When I was a child…

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1Co 13:11

Have you ever met anyone that is a full fledged grown up in age, but has not been able to put ways of childhood behind them, someone stuck in time, paralyzed, lost in the world?  Of course you have. They are everywhere.  If you haven’t, you likely are that person. I was.

I remember when I became a man.  It wasn’t when I turned 18.  It wasn’t when I moved out, or paid rent on my own for the first time.  It wasn’t even when I got my first real job, or had my first long term relationship.

When I was 23 years old I remember how I viewed the world in great detail. I had been burned, had a serious attitude toward life and justified it vigorously.

There were three principles that were most important to me.

  1. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Take what you can get.
  2. You can only really trust yourself, everyone else will always let you down.
  3. It’s my life, I will live it how I want! Get off my back!

These three principles became my hiding place in my early adulthood.  They gave me direction (pleasure seeking), protected me from harm (other people) and made me the king of my world (It’s all about Me).  I was a pretty good thinker so I was able to stave off any threat that came along with my witt and ability to argue.  My guards were up and I was a self-preservation machine.  My artistic and deceptive skills allowed me to create a ficade of my life.  I wore whatever mask I needed at the time, and became what I needed, to get what I wanted.  Reality was something to mold, twist and make a slave out of.  Perception was reality, and deception was the way to change reality.

The Crash

And then it all caught up to me at once.  My world came crashing down in a pile of rubble.  Like waking up from a dream or experiencing sight for the first time, I realized that the earth didn’t really revolve around me. It was the greatest most painful loss, and at the same time the biggest sense of relief.

I took a long hard honest look at my life for the first time ever. I was ambarrassed and ashamed of the blindspots that everyone else already knew. I seemed I was the last to find out. I had been exposed.

I took a long look at myself, and here is what I discovered. My worldview was all wrong.  Here are some of the the values I had come to embrace throughout my life:

  • I must let nothing be my fault as to remain blameless.
  • I must allow myself a way out of any situation in case it gets difficult (avoid commitment).
  • I must hold everyone accountable for how they have hurt me.
  • I must be in control of the situation, and not be controlled by the situation or anyone.
  • I must convince everyone of my impressiveness so they will respect me.
  • I must hide my flaws so no one can criticize or look down on me.
  • I must expect grace for my actions, and justice for everyone elses.
  • I must not think about my problems or acknowledge they exist so I don’t have to deal with them.

I realized that I was eating and drinking and being marry to avoid committing to anything.  Committment requires trust.  I didn’t trust anyone, because that would mean I needed to be a person that could be trusted.  I was living life how I wanted because I didn’t want to be held accountable.  I was avoiding responsibility in most every way.

I realized that the worldview that I had embraced, that I thought was serving me, was actually waging war against my soul.  It became clear to me that seeking to serve my own needs left all my needs unmet.

It was that day that I decided I was going to put the ways of childhood behind me.   I was about to begin a brand new life of adulthood.

Because Jesus Christ took 100% responsibility for my sin, I was able to became 100% responsible for my life.  Not only my actions and bahavior, but also my thoughts and emotions.  No longer was I going to allow my circumstances to control my thoughts and keep me in emotional imaturity.  For the first time it wasn’t about self-preservation, pride or impressiveness.

I discovered a different set of principles to live by:

  • I must make no excuses for my actions, thoughts and sins.
  • I must embrace reality (truth) and live by it, rather than distorting it.
  • I must committ myself fully to people and responsibilities given to me.
  • I must forgive everyone who hurt me and expect nothing in return.
  • I must be transparent and humble. For when I am weak, I am strong.
  • I must be responsible for only what I can control, and patient with what I cannot control.
  • I must earn respect through putting others needs before my own.
  • I must expose my sin, purge it from my life and experience freedom.
  • I must live fully accountable for my actions.
  • I must face my fears and perservere through the obsticles holding me back.
  • I must surrender in order to have victory.

I still fall short, but now I am more aware and have a savior to vouch for me.

Give me a call, let’s chat. 319.930.1045 

 

 

 

 

Just Do It!

No, this isn’t a Nike promotion. It’s more of a plea for help from a desperate leader.

There are many managers out there that know how to manage stuff, numbers or time, but getting things done through other people, that’s a different story all together.  Delegating tasks or responsibilities to others can be very tricky, if you fail to understand the secret ingredient.  The secret ingredient is not “Because I said so!” even though most of our Mothers may disagree.

Are you a good delegator?

If you exhibit any or several of the following traits, you may not be:

  1. You are always running behind trying to play catchup, never seeming to get ahead.
  2. You don’t check your inbox for days.
  3. People always seem to let you down.
  4. People seem reluctant to be part of your plan, so you let them slide.
  5. Your employees drag their feet when it comes to deadlines.
  6. People usually show themselves not worthy of being trusted.
  7. Your employees try not to get “picked” for a task.
  8. You tend to dump and run, and leave the cleanup duties to someone else.
  9. You delegate only the tasks you don’t have time for.
  10. You often think “it’s just easier to do it myself”.

The missing ingredient

The trick to be an effective delegator is not to get people to do something for you.  It’s to get people to WANT to do something for you.  To do that, it requires two people wanting the same thing.  That’s not easy when the boss is looking out for herself.

The secret ingredient…  Trust.  Yep that’s it.

“The trick to be an effective delegator is not to get people to do something for you.  It’s to get people to WANT to do something for you.”

Think of a spectrum. On one end you have obedience, on the other end you have empowerment.  Obedience requires nothing but following directions and maybe a little fear.  Empowerment on the other hand requires Trust.

Trust & Empowerment

People are glad to take on responsibility for you if they first trust that you have your motives in the right place.  They need to know that you have their best interest in mind as well as the clients.  They will be reluctant if they believe your request is self-serving. The leader must also trust that the delegate is committed to the outcome as they would be, given they are standing in for them. Mutual trust is necessary for seamless delegation to take place.

Second, they need to be empowered to handle the responsibility.  Both you and the delegate need to understand the level of competence required and be confident in the assignment. If not fully competent, assistance and guidance may be needed. This is part of the learning process.

The formula is simple, as trust increases, empowerment increases. When the delegate is empowered and trusted, they tend to take ownership over the results.  They take pride in the quality and timeliness of the task.  It reflects their abilities and where there is trust, you don’t want to disappoint.

This is further illustrated verbally in the following series of instructions.  Notice how it goes from simple following of directions to full empowerment.

Stages of Delegation

  1. “Wait to be told.” or “Do exactly what I say.” or “Follow these instructions precisely.”
  2. “Look into this and tell me the situation. I’ll decide.”
  3. “Look into this and tell me the situation. We’ll decide together.”
  4. “Tell me the situation and what help you need from me in assessing and handling it. Then we’ll decide.”
  5. “Give me your analysis of the situation (reasons, options, pros and cons) and recommendation. I’ll let you know whether you can go ahead.”
  6. “Decide and let me know your decision, and wait for my go-ahead before proceeding.”
  7. “Decide and let me know your decision, then go ahead unless I say not to.”
  8. “Decide and take action – let me know what you did (and what happened).”
  9. “Decide and take action. You need not check back with me.”
  10. “Decide where action needs to be taken and manage the situation accordingly. It’s your area of responsibility now.”

http://www.businessballs.com/delegation.htm#steps

So, the next time you start barking orders out expecting results, keep in mind there may be a better way.