Just Grown-up Kids: Truths from the Global Leadership Summit 2013

If I could rewind the last 48 hours and invite each of you to come to the 2013 Global Leadership Summit, I would. This is Adam and I’s third year attending the Summit, and every year we leave with renewed focus and with our leadership fires lit for the coming year.

The last two years, I took so many notes in our Summit notebook that I treasured the books as gold at the end of the two days- pages full of insights that I could refer back to throughout the coming year. BUT this year with a four-month old in tow, my notes are a little sparse (to say the least). In spite of that I’d like to share with you a few themes that I heard during the Summit that have especially tugged at my heart- things that I believe God put me there to hear.

Grown-ups are really just big kids.

This thought was a passing comment that Patrick Lencioni jokingly said while discussing his book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers, which digs into the reasons why people hate their jobs, underperform or leave. Lencioni was referring to our need as humans to belong. to be heard. to be seen. to be known. We “grow up” and pretend that we don’t need anyone else. That we can make it on our own. But reality is that everyone needs to be seen and known. If you are in or have been in a workplace (or church) where this was not the case, you know that it can make you miserable.  This became the theme of my Summit experience preparing me for the other lessons that I needed to hear.

What kills love kills organizations.

Dr. Brene Brown authentically delivered a challenge to leaders to break down their walls of pride. Dr. Brown reiterated the need for people on my team, for the (little and big!) people in my home to be seen and known- to be loved. Her research found that what kills love kills organizations:

  • Shame
  • Blame
  • Lack of Respect
  • Betrayal
  • Withholding

Two of my favorite quotes from Dr. Brown- “We are so desperate to belong that we will form groups of intimacy based solely around people (or things) that we hate.” And “You can have courage or you can have comfort, but you cannot have both. They are mutually exclusive.”

Time spent alone is wasted time that you could be investing in the next generation.

This shot to my heart like a bullet. Pastor Oscar Muriu challenged me to get off the couch, get out of my comfort zone and get in the leadership game. No excuses, even being the mommy of little kiddos. My kiddos are the most obvious future leaders that God has entrusted to my stewardship, but they are not the only ones. I am fortunate to be working with an awesome group of young women at my church through the youth group program, but I can do more with them! Look around you- where can you dive in to start now to encourage leadership in the next generation?

I wish I could connect all of the dots for you and deliver a neat and compact summary of the Summit, but trust me, it just isn’t possible. The best I can do is encourage you to attend next year (it is hosted at 230+ sites around the world- there’s probably one near you!) and check out their website and social media feeds for more in-depth followup.

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Tongue Sit-ups

Didn’t your mama ever tell ya?

To think before you speak.

Mine did, and I’ve been thinking recently just how much I still need to learn how to put that advice into practice. Sometimes, I find myself saying the dumbest things! The first time I heard the phrase “word vomit” I knew I had found the exact words I needed to describe what comes out of my mouth more often that I care to admit. We giggle when we think of the “darndest things” that kids say, but isn’t it true that sometimes we say things that are “darndest” too?

I was at the park yesterday with a few of my good friends. One of my friends kiddos was off playing at the park when another little girl used some rather unkind words toward her. My friend informed this little girl that her words were not kind and in fact she was being rude! Don’tcha just wish you could grab their chubby little cheeks and say, “Didn’t your mama ever tell ya?!”

As moms, it is SO important to teach our children the power of our words.

The words that we say are the most direct and forthright method of conveying our thoughts and feelings. My words can build up or tear down another human being. That is a lot of responsibility and immense power!

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Proverbs 18:21

The consequences can be positive or negative. I wish we could just do tongue sit-ups to reign in our loose tongues and make sure we are constantly delivering life through our words. Don’t you?

A good place to start reigning in our tongues is to think before you speak. My fifth grade teacher, Ms. Wohlenhaus taught us to ask three things before we opened our pieholes. I deliver them here to you.

Is it TRUE?

Is it KIND?

Is it NECESSARY?

Let’s try to bring life through our words this week and teach our kiddos to do the same.

Peer Management: Stop the Mommy Wars

Becoming a mom automatically entered me into the largest sorority of sisters on the planet. I have never had more interaction at Target or the grocery store in my life, especially from adorable older women. And I love it. Liliana loves it. There is nothing sweeter than hearing compliments directed at your sweet baby.

Unfortunately there is also a dark side of the sorority that comes with the not-so-secret sisterhood!

Mommy wars.

Now, this isn’t really exclusive to moms and definitely occurs in the workplace as well. We all have the opportunity each day to build one another up or tear each other down. I propose, however, especially as moms- we need to lay down our weapons of people destruction and replace them with life-giving actions instead. Here are just a few of the biggies:

Replace JUDGEMENT with ENCOURAGEMENT

Judgement often sounds like “I can’t believe she…” or “I would never…”

Instead try to think and use words like “How is your day going?” or “I really like the way you talk to your kiddo. I hope I can communicate that well.”

Choose positivity over negativity.

Replace COMPARISON with REALITY

We all do it. We all shouldn’t. Especially as women, we tend to rank ourselves on the social totem-pole based on exterior things- the way we lose the baby weight or don’t. The way we keep our house or don’t. The way our kids behave or don’t. The way we fill-in-the-blank or don’t. We get discouraged when we think someone else is more “super mom” than we are and we get an ego boost when we can say, “Well at least I am better this way or that.”

Comparison is defeating and deadly to self-confidence, both yours and the mom you’re comparing to. So stop! For heaven’s sake, stop. Compare yourself to yourself yesterday. Become a better you each day and don’t worry about other moms. This is even more difficult in today’s digital world because we get to choose what to share on our public profiles, leaving everyone else to believe that our lives must be perfect.

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Quote Source: http://thejoshuacollective.com/2011/08/16/behind-the-scenes/

No one’s life is as perfect as it may look from the outside. Realize that everyone struggles and everyone has outtakes. Be kind to yourself and gentle with others who may look like everything is perfect, but may be secretly struggling with something. Looking past someone’s perceived perfection may also open your eyes to another opportunity to be an encouragement.

Replace GOSSIP with REPUTATION-BUILDING

Nothing kills friendships or relationships more quickly than talking behind someone’s back. If you talk to friend A about friend B, the. first. thought. that friend B is having is, “Wow, what do they say when I’m not around?” It is never a good idea to gossip.

Gossip sounds like, “Did you hear what [negative thing] she did?” or sometimes, “Wow, we really need to pray for friend B.”  Be careful what you share with others when you have been confided in.

Replace these with,”Did you hear what [positive thing] she did?” or “She is so great at party planning [or other positive attributes].”  People tend to rise to the occasion when they hear they have a positive reputation for something.

For example, I laugh awfully loudly. I realized this when I was younger, but did not realize until I was older that people really appreciate my laugh. When I realized that my laugh encouraged others to relax and laugh, I released the full potential of my laughter and never apologized for it again.

Or in the workplace, speaking positively of a colleague’s work in front of them will boost their confidence and their motivation to continue to work hard to maintain their positive reputation.

In the end, the mommy wars is something I don’t want to tolerate. We can do better, moms!

Take a challenge with me- tell one other mom today something that you noticed that they do great! It only takes a moment, but can bring life to someone else’s day. Happy Friday!