Update: Six months after writing this, I secured a new position of leadership in my organization. Little did I know at the time, God had me in this place of reflection to prepare me for my next. I am grateful.
“We walked through fire together. And we both came out as pure gold!”
I am so grateful for my experiences as supervisor, project manager and leader in the human services field. I have gotten to know so many amazing human beings. It hasn’t always been easy. I’ve taken some blows along the way. It has taught me a lot about myself, life and leadership. I have fallen. I have risen. I have soared. And as sure as I am human, I will fall again. And rise again. And soar again!
I’m a growth minded, purpose driven leader. I believe in building lives and encouraging greatness beyond any position. Titles do not move me. Strength of character does. I was called by God to this work. So I rise to the call of authentic, servant leadership. My mission is to ensure that those who are planted under my leadership are equipped (professionally, spiritually, mentally AND physically) and encouraged to do the work they purpose to do in life... wherever that may be.
Sometimes I question why I keep doing what I do... day in and day out. Although my job is quite unpredictable, to say the least, there’s often still a sense of mundane in my daily routine. So sometimes I find myself asking “Am I really making a difference?” Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW I’m where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. I trust the assignment God has called me to. I’ve had the privilege and pleasure to interview and hand pick most of my team and they are amazing! I learn something new almost every day. I actually like my job and love my purpose for being there. My staff often remind me of the difference my presence is making in their lives.
But today, I started thinking about my past 5 years as a leader in Human Services. I’ve accomplished a lot! I’ve been involved in program development on every level, written several successful grants to build programs that aim to build healthy families, facilitated countless trainings and professional presentations, lead in policy and protocol change and development, created tools for data collection, analyzed data and used it to improve programs... and so much more. I. Love. This. Work. BUT. My peace, contentment and greatest success in my role is knowing that (1) my work is building stronger families, which are the backbone of our society; and (2) my feeding, impartation, encouragement, training, building, helping, strategizing, managing and graciously loving is building the professional and personal lives of those under my leadership and in my sphere of influence.
So here’s my rant! Leadership is not for the weak. It’s not about who has the loudest bark or the slickest strategy. I. Hate. Office. Politics. Developing people takes perseverance, boldness, courage and vigor. It is not for the faint at heart. It does not seek to intimidate or ridicule. It does not support mediocrity, lack of vision, poor communication or misused power. It is not, by any means, a people pleasing position. It is not a self-reliant, self-serving or self-promoting position. In fact, it’s not a position at all!
Leadership is humility and character. It is strength and flexibility. It is thought and intentionality. It is humbling and vulnerable. It is service. It is continuous improvement. It is listening... not waiting to respond. It supports, encourages, fills gaps and meets needs.
The constant struggle of a good leader is to maintain authority and influence but not abuse your power.
I am honored to have served as leader for so many incredible human beings, and to continue to serve so many others. Until God calls me elsewhere, this is my place. I am content.