Big Picture, Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Embrace Your Strength

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How well do you know yourself? What settings do you find yourself naturally gravitating toward and thriving as a result?

I work better in a collaborative setting. When I have the opportunity to work with a group of people, my creativity goes through the roof.

For example, last year I worked with an intern. The greatest benefit was having someone with whom I could talk through decisions and ideas. When left to myself, I bog down in possibilities and options.

What about you? How do you thrive? Do you find yourself being rejuvenated by working alone? Or maybe you feel like working in a group helps you present your best?

If you have never considered this before, take just a minute and think about the last month. How many times have you tried to get together with a group of people? How many gatherings have you avoided? When did you feel energized?

Some people do better by themselves, where others thrive in community. Neither is right or wrong, unless you’re going against your wiring.

Once you have evaluated and decided how best you work, embrace it. Because I do better in group settings, I have built group times into my schedule. I have two to three groups I meet with on a regular basis, whether it be lunch, catching up, or coffee. Our time together may not always be about ministry or leadership, but I regularly grow as a result. My schedule reflects my leanings.

If you do better alone, find time to get away. Let your calendar reflect your strengths. Schedule in times to get creative.

One final word, balance is important. I may lean towards working better in a group, but I still have to find time to work alone. You may work better alone, but you cannot hide from group work completely.

Know your strength. Play to your strength. Embrace your strength. But do not neglect your weakness. Find the balance.

2 comments

I think this is really good. The experiences & knowledge that I have acquired over the years has it’s natural limits. Yet, if I collaborate with people that have had experiences & gather knowledge that I haven’t it expands my abilities. That’s one of the reasons I loved meeting with you guys each month for so many years. What do you think about a diversity of voices? I often see people only gather around them people that say similar things to what they have seen or agree with. It seems very limiting. I’m not saying a confrontational group, but striving to include in people that think even in, what might be considered, weird ways. An example is that you might have a group that pretty much agrees around a lecture time teaching on Wednesday nights for students. But maybe you have a couple of people in the group that have broken from that & suggest not even meeting as one big group, rather meet in homes all over the city. If the group gleaned some of the knowledge they might not go to that extreme, but they could implement at small group teaching mentality rather than the lecture. Not a great example, but I’ve learned to like the “weirdos” to help me think outside the box. Thoughts?

I think this is absolutely right. I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to someone’s suggestion and thought it absurd at the moment, but realized later there might be some great meat in what they said. I definitely don’t want people around me who only think and act like me, but who stretch me.

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