alone. What were you saying to yourself?
Now think about recent conversations, either that you have had with friends, associates, etc or that you overheard where the drama you experienced came up. How many times did you hear somebody else say “I had a similar experience…”; “the same thing happened to me…” etc and you walked away thinking “Thank God I am not the only one who faces these things.
The facts are that we all face the same base dramas at some point in our lives. Sure, maybe not to the same intensity level or duration but the same dramas never the less. The challenge is that we don’t talk about these things enough, especially not with somebody equipped to walk with you on this journey. The result being that we often get swamped in a mire of self and self-help all unwittingly causing more stress than help.
I wanted to share with you two things that helps me effectively work through the ‘dramas’ in my life. Although applying these approaches won’t ease the pain or remove the challenge completely (unfortunately I have learned that there are things we need to experience in order for us to learn and change)  they will help even if only in the knowledge that we are not the only ones going through this.

1) Connect and speak with someone who is qualified to walk with me on this journey. –

By qualified, I mean somebody who meets one or more of the following criteria
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I have found (depending on the circumstance) that it can be easy to go to a family member, friend etc for guidance. This can be good if they understand you well and are able to have the required conversation with you. The challenge to be aware of when considering this route is the following
Family/Friends love you and want to protect you/themselves (there is a vested/immediate interest in the decisions you make. This desire to protect (and unfortunately in some cases the desire to see you stumble) will ‘subconsciously influence the advice they give you and in some cases, this advice although well intentioned will not be the advice you need.
The same is the case with work colleagues, sports team mates etc

2) Pray

If you’ve been following my posts for a while you may have realised that I am a man of faith. My relationship with God is a very personal thing which has taken me a while to develop and in time has given me a lot of blessing and support.
I wanted to share a passage that came up recently in response to a challenge I was praying about
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithfull in prayer”
Romans 12:12
This passage came up just after a very searching prayer. The reason it helped me and I find it particularly powerful are
1) It came up straight after my prayer and spoke to what I had been praying about
2) The words and the way it is written are amazing. There are a number of reasons for this –
a) It’s telling us to ‘be’ Joyful: this is an action, a how to we can look up ways of being which help us move forward. It would be very different if it said ‘have’ this is something we need to decide to own, not easy when we are struggling. In other words, at this time I can go and look at ways of acting on creating lightheartedness. Simply reading synonyms like ‘sunny’, ‘sprightly’, ‘mirthful’, ‘radiant’ brought a smile to my eyes and casting shadows from my heart.
b) In Hope – Our hope is Gods trustworthy promise to us. It’s saying “have a confident expectation in His promise that He will deliver.” This is so exciting
c) Again the action of ‘being’ patient in affliction. For me this is an instruction, a guide that I have to actively work at being patient. He knows I am frustrated and panicking; that my prayers aren’t going to be answered and is saying “I have you, you work on kerbing your panic, let me do the rest
d) and finally ‘be’ faithful in prayer: This hit me at two levels, firstly that I am being told that “ok, you’ve prayed and asked me for things , now you have to actively work on trusting (faith) that I am going to deliver“, my challenge as I journey in my relationship with Christ is to not see anything happening and then go off and try to take control in my own hands which cause more friction and never solves the issue, and secondly “and keep praying” I need to be faithful in building my relationship. i need to be intentional in my walk of becoming a Leader who is a World Changer
Whatever battle you are going through, remember you are not alone. There is always somebody out there who is facing or has walked a similar journey. You don’t need to (and hopefully you don’t feel you need to do this alone.
Reach out, two are stronger than one
At Leadership in Motion our mission is to help people and organisations flourish. One of the ways we do this is through working side by side with individuals who are struggling to achieve the rewards they deserve. We do this using a person centred, coaching approach in a non-critical, non-judgemental way. We are highly curious about Human Behaviour and ways to help people change and are consistently working a making ourselves masters in the world of human achievement.

GET YOUR CHORES DONE!

This morning. as I sat in the quiet stillness of a beautiful dawn and reflected on my day ahead, my thoughts drifted to my housekeeping objective for the day – vacuuming and washing the floors. As quickly as the awareness of what I had committed to do earlier in the week came to mind…

At the start of each week, I set myself objectives for the key areas of my life and then assign these objectives to a daily plan which makes seemingly big tasks such as ‘clean the house’ highly manageable because all I am doing on the given day is the assigned task

…another thought came up as quickly “I’m not overly keen on doing this and I have a lot of other things to do, so I’ll adjust my  commitment slightly” a.k.a vacuum today, wash floors next week ;0

For any of you who have a tight schedule and have experienced the joy of ‘doing what needs to get done, when it needs to get done’, my ‘thought’ hopefully triggered the following response “if you drag this over to next week, then next week you have more to do“. I of course immediately recognised this and with a firm tone said to myself “No, you committed to doing this today! GET YOUR CHORES DONE!

I have to admit that my statement of intent made me feel slightly better (it feels good knowing you are going to follow through on your commitments) and although fully committed to completing this task I still had a slight ‘resentment’. And I realised why – I had to do a ‘Chore’

When I looked up the meaning of Chore the following came up

“A tedious but necessary task”

google dictionary

A job or piece of work that is often boring or unpleasant but which needs to be done regularly”

dictionary.cambridge.org

When we have to do anything that, although necessary, we perceive as ‘tedious’; ‘boring’ or ‘unpleasant’ we typically will either –

Do it but in a reluctant manner, giving less than our full effort and attention

We will find ways to avoid it either ‘rescheduling’ or ‘trying to do it’ (an interesting word ‘tried’)

With this realisation, I recognised how this dirty little word could seep into many things we need to take regular action on – Making those daily sales calls; invoicing clients; calling the people we promised to call back – tasks which have a big impact on our happiness and success.

I have therefore decided, as all good coaches with a grounding in CBT would do, to reframe my language. My necessary tasks which need to be done regularly are now my

“Acts of Love”

It’s was amazing! The moment I thought about what I needed to do as an act of love – in this instance keeping a clean home is an act of love to myself, my gorgeous wife and to my Father in Heaven – the resentment vanished and was replaced by a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

Love requires heart and as the bible says

“whatever you do, work with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters”

Colossians 3:23

Give it a try – start treating your tasks/jobs as “acts of love” and see how you are richly rewarded :0)

*Leadership in Motion was formed to help managers and business owners develop into strong, confident leaders: Leaders who recognise their purpose and authority; and who have the tools and means to equip, enable and empower others to realise their full potential resulting in flourishing organisations, communities and lives

To be a successful leader, you need to behave like a great parent

As part of my ongoing learning and development, I am currently making my way through a phenomenal book by Alan Kendrick, Randy Alcorn, and Stephen Kendrick called

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This morning as I studied my new week’s chapter (each week I focus on one chapter, allowing me to truly focus and apply the key message for that week) I had an epiphany about leadership.

RESOLVE TO BLESS YOUR CHILDREN

“I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.”

Now to those who know me, me focussing on this area appears somewhat strange, especially as we (my amazing wife and I) don’t have children, and your confusion would be well placed as I too thought ‘why the heck am I reading this and what possible value could it add to my life?’.

Oh ‘me’ of little faith :0) One of my prayers before any kind of activity is to pray for wisdom in any interactions I have so that I hear, see and learn what my Father voice and in this instance, it came out loud and clear.

To be a better leader, you need to become a better parent

The link between parenthood and leadership came about through 2 bible verses/words of wisdom the authors share.

  1. “Fathers do not exasperate your children so that they will not lose heart” Colossians 3:21
  2. “Before training and instructing, it is critical that we do not frustrate or embitter or they will lose heart and not listen to us” the authors

As I read these words the first clear message that came to me was “Parents are leaders, and leaders are parents.” Don’t go away, hear me out…

Below I relay nine things the authors listed (buy and read this great book for all the details) that cause children to lose heart. Alongside each ‘thing’ I have started a sentence which I urge you to complete.

Thing            (Definition)                                        “Complete the sentence…”

A) Absence (Not giving full attention; outright not being there)

“When my boss doesn’t give me their full attention (at the appropriate time) I become …..

B) Anger  (saying or doing things that wound

“When my boss acts out in anger towards me I …”

C) Unjust discipline (unjustified or administered unfairly)

“When my boss mete’s out discipline unjustly or unfairly I …” 

D) Harsch criticism (sarcasm, belittling in private or public)

“When my boss says sarcastic or belittling things to me or about me I …”

E) Lack of compassion (not listening fully, not clarifying)

“When my boss doesn’t listen fully or dismisses my fears/concerns I …”

F) Favouritism

“When my boss shows as if they have favourites I …”

G) Hypocrisy 

“When my boss preaches one thing and does another, I …

H) Misunderstanding (not listening and then disagreeing or sharing opinions)

“When my boss shares their opinion or disagrees with me before having fully listened and understood I …

I) Unrealistic expectations (set up to fail)

“When my boss assigns me tasks or objectives for which I am not equipped or skilled to accomplish, I …”

To conclude,

If you are anything like me and the people I have observed in the workplace on the receiving end of any one of these behaviours, I hope you realise that leaders, like parents, have people who need to be treated and communicated with in certain ways. Failure to do this will and does, lead to resentment and withdrawal most definitely a costly and often painful event.

Would love your thoughts and reflection on the above. How do you as a parent/leader ensure engagement and positive development?

Have a brilliant week