Today, a young lady cried in practice because our topic took her back to some not so good memories. Today, a young man shared his story of pulling out the bazooka when dealing with a bully. He realized his fear was misplaced. Being tough, in the moment, wasn’t nearly as hard as he’d imagined. And, today, another youngin’ learned he’s more likely to get sued for caring – caring too much. Today, I’ve come to believe, is a fairly normal day in my life’s work. I’m learning to take the work seriously; myself, not so much.
Everyday in the work of BTL, I attempt to speak and listen “truth in LOVE.” It is rare the teams I’m practicing with hear what I want them to. Oftentimes they hear something else playing in their head and mix it with the message coming from me. Sometimes they are hurting to such a degree they hear nothing. And, sometimes I use too many words, share them too fast, deliver them too passionately, and cause confusion instead of clarity. Sometimes I make a mess myself.
Here’s what I know. I’ve found peace in this. My aim is to master the work of building leaders and building teams with deep, hard earned trust – the kind that leads to unity. I do not measure my success by the words of praise or poison. Each week, I look back and write about what the work itself tells me. My aim is mastery and I’m miles from it. So, each week, I’m writing where I can get better and kicking my own to take it up more than a notch. I demand the most of myself, then the leaders, and then the team. The peace comes from my focus on mastering the work, not worrying about what others think. This has been the hardest mental gymnastics for my mind. I want very much to be liked and esteemed for my work. Speaking truth does not yield much of either.
Someday, however, the truth will set me free (John 8:32). I love marinating in this thought. Today, a few clients had a lightbulb go on. I didn’t flip their switch but my questions got them to. God, help me master this work and realize my role, my role, my role. God, help me care, but not too much…