Build: Let Go of Control

Leaders Don’t Have Everything Figured Out

How well do you enjoy uncertainty?

Do you like security and control? Or do you thrive in the adventure of the unexpected?

This culture loves the “life vest of stability” in the midst of “waves of uncertainty”. It’s waves like to spit back out the unexpected. But always be prepared for the unprepared and learn to be brave to among those choppy waters.

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In a world that tells us to be self-sufficient and to have a long-term plan, sometimes we can’t handle things on our own. Sometimes “plans” end up being just “notes”.

Sometimes life is our of our control.

And sometimes we have to be okay with that. But this teaches us perseverance, patience, and forgiveness. Forgiving life.

Leaders know life will always reveal another layer to improve on. They know the more you know, the more you don’t know. When you have it figured out, you are neglecting any notion of further development. We are a “work in progress” and success has different definitions and success comes at different stages.

It’s not over yet. There’s still more out here, waiting for you. Learn to let go of control, trust the currents, and you may find yourself on stable shores.

Enjoy the waves of uncertainty. Nothing is ever wasted. No moment is an empty moment. Live faithfully.

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Build: Know Your Surroundings

Learn From Others

Who do you surround yourself with?

Do you surround yourself with people that think like you? People that have the same goals as you? Maybe they all come from the same background or even are the same age? Though these people are the kinds of people you should surround yourself with, it limits you from learning. The truth is we all have something to learn from each other.

It is healthy to get out of your inner circle and socially adventure.

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This allows us to get out of our social norm and comfort zone. It allows us to look up and live, while understanding those surrounding us in our community.

That person that just walked by you, he was the first generation to hold a Master’s in his family. He wants to teach you the history of Vietnam and Cambodia. That individual who gave you a shy smile, she is an artist healing from her past with a paintbrush. She wants you to understand brushstrokes are like fingerprints. The heart behind the coffee counter serving you. He wants you to know how purpose and living with grace, forgiveness, and thankfulness heals.

Here’s some notes to what learning from others can do:

  • Different Age/Generation: That elderly widow wants to tell you what 60 years of marriage looks like and its secret. That millennial wants to share their passion with you and give you a burst of hope again.
  • Different Background: Do you know what it is like to struggle? Do you know what it is to have to uphold constant expectations?
  • Different Race: They want you to understand years of history, generational struggles, and cultural divides.
  • Different Beliefs: Whether it is an individual with a different lifestyle, religious, political, or cultural beliefs, there is a connecting point where we all have been ridiculed and persecuted with what we believe in at some point.

Learn their story. Learn their soul.

 

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Build: Conflicting Conflict

Navigate Conflict in a Healthy Way

There are many people who hate confrontation. There are some that fear it. And there are others who brave through it.

Now there’s a difference between conflict and drama. It is important to discern between the two. Conflict is over something complex, while drama is over something trivial.

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When navigating conflict, it is important to have the perspective of “WE have a problem” not “You are the problem. Your goal is not to win another fight and keep record of wrongs, but to place the problem in front of you, both trying to resolve it.

Your goal is resolution, unity, forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

As a leader, it is important that the result of confrontation is healthy and respectable unity. It is also important to remember to be slow to anger and slow to speak.

Yes, you are human and with that comes a lot of emotional responses. It doesn’t mean that as a leader you ignore those emotional responses, it means as a leader you let them flow, process through the mess of them; and organize and understand them before action.

You ensure as a leader you understand the roots of not only your emotions and the other person’s, but also the conflict.

 

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Serve: It is Always the Little Things

Steward the Little Things Well

Do you let little things slide by? Or even disregard the small things?

Sometimes it can be easy to overlook the small things. But the fact is the little things have weight- both good and bad. This includes tasks, emotional responses, and actions.

When you save $50 with each paycheck, over years that amount increases. Though a pipe can have a pin needle size leak, it can result in large damages. It is always the little things.

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It is these little things that can change the course of the future. What you do with the little things are what you will do with the big things.

If you’re unable to have patience for a difficult customer, how can you oversee employees and be a respectable manger? If you are unable to communicate and resolve your pettiness, how much more will your pettiness turn into a flood of unresolved microaggressions?

What type of weight do you want the little things to result in?

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Build: Check Yourself

Check Your Entitlement

If someone told you to check your entitlement would you be able to see your own entitlement in yourself? Would you disregard it and continue discussing in a criticizing tone? Or would it get you thinking and want you to make a change about it?

Entitlement is a poison.

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The minute you believe you have the right to something, is the minute you lose touch reality.

Let’s be real, no one owes you anything. You don’t have a right to anything at all. Nor do you deserve something for merely exsisting.

Everything is a blessing that you may have constantly taken for granted. Out of everything it is by grace that we exist. That breathe you take is a taken-for-granted-for blessing.

Being entitled does not leave room for open-mindedness. It fails to have consideration for others, disregards situational sensitivity, emphasizes disrespect, and only caters to our own needs. More like ent-Itlement.

Entitlement blinds us.

As leaders it is important to ensure that entitlement is not a part of your character. Here are some tips:

  1. Take a Step Back: Be self-aware. Remember that we are all on the same level.
  2. Know That You are Not the Center of the Universe: Well it is true.
  3. Ask Yourself “Will this Perspective Really Help or Solve Anything for Others”: Will this perspective belittle someone? Will it belittle your character? If it doesn’t help it is unnecessary.
  4. Fix Your Vocabulary– The words “I deserve”, “I have the right to…” should be dropped. Try talking without the word “I”, then you’ll find out some things about yourself.

 

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Build: Be an Empty Vessel, Ready to be Filled

Ask Questions, Ready to Learn.

Do you like asking questions? Or do you feel that you’re annoying the other or even think others are judging you, thinking you’re a kiss-up?

There once was this young boy who would wait at this bus stop. At this bus stop, there was this man always with an open newspaper. Every day this young boy would ask him “how’s the world today?”. The man would respond with some current events, sports results, weather forecasts. The boy would ponder what he said, thank him, and leave the man alone until the bus came.

One day the man asked why didn’t he just ask his parents to buy the paper or look it up on his phone. The young boy replied “I like to hear stories both good and bad. So I ask what is going on in this real world.” The man considered his answer and their daily encounters continued on.

After a several few years, the young boy stopped showing up to the bus stop. The man, now a little gray on his edges, saw many different faces come and go from the bus stop over the years.

As the man was about to walk through his front door, he saw a package on his front porch. As he unwrapped the package, there laid a hardcover book with the title in bold letters and the words “national best seller” in the front. As the man turned the book to the back cover, he saw the face of the author.

The young questioning boy, now a young man with a settle smile. He opened the book and penned on the first page was the words “I was just an empty vessel, wanting to be filled. I asked you one question everyday at that bus stop. Thank you for answering them.”

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Go as an empty vessel. Waiting to be filled.

Sometimes it is questions that lead to an opportunity. Now I am not saying ask questions, expecting an opportunity. What I am saying is ask questions, just for the sake of insight.

To ask and not expect to receive is greater than a result. There is character in this.

If you never ask questions, you will never know.

Asking questions means you are interested. It means you want to understand something better or want to do something right. It means you care about the details. Asking questions always leads you somewhere.

As a vessel, be open and ready to ask.

Don’t be scared to ask questions. Have the courage because you never know which answer may fill your sails in the right direction.

 

 

Follow me on Twitter @GabrielleAbacan

 

Build: Value In, Value Out

Fill Yourself Well

What do you fill yourself with?

Do you fill yourself with the daily feed of your social media? The constant scrolling of information? What value does it add to your life?

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Photo Cred- Pexels

Our lives are a vessel. Something that holds and contains an aspect of use. This can be useful or useless.

What do you carry with you?

As a leader it is good to be knowledgeable and maintain being a constant student, eager to learn. Even our past times can be an outlet of healthy growth. Though growth is learned by doing, there is a time when growth can occur by reading and listening.

Books and podcasts are a great way for this (if you don’t read, there are always audiobooks). No surprise, these outlets allows a different perspective. You want to know something that is outside of your circle, read or listen. Sometimes even the fiction can be more non-fiction towards our lives within the value it holds.

What we fill in ourselves, will pour out of us- both the trivial and instrumental.

What pours out of you? What flow is stronger?

Here are some starter ideas for you:

Authors (F=Fiction, NF= Non-fiction)

  • Charles Martin (F)
  • John Steinbeck (F)
  • Joseph Conrad (F)
  • Melissa Farley (NF)
  • Rick Warren (NF)

Podcasts

What do you fill yourself with? Leave a comment below.