Leadership Dysfunction: Just eat the Casserole!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I have always considered myself a leader but sometimes, I'm not sure. How do you (should you?) turn leadership off is the question I have asked myself now that I am a mother. Here's what I mean: I am in a new community where most people do not know me or my leadership track record. All they see is a face with a 30-week pregnant belly and the two cute toddlers who cold pass for twins. Part of my leadership dysfunction consists in trying to do too much, too soon. I've wore myself out trying to lead too many efforts in the past. All of them were good, but the intensity of it was not good for me - just ask the doctor who treated me for hypertension at 27 years of age. 
Motherhood (and two c-sections) have taught me to slow down and learn how to be a human being other than a human doing. I learned to look at the leadership side effects great leaders suffer from time to time and make the tough decisions for myself. Do I want to sacrifice my family? Health? Recreation time? How much does leadership really cost? 
Back at my new community I found myself in a new group with leadership opportunities. They know nothing deep about me, there's no trust established there but that didn't stop my mind from dreaming about all the growth opportunities for that group. During one fo the meetings I took another bite of the casserole they serve and just kept attending the meetings. Every time I got home, I would struggle with that strong leadership gift in me and how it had not been used to its fullest. What to do?
I realized I was experiencing a type of leadership fluidity, where learned I can still be influential without the big title. Most experienced leaders know there is a time of preparation for your next developmental step. I am sure that my motherhood years are part of my prep years. I also realize that the need to be in control everywhere is not healthy. As I sat back and took another bite of casserole I thought about all the goodness that comes from not being in charge. The greatest benefit? Character development. Can I be a good follower? Can I follow directions faithfully? Can I do my best to make sure the leadership of the organization succeeds? 
My journey in Leadership is not very popular right now. I am really grateful for the lessons God is teaching me on cultivating my gift no matter if I am in charge or not. This back seat season won't last forever but while it does, I'll gladly sit back and eat the casserole. 

Rachelle Wooten said...

I love the phrase "learn to be a human being and not a human doing." it's hard to be in a season where those leadership skills are being developed and not used the way we want. I have been there, one book, actually defined it as living in "obscurity". Like you, I am learning the value in supporting, encouraging, following, and listening- all which are great skills for a servant leader. Thanks for sharing.