“How do you do it?” my staff member asked. As I turned toward her to give my full attention, she continued. “How do you work full time and get everything done at home? I work part time and struggle to do what I need to do.” Her body tensed at the thought of her heavy load.
With her eyes fixed upon me, I had a decision to make. How would I approach this opportunity?
- I could give her pointers on effective time management.
- I could share my strategy for setting priorities.
- I could instruct her about the importance of cultivating a relationship with Jesus as a powerful way to deal with the stressors of life.
In that split second, however, I sensed the question was really revealing something deeper. The dear woman standing before me was opening up and being vulnerable. The best thing to do would be to share myself, to be vulnerable in return.
Vulnerability requires trust and a willingness to be authentic.
I can trust because I am secure in the Lord and where He has placed me. My desire is to build God’s Kingdom not my own. He is my Protector, so I can safely offer myself to others. Because I know that an effective team is founded on trust, I extend trust to my teammates.
I can be authentic, because I don’t need to make a good impression by acting all put together. “The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge” (Proverbs 12:23). I can share with humility, seeking to be led by the Holy Spirit, aware that I am still in the process of becoming more like Jesus.
I firmly believe that as a leader I have been granted position by the Lord. This gives me great responsibility and holds me to a high standard. This means I must use my position as a means to serve others, encouraging and equipping them to grow and thrive in what God has called them to do.
So how did I respond to the question?
I smiled and admitted, “You probably would be surprised by my home. I really don’t do much there. My husband is a lot of help. He gets home earlier than I do, and cooks most of the meals and takes care of the dishes. And I don’t have children at home who need me much any more. I honestly don’t think I could do this job without my husband’s support and if my kids were younger.”
She nodded and sighed with understanding, relieved and a bit more relaxed.
“The words of the wise bring healing” (Proverbs 12:18). I pray my words have that effect.