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 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 coming my way. 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 a notch. I demand the most of myself, then leaders, and then the team. The peace comes from a 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. Fact.
So, leader, remember your role is to make your team do what they can. Your role is to model the way, embrace pain and suffering, and embody truth in love. You are to care for your team and expect that sometimes your caring will result in you not being liked. Get comfortable being alone. Fact.
Someday, however, the truth will set me free (John 8:32). I love marinating in this thought. Someday – just not today. This morning a few clients had a lightbulb go on. I didn’t flip their switch but my questions got them thinking. This afternoon, another client didn’t like me or my attempt to make them better. All day my aim remains the same, yet the results vary wildly. God, help me master this work and realize my role, my role, my role.
God, help me care, but not too much…