I guess it shouldn’t be surprising when things I’ve actually said out loud I never want to do, end up being part of my path. It’s funny how the things that seem the least interesting are sometimes just the ones that scare me the most or seem the hardest to do.
But life has a way of teaching us to do hard things.
One example for me is growing up in a preacher’s family, I said I would never marry a pastor. It’s not that I had a dislike for the church itself. It was more the lifestyle of working with human beings on a business that was all about God. (Just in case you didn’t know, that can get a little hairy sometimes.) I thought I had enough experience in that department to last me a lifetime.
Wouldn’t you know I got set up on a blind date with a guy who started a church?
In no time flat, I knew he was the one. And that was that. (Turns out he didn’t continue his full-time career as a pastor and I wasn’t deeply sad.)
My entire career before HeartStories was in sales and I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of opportunities along the way to take the “management path” leading a team. I had zero interest. The idea of spending time learning the intricacies of every different personality on a team sounded a little bit exhausting. Figuring out how to best motivate, teach and lead others was not high on my list of life’s most fun experiences. I’d rather be out selling something myself and let someone else play all the mind games.
I guess it makes perfect sense then, that as I became a mother, I got an instant promotion to “management”.
It also figures that I left my sales career to create HeartStories, all the while thinking that as soon as I needed a team there would be someone with a hand held high, waiting to lead them.
I didn’t realize when I started this, I’d signed myself up for a lifetime of leading others. And thank goodness for that. If I had known, I might have hesitated out of fear and insecurity. The picture of “management” I had in my mind was not something I wanted to do.
Guess what I’ve learned though?
Leading people is like hitting the relational jackpot.
Of course it’s hard. Of course it’s easier to only be responsible for your own results and your own growth. But learning to lead is about expanding who you are. It’s about learning to step outside of your own feelings and emotions to meet another human being where they are.
It’s about learning to manage yourself so you can love others well.
To lead others well, you take them down the path that gets them where they want to go, not the path to the results you were hoping for. In that process, you both end up in a new place that probably looks a little different from what either of you imagined.
And it’s beautiful.
This journey of leadership is expanding my capacity to relate to others and to relate to myself.
It’s a gift I didn’t think I wanted, a gift I didn’t know I needed.
Who are you leading today?
Who needs you to look at them and see who they are beyond the exterior frame?
Who needs you to look down the road with them, to where they want to go, and grab their hand and start walking?
There is someone who needs you.
Will you lead them?
To more love,