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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Leaders and snapping rubber bands...

Leaders aren't always inherently strong, just stronger for 5 minutes longer than every one else in the room.

I don't know if the rubber bands inside a leader have just enough more elasticity to stretch the extra half an inch that causes others to snap, but whatever it is, it's a case study in itself.  What I know with certainty is that the dry and crusty rubber bands that are our intestines are made out of pretty much the same stuff as humans.  Pits, butterflies, constriction, hot blood, ulcers, tight shoulders, headaches, sensitive finger nails (a "What about Bob" quote...hehe).  These are realities for most leaders, and I'm starting to believe it's unavoidable unless you have figured out how to be independently wealthy or cleverly working it out to be a  leader without being around people....not possible, by the way.

But there are things that a leader does when their rubber bands are about to snap:
1. They grab every bouncing ball in their head and write it out on paper.
2. They put that list into a pecking order of priority and begin to check off the things that have been nebulous at best.
3. They take a breather from the life or death situation and do something recreative instead of procreative.
4. Against everything inside of you telling you that it's a waste of time, get with a generative person.
5. Go watch a movie, preferably an afternoon matinee where you're in the theater by yourself.
6. Start a blog where you can blood-let some of your congested thoughts inside your skull.
7. Pray a centering prayer.  John the Baptist's seems to work for me: "You must increase, I must decrease."
8. Find a weekday television drama to faithfully watch with your wife on the couch.
9. Don't shortcut bedtime with your kids (if you have kids).  This exposure to child's play is cathartic and therapeutic.
10. Do physical labor in the yard, garage, or get in the woods to shoot something or cut a tree down with an good 'ole fashioned ax.
11. Get into UFC wrestling and either knock out or getting knocked out by a another human.
12. Get out a broom and start taking swings at the bats flying around in your head that scare you.
13. Begin to exercise with walking, running, sit ups or push ups.  (anything to make yourself feel better.)
14. Finish something.  A book.  A project.  A to-do lists.  A desire to take your wife on a date.  Anything.
15. Take care of that one nagging unresolved conflict.  Contact them.  Set up a meeting.  And apologize.
16. Read your Bible every morning.  Not legalistically, but for your soul-survability. A Proverb a Day.
17. Stop trying to please everyone.  You won't do it.  You can't do it.  You shouldn't do it.  'Nough said.
18. Get into a weekly relationship with someone from the same sex to talk about life, God and each other's unfolding stories.
19. Read on a regular basis.  Let someone else direct the traffic of your brain to higher thoughts you should be thinking that never would in the middle of the mess you're in.
20. Know that God loves you and is rooting for you in the stands.  He's even wearing your jersey.

I love leaders.  First the first time in my life I know the unspeakable beauties and tragedies associated with this calling.  I want to be a break wall and a lighthouse to help you find that haven, that port to find rest from the storm and then to get out into the high seas again to go fishing for men.  It does no good fishing in calm ports, the big ones are beyond the break wall.  That's where a leader needs to be, but not before he gets the fuel and refreshment from the port.

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