What it looks like to lead like a strong woman. Taking on a leadership role can be exciting and intimidating, but I plan to give you tools to strengthen your confidence and lead with the ability to motivate, captivate, and encourage. You were born for this.
You know…everyone has a certain tolerance for change. Some people have a high tolerance for change while others have a low tolerance for change.
Regardless of that tolerance one thing is true – everyone is not 100% okay with all of the changes that happen in their life.
And most people are not comfortable with changing friendships.
I am one of those people.
I consider myself more inclined to develop interpersonal relationships via one-on-one interactions. I can be just about anyone’s friend, and be a part of the “crowd hype” at gatherings, but I cling to those friendships that are intentional because it requires sacrifice, commitment, and trust.
I will admit that it is hard for me to adjust to people who change, and to people who especially change their mind about the relationship we have.
But, over the last year, and being married to the most handsome and amazing man I have ever met, I have noticed that my current relationships have changed. They’ve changed quite a lot.
I’ve noticed that some friends have started pulling themselves away. I’ve noticed that some friends personalities have changed. I’ve noticed that I’ve developed new friendships and have grown deeper relationships with those who choose to stay.
People grow. People change. People don’t remain the same.
I’ve come to terms with it. As we all gain life experience, and overcome new challenges we are faced with, we will all eventually bring new perspectives, values, opinions, and beliefs to the table.
Because of that, not everyone in our current circle will be okay with the changes. Those who grow with you will stay while others who no longer wish to take part will fade away.
It’s a part of the process of growing up, and you never stop growing up.
I want you to know, just like I have come to know, that it is okay for your friendships to change. This means accepting your current friends for who they have grown into, or saying good bye to those who want to leave (even if they leave silently – you’ll notice – I promise).
The people who work just as hard as you in keeping your friendship alive are those you fight for. Don’t be worn down or weary by those who choose to walk away. It’s okay. They may not be meant for you in this season.
And, if you have friends who have changed because of things they have experienced then sit down and listen. Try to understand where they are coming from, and gain a new perspective on life. That’s how we all grow.
And, if you have developed some new friendships in this season then take the time to grow some roots. It’s okay to invest in new people (albeit a little scary), but they could be who you need right now.
Although change can be uncomfortable it can mostly be beneficial into growing us in to the women we are meant to become.
We are all doing life together. It’s truly a forest.
It’s full of twists and turns, dry seasons and wet seasons, good growth and bad growth, and most of all, people who help root us despite the ever changing climate.
There will be shallow planted people, and deep-rooted people you will encounter in life.
Take it in stride, grow from every encounter, and allow things to fall into place.
The last thing you want to do is to stay stuck in the “I wish things never changed.” Doing so will rob you the opportunity to truly connect with the people around you, and who are with you, right now.
It’s been quite some time since I have sat down and typed a few words, and I mean that in a poetic and artistic way. Honestly, I didn’t know how much my heart ached to get back to the rhythm of writing again until I found myself longing for purpose. For awhile, I was so consumed by my work that I forgot what brought me joy. So much so that I started to question every motive behind my every action.
Why am I doing this?
Do I find joy in what I do?
Do I care about what I’m creating?
How do I feel?
In all honestly, I had gotten lost in the hustle and bustle of “get it done” culture.
I would strive to be the best at what I was doing in the moment even if I didn’t care about what I was actually doing.
Having an attitude like that can truly cause you to lose yourself, and what you love.
I love writing. I love letting my voice flow out in words and my thoughts string together in a few sentences to iterate what my speech fails to express in the moment.
I stutter when it comes to “on-demand” talking. I meticously plan out what I want to say to ensure it’s intentional. This is why I started “JennieLaureen.” It’s a blog with what I want to say. A blog with my emotions, and my thoughts, and my opinions.
If other’s enjoy the writing I produce then we can connect as honest human beings – raw and exposed, honest and kind, and altogether lovely as our words bring us together.
So, this post is basically me admitting that I started opening my eyes again. I started peeling back the layers I was hiding beneath to expose what I truly care about. It’s not just writing – it’s about the connection I make with people.
And as I started writing again I found myself with that incredible feeling of bubbling joy in the pit of my stomach as it grew into a warm embrace enveloping every inch of me. I found happiness in the gift God had so graciously given me.
It’s me choosing me again.
I shouldn’t have let others dictate what my motive should be because I know me best. I know others can voice where they see me in 10 years, and the paths I should take to get to the top, but at 25 years old all I truly care about is getting lost in something I love. It’s weary on the soul, mind, body, and spirit to chase after other’s approvals.
All I want in life is to find myself sinking deeper into the talents I have, and hear my own voice having a conversation with Christ about my own future. I want to filter out the noise of other’s voices so I can truly listen to the motive that my own soul speaks.
Joy is found there.
What is your motive?
Why are you doing this?
Do you find joy in what you do?
Do you care about what you’re creating?
How do you feel?
It’s time to question the realities you exist in so that you can find that bubbling joy in the pit of your stomach as it grows into an enveloping warmth that hugs you. Because you know it’s what you are meant to be doing.
Precursor: If this article makes you squirm then please stop reading. I write to help women (or men, if this is a topic you can relate to) in shoes similar to mine. If this bothers you then please know that this article wasn’t meant for you. ❤
Okay, so this article took a lot for me to write. I was straight crying while trying to form the words I needed to say. Words that I needed to express out loud because I knew they were important to me, but also because I learned an internal lesson that I wanted to share.
Sharing about sex can be….awkward…but I don’t personally care because it shouldn’t be a topic that I should not feel comfortable talking about or expressing myself on. I mean…I am married…and I CAN have sex (great sex)…so let’s talk about it.
I think most people probably remember my “Sex is Bad” article (click here). It was an article written from an internal struggle I had faced about sex.
You see…I had remained a virgin for so long because I wanted to give that to my future husband. And my husband was patient, even after 9 years of dating. He honored my decision. Now…don’t get me wrong! We struggled and had several arguments over the “waiting game” because it got harder the longer we waited for physical intimacy. But, he still did his best to honor it.
Well, it’s now August 2019 and my husband and I are 2 months into our marriage. We are fresh off the aisle! And, let me tell you something, I was so excited to go to bed the night of our wedding. I was ready to end the reception early because “I was tired.”
I totally wasn’t.
The first few weeks of marriage were blissful. I was the happiest I had ever been. It was magnificent, beautiful, and life was fun with the added extra activity!
Then, about a month later, it started looking different. And I am not talking about the general wonderfulness part of marriage. Marriage is so fantastic – I LOVE coming home to my husband: cooking together, cuddling together, working out together, and just being together! I’m actually referencing the sex part of marriage.
After about a month I had started to develop insecurities about myself during sex.
I stopped pursuing my husband because I didn’t feel beautiful any more. I started noticing the extra cushion on my tummy and arms, and all I wanted to do was hide it. Turn the lights off, stay under the covers, shove his arm here so he doesn’t put his arm at the place i’m trying to hide.
I started staying in my head and focusing on hiding myself during sex that I couldn’t enjoy sex like I did before. And because of that it would take me an hour or more to finally peak. THEN THAT STARTED BOTHERING ME, because it bothered my husband – making him feel bad.
It caused me so much anxiety that I was nervous to go home because I thought to myself “well, what if he wanted to have fun tonight? I don’t know if I can even perform, and I really don’t want to disappoint him again.” I was pre-framing myself for a bad time.
Guys…I even looked forward to my period because I knew I could go to bed knowing sex wasn’t going to happen, and I could just relax with my husband.
But I knew, and felt, like I was seriously disappointing him. So, I tried to make up for it by doing things around the house, doing more work, finding an amazing job, and providing as best as I could just so I could impress him and make him happy again.
And that even crushed me. Because if I did something wrong, and he wasn’t happy, I really took it to heart because I was trying. I was trying so hard, and it made me feel like I was failing in every aspect of my life.
My literal internal thought was “I suck at sex, I suck at providing, I suck at making my husband happy. I can’t do anything. He could easily find someone better – i’m not worth it.”
I have heard so many stories from women who face the same problem. I never thought once I would be in their shoes, and yet, here I am. It’s an actual issue that women face. And, yes, the crazy thoughts come that are so irrational you believe you are crazy for having them. They just aren’t voiced aloud.
I know you have them…even if you don’t want to admit it. I’m only admitting it because you aren’t the only one.
Regardless…today is different.
Today, I am writing this article because I realize how ridiculous all of that stuff above sounds. It’s insane for me to think that I am “less than” because I decided (all by myself) that I was an awful person – and it all came from a simple insecurity during sex.
And I am not saying it’s all butterflies and dandelions now. This is a process. I have to love myself, and support myself, by talking to Christ and thinking positive thoughts throughout the day.
I have to love every aspect of myself when I am exposed to the person I trust the most, and continue to remind myself of that every day. I can trust and be exposed to my husband with no judgment from him.
Because the bottom line is this………………….he loves me.
If I am not comfortable with someone I wholly trust then how can I ever be 100% comfortable with my other friendships, and develop those lasting bonds we all so desperately need in life?
Today, I will love myself. Today, I will ask for what I want and pre-frame tonight as a night to have a good time. He doesn’t care that I have a little extra cushion. Instead of me looking at it like “it’s a bad thing to have” I should reinforce positive thoughts and say “well…it’s something for him to grab.”
Sex is beautiful. Just as God created it to be. I am beautiful because I am the daughter of a king.
It’s MY job to pre-frame sex the way it was meant to be. it’s MY job to enforce positive thoughts into my life. It’s MY job to see myself as a beautiful daughter of the king.
It’s MY job to enjoy sex and be with my husband IN the moment and NOT in my head.
I waited too long for me to go through this. Today – this stops. It may take me a little while to be 100% there and okay, but I am going to get there.
All day today I have been reinforcing positive thinking. Reading scripture on how I was wonderfully and beautifully made. I have been pre-framing all day.
You should do the same.
Because of that……I literally cannot wait to get home to my husband. ❤
Complete honesty? I have really struggled with the concept of where I currently am. And this includes everything: my career, my body, my health, my finances, and even my blog.
I have these goals that I LOVE to set, and in my head, I’m like “I am so going to accomplish this.” I have this mentality that whatever I put my mind too will always work out. If I try hard enough and work long enough I will always be successful.
Yeah…I kind of laughed too when I wrote that.
But, the problem isn’t that I’m not competent enough or not working hard enough or working long enough. The problem is that I’m chasing after something that I was never meant to chase after. It’s not my “now calling.”
Just recently I started to figure this out. You’d think I would have sorted this already after following Jesus for like 9 years! (almost double digits!! I could cryyyyy).
Back to the point.
I have been chasing after things that were meant for me in a previous season, and not meant to follow me into my new season.
Let me explain. When I start something I am fully committed. I rarely ever let it go unless I am forced to. Which means my responsibilities pile on top of each other.
I don’t like to let anyone down.
But, let’s be serious. If I really take a deep look at the “why I don’t let go” then my honest answer would be to meet the expectations of those whose opinions matter to me.
Go ahead…shake your head and sigh. I did too when I got to the core of it all. I get it.
And you want to know what made me breathe a sigh of relief? To understand that it’s okay that I am not where I thought I would be?
An open and honest conversation with my fiance.
Here is the story. I labeled myself as the breadwinner of our family. I was going to be the main provider, with health insurance, good benefits, and be an amazing wife who could love and care for our children (which I don’t have yet).
So, a long time ago (like 2 years into dating – we are now going on year 9) I thought “okay, I need to get this life-thing right, make no mistakes, and get this adult thing down now so I am better prepared for when I become a grown woman who supports her family. Like I said, I make commitments, and that includes my relationships. (TBH – Bruce is the best decision I have EVER made).
So, I set goals. I said to myself:
My credit score is going to be excellent before I am 23.
I am going to have a dedicated budget that manages all my finances before I graduate undergrad so I can manage our budget.
I am going to get my master’s so I can make more money so I can support our family.
I am going to be debt free before I get married so I don’t burden our cash flow.
I am going to pray every single day because that’s what a good wife would do.
I am going to get super fit so I can be healthy so I can be an example for my kids of how we should care for our bodies (kids that I still don’t have).
I am going to start my/our retirement fund so we can retire early without feeling like we can’t.
And the list can literally go on for hours.
In some places of that list, I am preparing so far into the future that I am rushing the present. I can’t even enjoy my smallest wins today because I’m stuck in the thought pattern of “I’m not where I thought I would be. “
I’m being too harsh to MYSELF. Like, for real?! I suck at congratulating myself because nothing is ever enough. I always try to find faults so I can say “I could have done better.”
So, I had a panic attack. My instinct? I have to call Bruce. I told Bruce (my fiance, if you didn’t catch it) how I was feeling. I told him, “I felt like I was a failure. I really wanted to quit school because I was tired, I wanted to quit my job and do something else because I wasn’t completely happy, I wasn’t giving enough to my eTeam and my eGroup because I’m so wrapped up with work and school, and would rather do church instead of work and school, etc. etc.” And, he asked me why I was feeling that way. I was honest.
Because I need to support us. I can’t drop these things or do something else because I have to support our family.
I had set the expectation, without actually talking to Bruce about it, that I was going to provide us with this comfortable lifestyle that successful adults have because it’s my responsibility to provide.
And all he had to tell me was this, paraphrased here, “yeah, you make a lot more than me, but I don’t care what you make. You don’t have to make that much. Even if you were working at a coffee shop with me I would be happy because I’m spending my life with you; not that you’re making enough for us both. We do this together.”
I know it sounds simple, but his words struck a chord in me. I think God purposely put him in my life at a young age because God knows me very very very well. That I would do this. At this point in my life.
The thing is, there is no goal in life that I should be striving to achieve. For the record, goals are GOOD. I am not saying “ditch the goals.” I’m saying, there is no goal in life that I should be striving for in order to gain the approval of even the most important people in my life. Plus, marriage is an “us” thing – not an “I thing.”
Not to set expectations on myself for the approval of someone else, even if they didn’t know I was seeking their approval. Sometimes, we don’t know until we are honest about it and have open conversations.
What season am I in?
Well, in my previous season, I was meant to do really well in school. That was my focus that God asked me to do. It was a blessing from him that I needed to manage. In this season? It’s no longer my focus. I’m in school, yes, but I can’t expect myself to perform at the same level this season as my last season when I have other focuses in my “now calling” like my eGroup and my eTeam at church. Does that mean I flunk school? Nope.
It just means that I do my best, and don’t kill myself striving for a goal (like an A) that I can’t keep up with. I need to focus on my “now calling” (or better yet, responsibilities that God has asked me to manage).
Getting married. We have a wedding to plan and pay for. That is my current focus.
Caring for my eGroup. We are now multiplying into two teams. It’s time to focus on that growth.
Caring for my eTeam. We are a team full of teenagers. They are like my kids, and they deserve my attention.
Finish the Masters. Not BE THE BEST, just finish the race.
And in all of that, I needed to let go of responsibilities that I shouldn’t carry into this season or put on my plate that’s meant for a later season like “trying to get debt free” or “planning for retirement.” Those things will come, or come again, but for now, I need to balance and focus what I’m supposed to manage today.
I can only carry a certain amount of weight. If I try to do it all I WILL fail and then really put on the “I am NOT where I’m supposed to be” pout.
The fact is, I AM where I am supposed to be because I am still chasing after Jesus.
In the cheesiest way possible – it’s God’s perfect timing. Not mine.
As women, we really need to learn when to give ourselves a break, celebrate where we are today, and love ourselves for where God put us and where he is taking us. Understand that where I am at today is okay, and the dream I have for the future will come to pass as long as I have my trust and motivation in the right place.
Celebrate TODAY so I don’t miss the present chasing the future.
Sure, I want a new job. I will look when the wedding is over. I don’t need that added pressure. I have been rushing the wedding process that I prayed for because I’m looking for the promise AFTER the wedding. But, what about the promise of GETTING MARRIED. I’m missing it. I need to love where I am or I’m going to MISS the blessing IN FRONT OF ME.
Sure, I want to quit school. That ends this April. I can’t rush to the celebration because I’m tired of waiting or working. The reward of our labor comes in due time.
Remember this in Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
You see – I’ve been labeled the “happy person.” I am the person that most people go to if they need a boost of energy, or a shoulder to cry on, or an ear for someone to talk to. Loving people just comes naturally to me. It brings an abundance of joy to my life to know that someone feels loved. Not everyone gets that opportunity to pour so deeply into someone, and I love the fact that I get that opportunity on a daily basis.
However, no matter how much love I exhibit there will always be people who hate me even if they don’t want to admit it. I’ve been around long enough to know who hates me and who loves me.
And the thing is – it doesn’t bother me. At least not like it used to. In fact, it brings a huge smile to my face!
You see…I refuse to allow someone to break my spirit because I am a woman on a mission and I plan to accomplish it daily. Let me say it again – DAILY.
Did you know that Jesus said in John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Honestly, to know that people are against me helps me to know that I am going in the right direction. I won’t allow them to falter or hesitate my actions because what God has entrusted to me is worth so much more.
I cannot allow my thoughts and time to be spent worrying about what my haters say.
To allow them to break my spirit means for me to give in to the temptation to question what God has promised me.
Therefore, I will brush it off my shoulder, remember the truths that I’ve been promised, and keep strutting in the direction that I see.
I can honestly laugh at this next mention. Because….people who appreciate me say the SAME THING as the people who hate me. Such as:
You smile so much!
You’re so happy!
You have so much energy!
Their tone of voice changes. Isn’t it funny how they work both ways? My point is…which voice am I going to listen to you? Certainly not the people who think my traits are disgustingly annoying ( yes – I have heard that too [haha] ).
Successful and happy people do not adhere to the words of their enemies to only back down. They use it as their fuel. It drives them and reminds them that they wish not to live in a world where people like themselves don’t exist.
You will have people who hate you.
The best thing you can do…………………………………………………………………………………. Love them.
I’m writing this because it sucks to finally notice – and I am not the only one with this problem. And, yes – it is a problem. The inability to let go of your control.
I had no idea that I needed or wanted the amount of control I desired. I woke up to it because I read an article on recognizing the controllers in your life, and as I read the article I found my self within it. And I wasn’t happy with what I found. Here are a few that I have personally dealt with:
Believing that you are 100% responsible for your success. This sounds really nice because I do believe you are responsible for your success, but not 100%. We have this motto that “failure isn’t an option” and we tend to be overly critical of ourselves, and others when things don’t go as planned. Ex: we didn’t get the job we wanted – we thought we had a perfect resume and a flawless interview – nothing was wrong with it. But, there are circumstances such as good timing and blessing. I was so shocked, and proud, that my significant other got a job just by talking his way into it BECAUSE he was there at the right time with his brother who was interviewing for a job. It’s a coincidence and a major blessing for him! I wouldn’t have thought it possible.
You invest too much time trying to convince other people to change. We tend to have this mentality that we believe we know what’s best for everyone. We will even do our best to see what we envision for their lives to come true. We will “give you advice” when you didn’t ask for it, or paint of picture of what your life “could” be like, and even get upset when you do something different than what we think is best! Reality check – the only person who knows what’s best for them IS THE PERSON – not you (or me).
Most of our energy is zapped by trying to prevent bad things from happening. Rather than being smart and preparing for the hurricane, we will altogether try and stop it. All that energy is spent trying to prevent the big bad wolf from entering our home when in reality he eventually breaks in at some point.
We do everything ourselves – we don’t assign our to-do list to anyone. I can already see how bad this could be if I ever want to make it to the C-Suite. I KNOW I have taken on everything possible because I do believe that I can do it exactly right – without fault! And when I do fail – it’s really hard for me to admit and I am already trying to correct it OR MAKE UP FOR IT!
Having too much control essentially removes you from the quality of life you were meant to live.
I have compiled a list below that also defines a control freak, and some of them sting! Because I absolutely love people, but I see myself in a few of these and I hate it. Want to know if you are a control freak too? Read some of these below:
You believe that if someone would change one or two things about themselves then life, and yourself, would be better so you try to “help them” change this behavior by pointing it out, usually over and over.
You micromanage others to make them fit your (often unrealistic) expectations.
You judge others’ behavior as right or wrong and passive-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations.
You give out “constructive criticism” to meet your own agenda.
You manage how others see you by changing who you are or what you believe so they’ll accept you.
You present the worst scenario to influence someone from certain behaviors and certain people.
You have a really hard time with ambiguity and not knowing something.
You talk on behalf of others to explain or dismiss their behavior to others.
The ones I see myself in are: 1, 2, 6, and 7! And I wouldn’t write this blog post UNLESS I have personally been working on these issues myself. I have learned a great deal about myself and the people around me, and I hope the people around me have noticed that I’m trying to change.
However, if you are a control freak like me then here are some things that you need to do to help yourself – and you shouldn’t be trying to change others to make it happen.
We are only responsible for ourselves, and we should take care of ourselves to build beautiful relationships.
Be vulnerable and open. Your mistakes don’t define you – they are a part of what happens in life and teaches you lessons to give to the next generation. We learn from mistakes – not self-de·struct from them.
Be realistic when it comes to your expectations of others. And be realistic about what you can actually do.
Stop being passive-aggressive and be direct in how you feel.
Learn to live with the fact that life is full of the unknown.
Take responsibility for your own happiness – don’t find happiness in others, but for yourself.
Practice controlling your own emotions rather than the people around you.
Matthew 19:26 – But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
I am a Jesus follower! So, being a control goes against what I believe. I just never noticed that I was, and no one honestly pointed it out to me. We are not perfect people, and we are never 100% in control and we must come to terms with that. Because, as a human being, our efforts make it impossible to complete everything and without flaw, but with GOD all things are possible – it becomes a reality. But that requires me to give up control and lean on God. I cannot do everything on my own, and to be honest I really don’t want to because I have learned first hand how exhausting and worrisome it can be.
Especially when it comes to the lives of others.
We must really learn to rely on God and not our abilities. We will drive ourselves nuts, and ruin the plan that God has for us AND the people around us. Our idea of what people should be doing isn’t God-spoken. We don’t know what’s best for everyone because we don’t know them at an intimate level like they do or like God does.
This also applies to the kids we love and mentor, and even our own children. We can’t force our reality of them onto them. It’s their life, and God has a life for them. We can’t force them to listen to us, but we can nudge them to listen to God instead.
We have to step back. Breathe. And only control what we should and that is ourselves.
I write not to attract followers. I write not to be confined to a specific routine or to add to my plate of duties. But, that’s what I did because I was told that there is a certain way to blog and to be successful that I must write a certain way, post on a routine, and follow the ideas of pop-culture.
I didn’t start this blog to fall into that category. I started this blog for me because writing was an outlet for the inner struggles that I face. My battle is speaking aloud to the circle of relationships I trust. I choke on the words I want to say. They are screaming in my ears, but never leave the threshold of my mouth to iterate my deepest struggles, needs, passions, and desires.
It’s like there is a rope dangling at the back of my throat and as soon as I get the courage to whisper a sound it lassos the words and forces it back down to my lungs, the oxygen I once had, catches, and I remain silent.
Don’t get me wrong – I am a joyful and loud individual. I love to smile and to laugh. I love to make people feel loved and encouraged. I give everything I have to everyone around me because people deserve someone who cares for them. I will talk your ear off.
But, people forget to realize that the happiest of people struggle too. It’s like there is a misperception that happy people have it all together. That their life is easy and without struggle.
The truth of the matter is – we support so many people and love on so many people that it’s hard for us to allow you to see our weak side because we are currently strong for you.
But then who do we rely on?
YOU. It’s the same people we support that we must learn to rely on. That it’s okay to expose our own worst enemy to those around us because keeping our pains on the inside will chew at your heart and darken your soul.
You’ll soon realize that being a strong and happy individual without exposing your sufferings will soon strip you of the ability to be an emotionally stable rock for those around you. You’ll soon realize that bringing joy will fade because you’re locked into your mental cage.
You can’t see past the inside of your skull, your eyes are hazed over, and you aren’t really in the room.
A word of advice to those who have a friend who has always been their rock, their mentor, and their shoulder to cry on. Just ask them how things are going. Look them in the eye, and ask them about life and help lead them into a conversation and environment where they can expose themselves.
I know how hard it is, and if it wasn’t for one of the most special people in my life – I would still be living inside my head most days and trying to be a rock for everyone else.
Because I have someone who I trust wholeheartedly – things don’t eat away at me like they use to. I am healthier and stronger in my mental state now more than I ever have.
Over the course of my life I have run across many leaders who have taught me, shaped me, and encouraged me to follow in their footsteps. The biggest lesson I have learned is that there is a major difference between being a leader and being a dictator.
We can all name at least one person who wears the “big shoes.” Those who are seen as the boss. But, what we really notice is if they are capable of being a leader.
One thing is certain – assigning and delivering orders isn’t leading your team. It’s a part of the job.
To be a leader you should be a number of things. But those who just bark orders don’t really create engagement on their team. They must really mean what they say and “bite.” Take a hold of their team and guide their foot steps. Here are a few things I consider important when it comes to leading:
As a leader, are you taking the time out of your week, or day, to understand and know who is on your team? As people are hired on as your staff what are doing to know them? I can tell you that I am more willing to work with a leader who knows me personally. Work takes up a considerable amount of my day (8 hours or more). Interacting with someone for that long, and not knowing anything about their personal life, tells your staff you don’t care about them and that they are only their to serve you and the company.
Once you get past the fantasy phase of starting a new job – the work can become mundane, repetitive, and tiresome. That happens, and it’s the leader’s job to recognize it. As a leader, you need to connect your staff back to the original reason why they started working for the company. You also need to remind them, time and time again, that their role is significant to the success of the company. Tell them WHY – not just what. Inspire them and rejuvenate their energy!
Once an employee gets a rhythm in their job – they can be hesitant to step out of that rhythm, and do more than what is asked of them without you telling them to do so. As a leader, you need to encourage them to push past their safety bubble, and really give everything they have.There shouldn’t be a culture of “fear” to where they cannot express their ideas – no matter where they are on the ladder of leadership. An idea is an idea – and any idea can benefit the company. Obviously, you want the best from your employees, and you want them to give it their all every day. Well – for that to happen you need to motivate your employees. Show them you are motivated to give it your all, and they will follow suit (the majority will at least).
At some point an employee will hit a wall. They have learned all they can for the current job performed, and need more to learn. As a leader, you are responsible to develop and train your employees – especially if you believe they are capable of doing more. You also need to push those who can certainly do more, but don’t want to.
Seeing the potential in your employees is significant as a leader, but that potential will go no where when there is no development. Potential sounds like a great word, but it’s just potential – not action. An employee can stay in the potential stage their entire life and get nothing done. It can be pulling teeth at times, but if you want to see that potential blossom, and become a moving force then you need to provide training for them to hone their skills and use them.
Being a leader requires that you model the companies vision and mission first. Leaders are the “image” of what we hope to have in our employees. If you don’t first be the model to inspire what you hope to see then you will never see it in your employees.
This article can also be reflected back to those in other leadership positions whether be at: school, church, clubs, committees, etc.
Are you truly a leader, or do you bark orders and expect them to get them done?
There are so many people that I know who have decided to stay idle and perform a duty/task that isn’t what they aspired to be.
Of course, we’ll all travel those routes in life, because they teach us lessons that will benefit us in what we are meant to do! Those lessons prepare us for a road ahead to be successful, passionate and grateful to be where we eventually end up.
Yet, so few people move past the events that shape us into what could be their greatest achievement and sit idle at a place of comfort that no longer pushes and molds us.
So many people stay standing at their heel and refuse to take the next step.
So many people would rather stay in a net of safety than dive into a sea of possibility. If we stay caught in the safety net we’ll never discover the hidden city just beneath the surface of the sea.
If you look back on your life – whether it be 5 years or 50 years ago- can you tell where you stopped? Can you see where you personally decided to no longer take the risk? Can you see where you decided to be the one in the stands rather than the player on the field?
If you can, then what’s life like for you? Do you have a dry thirst inside you that screams…give me water?! Do you have a hunger inside you to grow and develop into you – the YOU, you were MEANT to be?
Or are you too afraid? So afraid that your fear chokes your screams…
It doesn’t matter what age you are. As long as you are alive then you have the opportunity to be who God wants you to be.
You are never too old, you are never too young, you are never just stuck, and you are never too tired. We are humans…and we have the capability and the capacity to stretch beyond what we believe our boundaries are.
Our GOD MADE US.
That means….we can do anything, be anything, and achieve anything with the right amount of motivation, push and drive to follow the seed that God planted inside us.
Whatever obstacle you have faced that has caused you to stop in your tracks…take a good look at the life you hold and tell me – are you still thirsty?