Nearly a year ago I was promoted. I typically avoid using that word (promoted) because who cares. I’m using it in this post because there is a higher level of responsibility and a wider range of working with people that comes with a promotion.
I remember my boss telling me that my ‘peripheral vision’ was going to be opened up in this new position. I didn’t know exactly what he meant, but now I do. Some things shocked me.
When I was a squad mentor, I had a lot of control over all the moving parts. I could pretty easily navigate the outcome or experience I was aiming toward (with the help of a good team, of course.)
As a program director, I’ve found I can only control so much (though some disagree with this idea.) Many of the moving parts are run by other people, and they are much more complicated.
I’ve been through a fair amount of stretching and growing the last year – emotionally, spiritually and professionally. I’ve had more bad days than good. But it’s all been worth it for the lessons I’ve learned along the way…
Humility comes from leaving something you’re good at for something that is over your head.
Sometimes it’s not about me and what makes me feel good – sometimes it’s just about the kingdom and what God wants to use me for. This is also humbling.
Being stretched and uncomfortable can either make me A) brokenhearted and dependent on God or B) hard-hearted and numb. The choice is up to me. (Note: the former has more tears.)
Failing [frequently] has given me more grace for other people when they mess up.
People make mistakes all the time.
Even if I can do something well, it’s worth empowering other people and letting them mess up. Everything will be okay in the end. (That one came from my former boss, Steve.)
Some people play the blame game, others just try to fix the problem.
When I’m really stressed I keep working, but internally I shut down and want to quit.
My response to immense stress is crying and exercising (though not at the same time.) Also: green tea frappes.
Everyone can tell when I’m stressed / not functioning at my best. (Aka the curse of being someone who is happy most of the time.) If I can conjure up the energy, it’s worth it to put on a fake face.
Managing a large amount of details drains me. I can do it, but it slowly kills me.
I was made to lead people.
I developed Tiffany (the person who reports to me) informally, even though my intent was to do so officially. She learned by observing me, by the way I live and talk and ask questions. Leadership is truly about example.
Many people are willing to help. I just need to ask.
When people serve in a way that is inconvenient for them, it challenges me to do the same. Servant-hearted people are truly the backbone to Christ and his love. (Note to self: the next time someone needs a ride to/from the airport, do it.)
I can do more than I think I can.
I’m curious, what have you learned since being in whatever job/role you’re in?