Posted in Christian, Conversational Intelligence, Monastic, Resilience, Women, womeninleadership

7 Things to Strengthen the Soul of Your Leadership

Hello to all my faithful readers. I know that blogging is not my primary gifting, but I do enjoy sharing some helpful (or at least I think helpful) thoughts from time to time.

Last night, here at Horizon College, we held LEAD Women and it was my joy to share on some of the things that I’ve learned in the last couple of years. Things that have strengthened me, shaped me and helped me stand on a firmer foundation. And it is my hope for you as you read this, that there would be one thing that you could take away and utilize for strengthening who you are as a Christian leader – as persons sent from God and standing in his presence. (2 Cor. 2:17b)

My 7 things:

  1. Figure Out Who Your People Are. Kris Vallotton in his book Destined to Win: How to Embrace your God-Given Identity and Realize Your Kingdom Purpose talks about this important truth. Who are the kingdom-minded people that you resonate with? Who’s traveling with you? Who around you is creating space for you to use your gifts?
  2. Learn How to Self-Coach. “Change begins with the person who wants it,” says Marilee Adams in her book Change Your Questions Change Your Life. As I shared last night, it took me a long time to realize that leaders are “ridiculously in charge.” In fact, Dr. Henry Cloud in his book Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge would say that leaders choose the “boundaries they allow to exist on their property.” Be a leader who seeks feedback, learns good processes, implements them, and grows the ability to lead yourself well. You are the hardest person you will ever lead!
  3. Try Something New. Sometimes we don’t realize that our patterns, though they once served us well, are no longer helping us get where we want to be. Here are some “new” things to try:
    • Switch up the Bible translation you’re using.
    • Write out a book of the Bible.
    • Do some reading from eras past. I’ve spent the last while reading some writings from the Desert Mothers and Fathers – so, so good! For me, this has enabled me to better understand the landscape of my own soul.
  4. Get Comfortable Talking About Mistakes. Our biggest learning comes from when we talk about and learn from our mistakes. Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, in their new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy say “to be resilient after failures, we have to learn from them. Most of the time we know this; we just don’t do it. We’re too insecure to admit mistakes to ourselves or too proud to admit them to others. Instead of opening up, we get defensive and shut down.” (pp 144-145) I am currently working with the Advancement Team here around this, and it is fascinating to be a part of a team that is growing in this area.
  5. Grow Your Conversational Intelligence. “Conversations have the power to change the brain,” says Judith E. Glaser in her book Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results. So much can change for us if we simply learn to communicate well. Be the leader that leads the way in this. Grow your strength and model/teach others how to grow theirs. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High is another excellent resource that every leader should know about. If we don’t learn to “talk things out, we will act them out,” says the authors of CC.
  6. Stay Involved With Your Own Soul. You are in charge of your life. You are responsible for working hard, for stewarding your one life well, and for remaining in a “yes” posture to the work of the Spirit. No other person can do this for you – you need to own it. And let me say this: You are worth you getting to know!
  7. Cultivate Gratitude. Count your blessings; name them. This practice can be life transforming. One of the intentional ways that I am daily cultivating gratitude is by using the 5-Minute a Day Journal – it was well worth the financial investment.

 

May strength, grace, and resilience be yours in abundance.

Carmen

For fun: This is me and my “soul friend” Karin. She is a part of LEAD Women and brings our snacks each time we gather – I thank God for her!

If you’re in the Saskatoon area, LEAD Women meets June 19th from 7-9 at Horizon College & Seminary.

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Posted in Theology, womeninleadership

The Promise: “To ALWAYS Encourage You to Develop the Gifts God Has Placed Within You.”

Entry #1

It’s been almost twenty-five years since my husband, Albert, said those words to me on our wedding day, and I to him. But what we didn’t know that day was that his wife would be called to be a leader in the Body of Christ. Even more specifically, that his wife would one day grow up (okay, I’m not that old, but to be real, I was 21 when we got married!) and pursue becoming a licensed minister. And in recent weeks my eyes have been opened again to this ongoing tension in the Body of Christ – even in denominations that say “yes” to women in ministry – about just how confused many of us still are regarding women’s roles and whether or not God can really “call” a woman to be a pastor, leader, and what her spheres of influence should be.

So, this morning as I was chatting over breakfast with a couple of my leader friends, one of them suggested, after I shared with her part of my wedding vow, that that’s a good starting point for a blog series. And to be honest, I’ve never (I mean never!) written a paper or published any stance on women and leadership because I never wanted to be that woman. And by that woman, I mean the one who came from a place of “needing” to prove something or “needing” to make my voice heard because, especially in more recent years, I didn’t want to lose my ability to influence in a good way. To be fair, I’ve probably made some remarks along the way that haven’t gone over so well (forgive me if you’ve been on the receiving end of one, it probably came from a place of hurt), so over time I just tried to advocate for intentionality in choosing called people – both men and women. And, in more recent years, I’ve found myself seeking shared leadership opportunities because my starting point is that men and women were created to be God’s image-bearers and share God-given responsibilities.

Where did I get my beginning position that men and women were created as image-bearers and were to share God-given responsibilities? The Bible tells us the following:

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26–28, NKJV)

Now before we jump to things like, “But Paul said_________,” can we just pause for a while and ask ourselves, what does it mean to be an image-bearer? What does it mean to be entrusted with God-given responsibilities? To have dominion over?And what did that responsibility originally look like? For the sake of journeying together, can I challenge you to go back and reread Genesis 1 and 2? And in the coming weeks as I journey this too (because I figure it’s about time I clearly lay out my position), I will be writing about my findings as I work my way through understanding God’s heart for me and the many other women out there who’ve wondered who they were and the purposes for which they were created.

And here’s my commitment to all of you: I promise to ALWAYS encourage you to develop the gift(s) that God has placed within you.