Nine things I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) as I step into the leadership roles that God has invited me to take on. I’ve got a lot to say on this so I’ll have to deliver it to you in three parts lest you fall asleep mid-read.
Some of these things I learned in my early twenties when I had the wonderful opportunity to be a Head of Year at an awesome Baptist College in Perth. Some others I learned through leading the worship ministry in my church and some I know in theory but struggle with in practise. Here we go…
4. Recognise and deal with self-limiting thoughts and behaviours.
I’ve already said this in a few ways and if you’ve read this blog much, you’ll know that this is the limp that I walk with. I have all the negative thoughts swirling around all the time.
You are not qualified for this.
Someone else could do a better job.
You are stuffing it up.
They don’t think you can do this.
Those thoughts are not helpful and 99% of the time they are untrue. Take them captive. Recognise that they are destructive and crippling and cast them out. If you need to, go see a psychologist to figure out how to rid your mind of them because they are getting in the way of you being all that God has called you to be.
Soak this in prayer also. This is a spiritual battle and these voices are not welcome.
Steven Furtick’s book ‘Crash the Chatterbox’ is a good read for those struggling with negative thinking.
5. Vomit Up.
This poetic advice is the collaborative effort of the stellar leaders on my table at a ‘Safe Church’ training day. By “vomit” we mean spew out the frustration of the tasks, budgets, conversations, set-backs, personality issues and insecurities up to a leader who is your safe and kind superior. Go to your pastor/manager and speak about the issues you are having.
Don’t vomit down all over the people you are supposed to lead. They need to trust you and be able to follow you. It’s not fair to dump all of that on them. In church-world, often these people are volunteers. You need to protect them and they need to have confidence and trust in you as a leader.
So vomit up, not down.
6. Cry in the Loo.
Vomit up, but maybe try not to cry to your boss. If you’re having a premenstrual really bad day, and a thing that you normally wouldn’t cry about makes you cry, resist the urge to go speak to your boss. Instead go see your wonderful colleague, Kathy. Kathy will let you sit in her office and have a little cry. She won’t ask you any questions, she will just hand you a tissue. Or if you have flexible hours, just go home. Go home and get in the bath. You can make up the time later. If you can’t leave work and Kathy isn’t in, go cry in the loo for a minute. Then pull up your big girl pants and get on with it.
If you really can’t avoid crying at work, then just go with it. Don’t shame spiral because you cried, and don’t get overly apologetic. Just take a few deeps breaths and give a co-worker a nice safe-church side hug.
(Truth-telling opportunity: is #cryingatwork only a Yvette problem? I have always cried a lot at work, but I’ve also always worked for absolute legends who have been cool with crying. How do we really feel about crying at work, friends?)
PART 1 here.
PART 3 here.