Archive for the ‘Encouragement’ Category

  • Simple but not easy
  • Persistence and assistance
  • Practice the fundamentals

I attended my first WI Servant Leader City Tour event on April 25th at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in downtown Milwaukee, and I was equally impressed with the facility, the presenters, and the participants.

MSOE graciously hosted the event and provided for all necessary comforts including a centrally located room, lunch, and free parking in their visitor lot. I was equally impressed with the students I happen to meet in the hallway. Most of them greeted me cheerfully and made me feel very welcome (one even opening the door for me with a generous smile).

The event started with a 30-minute interactive, story-filled, engaging presentation about the “Nuts & Bolts” of Servant Leadership. This energizing time was followed by three guest community speakers who shared their Servant Leader journey. It was great to hear about their real-life leadership adventures and experience their work-in-progress approach to self-awareness.

The roundtable discussion that followed unearthed three big take aways:

  • Self-awareness is simple but not easy. It’s not unreasonable to think that most leaders understand the value of self-awareness and they can articulate the steps necessary to mature in this area. However, self-awareness is a difficult journey to undertake, one that demands an uncomfortable transparency into the real self.
  • Self-awareness takes persistence and assistance. No one becomes self-aware overnight. Yes, there are growth spurt moments, but generally speaking, it requires practice over time. One also needs a coach (assistance) to help point out some of the blind spots.
  • Self-awareness thrives on practicing the fundamentals. One of people who sat at our table operates at a high level of expertise in his field; however, this person takes a fundamental training course each year as a means to remain grounded. This concept resonates with me deeply. When I played viola professionally in a Music at Popa Rususymphony orchestra, my teacher (read coach) had me practice scales like any entry level musician. Self-awareness fundamentals are no different. Practice humility, transparency, compassion, forgiveness, listening, and patience (not an exhaustive list); and when your self-awareness “sounds a little off”, stop, regroup, and try it again. Yup… practice.

When it comes to the big questions of life (like who are we, where did we come from, and what is our role in the universe), there is a wrong way and a right way to discover truth. Some have proposed that we accept only truth statements that are scientifically based. This may seem like a reasonable start, except for the fact that the statement itself is not scientifically based, and therefore disqualifies itself. So, are we back to square one? Not at all! There is a way we can discover truth.

 A few days ago I spilled my coffee cup on my desk and remembered a good life lesson: that to clean up life-messes we must lift everything up.

Some of you have asked for the personal reflections I shared at the Dioko Family Workshop… well, here they are with the “punch line” first:

When my own “control freak” alarm goes off, I ask myself these recalibrating questions:

  1. Am I acting in wisdom?
  2. Am I radiating the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
  3. Am I (rightly) representing who God is?
  4. Am I cultivating holiness?

So, why have I settled on these 4 questions? Because: as I studied the Christian Scriptures, I realized four truths about healthy control. Healthy control (self-control) is a sign of wisdom. The Book of Proverbs in the Bible backs up this reflection (see Proverbs 29:11). Second, healthy control (self-control) is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (see Galatians 5:23) Third, healthy control is delegated. If Jesus is the King of Kings as the Christian Bible states, then any controlling-authority I have is delegated from Him. Fourth, healthy control leads to holiness. As I submit to the control of God, it leads to right-living in the eyes of God. (Romans 6:22)

marionetteDo you have the control-freak gene? (What if you have it and don’t realize it?) How do we keep up healthy-control when there is “crazy” all around us?

This quiz (written by Dr. Albrecht) was published in Psychology Today:

1. Do you “help” other people drive – tell them what route to take, when to turn, where to park, remind them that the traffic light has changed?
2. Do you devote a lot of attention and energy to keeping your personal environment organized?
3. Do you give people a lot of “shoulds” and “oughts” – unsolicited advice, suggestions, and “constructive criticism?”
4. Do you have lots of personal rules, routines, rituals, and ceremonies?
5. Are you the one who takes over and orders other people around when the situation seems confused?
6. Do you dislike depending on others, accepting help from them, or allowing them to do things for you?
7. Do you insist on “being right,” having things done your way, or having the final word?
8. Do you “over-plan” simple activities?
9. Do you find it difficult to admit making mistakes, being wrong or misinformed about something, or acknowledging that you’ve changed your mind?
10. Do you become angry, irritable, or anxious when someone or something makes you late, when things don’t start on time, or things don’t go according to plan?

Interpret Your Score:
41 – 50: yep, you’re a control freak.
31 – 40: you probably have some control issues.
21 – 30: you can live and let live.
10 – 20: are you being honest?