Posted in Character, Vision & Goal Setting

Hold Loosely to Your Plans

holdontoplans

Our society is enamored with setting goals. We make resolutions at the beginning of the new year. We believe in coaching for success, assisting people to identify action steps and then holding them accountable to follow through. There is powerful statistical evidence for the power of written goals and plans.

Unfortunately the ability to systematically create a plan gives us the illusion that we are ultimately in control. Our neatly packaged blueprint produces a sense of confidence in our own ability to make things happen. Whether or not we subscribe to making a plan for life or business, we (at least in the Western world) seem compelled by a desire to be in control and order the details of our lives. We like the idea that we are the master of our own destiny. We are controlled by the need to be in control.

If I’m pointing fingers, most of them are to myself. I’ve been around the block so many times with this issue of wanting to be in control. I like to know what’s coming next, to avoid being caught off guard by the unseen. I like the security of seeing ahead. In the past I have been emotionally derailed when something came into my life that was unexpected. It did not fit into my well-crafted plan, and I had trouble adjusting my course.

As Christ-followers, our first commitment is to the Lord Jesus Christ, to faithfully follow His will. It is a daily decision to seek His will and not own will. I’m not saying we should ditch our plans. Plans can be valuable tools in moving forward in God’s kingdom. However, our plans must never become the ruling idols in our lives. We need to hold loosely to our plans.

There are times in life when direction simply is not clear. You may know where you are supposed to go but God says, “Not yet.” And so you wait, and wait…continuing to do what you have been doing until He gives you the signal. Or perhaps, a door of opportunity may open to you that you have no desire to pursue, but the Lord confirms it’s where He wants you. Or, you may feel good about an opportunity and all indications are favorable, and then you get a rejection notice or you find out it wasn’t what you thought it would be.

There are so many different scenarios in which we may find ourselves, some brought about by others’ choices, some brought about by our own choices, others brought about by circumstances outside of our control. Each and every day, but especially during times of uncertainty, we must relinquish our need for control and declare our trust in the Lord. He is our source of strength and hope, the only stability in a changing world. Sometimes, by faith, we just need to take another step and believe Jesus will meet us there.

Proverbs 16:9 NLT
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Prayer:
Lord of Life, I offer my life, my dreams, my plans to you anew. Forgive me for the times I falter in my trust of you. Renew my faith in your goodness. Walk with me through times of doubt. Use me to accomplish Your will, whatever it looks like, for Your glory. In Jesus’ name.

Posted in Personal Development, Teamwork, Vision & Goal Setting

Pivot Leadership…My Thoughts (A Book Review)

I am a leadership geek. My bookshelves are filled with books on leadership. My Masters degree is in Organizational Leadership. I am intrigued by both the science and art involved in leading a thriving organization, and drink in as much information as possible at seminars, online, and through conversations.

When Angela Craig asked me to read a draft of her book before it went to press, I eagerly agreed. To be honest, I said “yes” more because I respect Angela as a leader and appreciate her friendship. I really wasn’t sure how much I would get out of the content.

Pivot Leadership: Small Steps…Big Change pleasantly surprised me. Whether you are just starting on the leadership road or already have a wealth of experience, it is a wonderful resource to add to your library. But don’t leave it there to collect dust. It is designed to be interactive.

The thought of becoming a strong leader can seem overwhelming. However, strong leadership is created through taking small steps. Small steps set a direction that results in big change. Pivot Leadership looks at three areas and how to experience vitality in each of them.

Part One deals with the life of the leader. Before you can lead a community to greatness, you need to successfully lead yourself. Be a leader that people respect and trust. Part Two delves into ways to build a community of purpose through building a diverse team, communicating effectively, and creating a culture of camaraderie and collaboration. Part Three looks at leading into the future, doing what you were designed for and refusing to give up.

The beauty of Pivot Leadership is found in the Action Activities at the end of each chapter. Every activity guides you through the process of personalizing the content and to identify the small steps you will take. I used one of the activities in the chapter about workplace communication in a recent staff meeting. It was well received and my team immediately began identifying obstacles to understanding others in the middle of their own conversations.

Pivot Leadership is a book for leaders in any season of life. Use a separate journal to answer the questions. You can review the chapters every so often as a refresher. Most likely your answers will be different each time.

If you are serious about growing as a leader, Pivot Leadership: Small Steps…Big Change is the book for you. I highly recommend it as a tool to move forward and do the great things God has call you to do.

Click here to order Pivot Leadership at Amazon.com

Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant (Luke 22:26, NLT).

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14, NIV).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I desire to be the best leader I can be for You. Teach me how to lead with integrity, to genuinely love others, and to make wise decisions. Show me the small steps I can take that will make a big change. Empower me to take those steps, so that You will be glorified. In Jesus’ name. Amen.