Thursday, February 09, 2017

Getting Growing ...

I rarely lack for vision and goals, but I've become a bit tired of goal setting.  There are so many variables at play that at times goals are really nothing more than my best hope for an ideal outcome.  I'm okay with that because as one friend is fond of saying 'if you shoot for the moon and miss, you just might hit a star!' 

As I weighed out where I wanted to go in 2017 and what I wanted to accomplish, I came to the conclusion that what I needed more than goals was a plan to grow.  My job has changed considerably.  My responsibilities have increased.  I have more to manage.  I have more to lead.  I am responsible for finding high capacity people and recruit them to join our team. Most of all, I am tasked with the challenge of turning a comprehensive vision into a national reality.  These are huge changes for me and ones that require something more than just another list of goals. 

Flatlined leaders have believed the lie that growth 'just happens'.  You can identify flatlined leaders by listening carefully.  They are replaying the same script that they playing a year ago!  The reality is that growth happens because we plan to grow.  Growth is INTENTIONAL! Getting intentional for me means that I devote an hour of my day, 5 days a week to personal/professional growth.  Some days I read and take notes, some days I listen to podcasts.  Some days I watch a video.  

Six weeks into my plan, I am seeing enormous growth and results.  Some of that growth is seen the way I am thinking.  Some of it is showing in the way I respond to situations and people around me.  Some of my growth appears in the content I have at my disposal in conversation and coaching.  It's been refreshing to do something more than repeating the same ideas I've had for years.  (Admittedly, not every new idea is a good idea, but not every new idea is a bad one either!)

I ran my first marathon in 2012.  Training was hard work and required more discipline and mental toughness than anything I had done before.  My muscles were sore more days than they weren't, but I grew from being a rookie runner into being a marathoner.  It wasn't always easy, but it was incredibly rewarding to cross the finish live upright and alive on race day!  

I'm seeing the same kind of growth happening in my life.  It's not always easy.  Some days I'm challenged on things that I've just been lazy about.  Some days I'm confronted with blind spots that I have intentionally ignored.   Other days, it's like I get an 'atta-boy' when something I've believed is confirmed to be true.  (It's rare, but it happens!)

If you're leading ANYTHING, you need to find a way to be intentional about your growth.  The people you lead, the people who look to you need you to be a growing leader!
What are you waiting for?  Get growing!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

10 Years Ago....

This moment seems so far away and at the same time, feels like it happened yesterday.  It marked the beginning of an incredible journey of faith, trust, favour and open doors.  I had no expectation that God would show up in my world in such a big way that day, but He did... and He keeps showing up (and showing off!!) on a regular basis!   

Check out what happened 10 years ago this month!

I attended the Speech from the Throne in Victoria today as the guest of a local MLA/Cabinet Minister who is a friend of the ministry. I arrived in plenty of time to people watch, chit chat with those who were sitting around me and just get the feel of the place. 

I noticed my MLA friend come out onto the floor about 10 minutes before things were to begin. He greeted a few people and then began to scan the public galleries greeting a few people he recognized. When he looked my way, I waved and smiled to catch his attention hoping that he would see me up in the "cheap seats". Upon recognizing me, he motioned for me to come down to the main floor and meet him at the door to the Chamber. When I arrived, he introduced me to the Sergeant at Arms who explained that the minister that had agreed to open the session in prayer had cancelled and could I/would I be willing to open in prayer. When I agreed (which took all of about .5 seconds, I was whisked to the Speaker's office and was asked again if I would be willing to serve in this way. 

I told him I would be happy to serve and he directed me to go with the Sergeant where I was led through the door behind the Speaker's throne and shown my seat where I was to wait until I was called upon to pray. After that he asked if I'd like to see their prayer book or just pray one of my one. I looked at the book and opted to pray my own... :-)

I spent most of the speech just trying to get my head around what had just happened... I'm going back next week for the Budget speech. As I was walking to the Speaker's office, my MLA friend turned to me and said "we know who's really in charge here don't we Tim!" He was as excited as I was!! 

I have to tell you that I am absolutely amazed at how God orders our lives and our days. I had absolutely no expectation to do anything more than attend the speech and perhaps have a moment to visit with my friend. God had set up an entirely different day that allowed me to meet virtually every Cabinet minister in the province and to publicly intercede for the MLA's and ask His blessing on this session. I was even on TV! (Okay, it was BC Leg TV and only political junkies watch it, but still it was pretty amazing!)
The same God who showed up (and showed off!!) on that day is still the same today.  As BC and Ontario resume sitting this month, we are looking forward to seeing God open more new doors into the lives of leaders!