“Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” – Margaret Wheatley
Are you a leader? Google this question and you’ll find articles and quizzes to help you determine the answer. But even if you are not a leader by the world’s standards, may I suggest we can all be leaders in our own lives.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Isn’t everyone a leader in their own life?”
I don’t think so. People who are very passive are not leading their life. People who are addicted are controlled by their addiction. People who can’t say “No” are letting others guide their life. And what about people who have no goals? People who can’t make a decision?
We all have the ability to be leaders in our own life. It is we who decide how to spend our time. We decide whether to go out for a walk or watch TV. We decide whether to acknowledge our spiritual side. We decide how important material wealth is to us. We choose to take care of ourselves—or not.
Bronnie Ware, a former palliative care nurse, says here that the most common regret people have on their death bed is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” If we aren’t being a leader in our own life, we may someday find ourselves asking, “What was my life all about?”
I decided to reflect on one aspect of my life, work and ministry, to see if I’m satisfied with how I’ve led that part of my life so far.
- After college, I was a computer engineer at a corporation for eight years until my first child was born.
- I parented my three children, who are now young adults.
- When my youngest entered school, I worked part-time as an office manager.
- I also worked for a nonprofit, which I much enjoyed, although it ended regrettably. See Eyes of Faith.
- Currently I’m my church’s librarian. My husband and I serve as local Community Coordinators for Worldwide Marriage Encounter. And obviously, I blog. None are paid positions, but these ministries are how I serve and lead at this time.
What does my history of Work and Ministry say about me? I think it says I care more about my work and ministry having a purpose than having a big salary. And I’m OK with that. However, I will be regretful if I reach the end of my life and haven’t written more for publication (perhaps a book.) Currently I am taking a Fiction Writing class, but I want to work harder in this area.
Now how about you?
Review your history in one aspect of your life such as Work and Ministry. What does your past say about you? Are you happy with how you’ve led that area of your life so far? Is there a change you want to make?
Recently some others have made some comments to me that tend to make me feel uncomfortable, because I don’t like a lot of attention. But they were comments like “we look to Cathy and Phil as the leaders” or “I called you because you are the ones we look to for leadership”. In general I acknowledge that Phil and I make good leaders. But mostly I think we are good leaders because we call others to what they can be. I am particularly good at delegating and getting others to see their potential. There are a few people that I know have become members of our Church just because I asked them. I feel particularly honored that my call has brought them closer to God. I don’t know exactly what my gift is, but there is something there that enables me to lead others to better themselves, and see more of their potential. And this ability carries with it a degree of responsibility. It’s like the story about the people given talents and the one who buried his was sent to prison. God expects me to make good use of my talents. I have been reflecting on these things of late. I am not yet sure exactly how I will be using it, but there must be someone out there who needs to be called forth and I am being encouraged to look for them.
Cathy, you have certainly been a great leader in your work and ministry. I agree “you call others to what they can be.” Way to go!
Susan, I find your post uplifting because, even though there are areas I struggle with and times that I find myself stagnated, it doesn’t stay there. I choose to find the resources to help me get unstuck. And even when I seem stuck in my personal life, there are those lights along the way that tell me that at least in some ways, I have never been stuck at all. Thank you for this post.
Andie, thanks for your comment. You’re right — we’re not doing this exercise to feel bad if we’re stuck or off course. We’re doing it so we can make changes if we want to. Good for you for being proactive!
Thanks for the reminder to live life and by God’s grace not let life live me.
I have two work histories. One as a mother and the other as an artist. While raising my children my illustration was often was on the back burner. So now at 58 my career is really going to town. I don’t care if I’m a late bloomer. My kids were worth every minute I spent with them.
Sue, you inspire me. Readers, check out Sue’s blog and beautiful artwork at http://commonplacegrace.wordpress.com/
Good post! I think it’s good to reflect on your life from time to time and think about what you still want to do and how. Make changes where necessary, trying to improve.
I’ve added your site url to my author links page. I find this site inspirational, so from now on you share that spot with a few others under inspirational on my link page.🙂
Wow! Thank you, Mirjam. I’m truly honored.