Earlier this week, a member of our team was approached with an amusing question. Her younger son asked why we celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Grandparent’s Day … but not “Kid’s Day” in America.
Not wanting to sound bitter or patronizing, she simply replied that every day is a day to celebrate awesome kids, but sometimes we as parents need a pat on the back from time to time.
Do you, as a leader, ever feel like this? Could you use a fist bump every now and then?
I know I’ve been there.
One of the most difficult times of my life was watching how faculty reacted to a $70 million new campus. I was looking at this dream come to life yet hearing comments like, “Well I don’t have enough plugs on this wall.”
In meeting with many individuals and teams I find every so often the “powers that be” need to be heard, acknowledged, encouraged, and lifted up in prayer.
Recognize the Battle
2 Corinthians 2 warns us to be aware of Satan’s schemes so he won’t outwit us.
I’m not one of those people who runs around pointing out everything unfortunate or gone awry, but I do believe there are times we must call out the pushback the devil will bring against those in leadership.
The solution is rarely as simple as “go get a job somewhere else.”
If God has placed you somewhere to do significant work, you’re going to face extremely clever schemes designed to discourage you. It’s not all about you, but there is a weight that comes with the role of leadership. You are the head of a group making moves for the kingdom. That alone invites opposition.
It’s normal to get caught up in the emotions likely to surround attacks. We’re all human.
Don’t stay in this space.
We have to endure the pain in the process in order for God to unveil its purpose.
Speak Up NOT Out
For many like me, the immediate, unguarded response to conflict – especially resulting from personal attack and/or lack of support – is to verbally lash out, complain, or overshare.
Though it may feel satisfying in the moment, those of us with a few years under our belts know nothing beneficial comes from running our mouths.
Take your cares and concerns to our Father.
As you mature in leadership, press into the response of the Spirit rather than a reaction of flesh and blood.
When you’re in these battles, it’s only certain times that you look down and realize that you’ve got wounds and scars all over. You recognize you’re bleeding because you’re just day in and day out pushing. You go into the meetings, take the big gulps and you sit there silently repeating, ‘Lord give me strength to face this.”
Then in a moment you look down and think to yourself, “Good grief, I cannot keep doing this to myself!”
This is when a lot of leaders bail out or do really stupid things.
It’s because of these moments that we desperately need to invest in self-leadership. Learning how to lead yourself within those times, to have trusted people who you can process with or those people who you can be around who energize you in a healthy way.
The moment you start looking for that affirmation, healing, or encouragement from the people you’re leading, you’re doomed.
See Through or Tell All?
You can’t go wrong being transparent, modeling, and being authentic.
However, there’s a huge wave currently in Christian culture encouraging people to tell all, leaving out the scriptural layers established by Christ.
Our Lord didn’t give Himself fully to the multitudes, but He was very authentic and open. He gave Himself most fully to twelve, but even within this select few there was a hierarchy. He had three he reserved specific conversations and specific experiences for.
Scripture tells us He didn’t give Himself fully to any man because He knew what was in man.
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25
The choice, therefore, leaders must make isn’t whether or not to be transparent, but rather to what degree and with whom. Pray for the Lord to prepare your heart to do this well.
Leadership is a rewarding yet challenging call. Though God may send us people from time to time who do life alongside us with affirmation and encouragement, there doesn’t seem to be much of a “Leader’s Day” celebrated worldwide.
Take a moment to step back and give yourself a pat on the back. You’re walking the sometimes lonely and rough road of leadership … and still taking steps forward. The emotions you are facing are the assurances that you are indeed a leader pursuing a great and glorious vision.
Though Satan may try to discourage you today, be encouraged that you’re seen, you’re authentic, you’re growing, and because of it His reach is ever expanding.
If you are a leader who needs some encouragement from time to time, click here to receive personal text messages from me! I would love to come alongside you in your leadership journey. Plus, I don’t text you spammy messages!