Recently I got to spend the day with more than 1,000 of my favorite people from around the world learning and growing and pouring into each other. It was Think Tank Day – kicking off a multi-day gathering (online) of John Maxwell Team coaches, speakers and leadership trainers. It’s always incredibly uplifting to be around this bunch of folks who are so focused on growth, adding value to others, and living the purpose for which we all (you too!) have been called. And surprisingly, it was just as encouraging online.  Throughout it all I got to learn from some of the top leadership, growth and coaching experts in the world.

I’m including here a few of the takeaways that touched me and I’ve added a question or two to help you think into it for yourself. Happy exploring!

1. What you are aware of you control. What you are not aware of controls you.

Only when we identify it can we change it. THIS is why we reflect on our experiences. To raise awareness. So think into the following questions so your subconscious does not continue to control you!

Is there a change you want to make but keep getting stuck?
Ask yourself what you believe about that situation and yourself.
What do you REALLY believe? What else? What else? Keep digging.
You may find beliefs you weren’t even aware of, that you didn’t create but just carried
with you from others.

2. A crisis is a detour

…and almost all of the opportunities we have in life come in the midst of of detour. With COVID we all were forced to take a detour instead of the most direct route to wherever we were going. And many of us HATE detours! But in a detour, we can see and experience things we never have before – and wouldn’t otherwise. No one ever planned to take a detour. But the detour has plans for us. So we can either fight it or embrace it and see and learn things we don’t know.

How do you typically react to unwelcomed detours and where has a detour benefitted you in the past?

3. Crisis doesn’t make leaders – it reveals leaders.

The greatest disaster is not what you lose in a crisis, it’s when you realize the values you’ve been teaching are not the values you’ve been living.

Where in your life are you sometimes inauthentic and what is one step you can take to live more in alignment with your values?

4. A Transformational leader FEELS more than others feel.

YES! And knows when it’s appropriate to express it, is comfortable doing so and is able to move on with ease. Both agility and psychological flexibility are key for healthy leadership. ESPECIALLY when those we’re leading are feeling so overwhelmed themselves in this challenging world today, we must be able to empathize!

How do you FEEL about hard feelings – your own and others’ (i.e. sad, angry, embarrassed, etc.) and is there a relationship that could be transformed by your willingness to feel, be vulnerable or provide empathy?

5. Don’t fear fear.

Fear is good for us – keeps us safe and alert. So we don’t want to ELIMINATE fear. Instead, we want to transform our ability to first be aware of it. Examine it and only then can we decide if it’s serving us or limiting us.

What do you fear when you think about pursuing a dream or changing a habit you struggle with? (see question 1)

6. You know you’re growing if you’re changing.

And change most often happens in micro-steps.

Where have you noticed even the smallest change in yourself or others since COVID started and how can you better celebrate that progress?

(Bonus): We ALL need margins in our lives.

Finding and keeping space for ourselves is vital to our health – physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally. But most of us have to be forced (hello COVID) to create it. I love the Message version of Mt 6:28-30.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Isnt’s that lovely? I pray if nothing else, that COVID has “forced” you to learn the “unforced” rhythms of grace!

How has the concept of margins changed for you since March and what would you like to keep or change as you move into a “new normal”?

Ok, that’s it’s for now. I’d LOVE to hear if any of these questions struck something in you or if you’re interested in hearing more about how I can help your organization.

Otherwise, I’ll be back soon with more…

Celebrating you,

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