Shift #3: Lead with GRACE

Leading with GRACE is as much about leading one’s self as it is about influencing others.  In order to lead with GRACE, one must be filled with GRACE. Influence and making a difference is impossible when you walk around with a chip on your shoulder. In order to make a difference in the lives of those around us, we must Lead with Grace.

As the 12 hand-picked leaders of Israel’s tribes spied on the Promised Land and its inhabitants, only 2 returned with a good report.  Joshua and Caleb did see all that the other spies saw, but the grace they had seen IN the Lord and received FROM the Lord fed their faith.  This faith caused them to Lead with GRACE.  Read this account in Numbers 14:36-38,

So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

For most, the beginning of our leadership journey finds us uncomfortable in our own skin.  When we discover the insecurity in self, we attempt to be like others.  Like the great Giant Slayer David, who tried on King Saul’s armor to fight Goliath, in time we discover that trying to dress in someone else’s armor doesn’t work either.

Leading with GRACE begins with being comfortable in your own skin.  If you can’t accept and have grace for yourself, you’ll never have grace toward others.  Leading with GRACE requires we know who we are, which allows you to inspire others.  To touch the lives of those around us (family, friends, and co-workers), requires grace.

Shift #2: Speak LIFE

Speaking LIFE is the ability and choice to share the right WORDS at the right TIME,  which bring something into existence in the life of another.

Parents (& close family) have a unique role of Speaking LIFE over their children like no one else.  The problem is, parents also see children at their worse moments.  Moms and dads see the fits, the attitudes, the lapses of judgment, the forgotten homework-shoes-shorts-etc…  However, as parent, we must see past the immediate, and have vision for the future.

Speaking LIFE over your children speaks their future into existence.

If Speaking LIFE was not something you experienced in your home growing up, let me give you some words LIFE that can make all the difference in the world to your child.

I’m proud of you, Way to go, Bingo … you did it, Magnificent, I knew you could do it, What a good helper, You’re very special to me, I trust you, What a treasure, Hurray for you, Beautiful work, You’re a real trooper, Well done, That’s so creative, You make my day, You’re a joy, Give me a big hug, You’re such a good listener, You figured it out, I love you, You’re so responsible, You remembered, You’re the best, You sure tried hard, I’ve got to hand it to you, I couldn’t be prouder of you, You light up my day, I’m praying for you, You’re wonderful, I’m behind you, You’re so kind to your (brother/sister), You’re God’s special gift, I’m here for you. (John Trent, Ph.D., Vice President of Today’s Family, Men of Action, Winter 1993, p. 5.)

Mothers and Fathers, remember when you see the worse in your child to continue to Speak words of LIFE.  You can certainly continue to correct or discipline, but even then, these are done with one eye on the present, and one eye on the future.  Speak LIFE!

Shift #1: Live Empty

Let’s be real… We like things FULL.  We like a FULL coffee mug, a full wallet (with $), a full calendar, life full of friends, full of energy, full of ideas, full of opportunity, a full stomach, a full closet, a full refrigerator, and anything else we can get full.

Of course there are some things we also like empty.  We like an empty kitchen sink, empty laundry baskets, an empty email inbox, an empty honey-do-list (so I’ve heard), and any way we can empty stress and anxiety.

So what does it mean to Live EMPTY? I probably depends what you are measuring, and what you are measuring with.

To live EMPTY is the opposite of living FULL of self.  To live EMPTY is to live GIVING. Giving is the quickest way to receive/to be FULL.  When we live EMPTY, we can be filled with God himself.  He never fills a FULL vessel.

It live EMPTY is to recognize our need with out being needy. Living EMPTY is a life of giving.  The Bible gives these examples:

A man who has friends must himself be friendly.[1]

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.[2]

Give, and it will be given to you… running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.[3]

SO……………….. What measure are you using? Perhaps it is time to question your metrics of what it means to be full, and start to learn to Live EMPTY!

[1] Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV) [2] Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) [3] Luke 6:38 (NIV)