Last week, I received a call from my doctor’s office. The voice on the line said, “Mr. Bias, it is time to schedule your next checkup. May we schedule your appointment today?” I wanted to say, “No,” but I knew that my regular checkup helped to keep me physically healthy.
Over the years, I have learned the same is true about effective leadership. I have not always called them checkups, but I have regularly stopped to evaluate or to take an account of my life and actions. For me, regular checkups are necessary for effective leadership.
At the beginning of the year, Sara Thomas introduced us to a weekly checkup called TGIF: Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration, and Faith. She wrote, “…if all leadership begins with self-leadership, there are things that need to improve.” She continued, “I know the impact reflection has on transformation. If you want growth, stop and reflect.”
She proposed taking time each week to reflect upon four TGIF questions to assist in growing in faith and in developing as courageous leaders:
- What am I TRUSTING?
- For whom or what am I GRATEFUL?
- Who or What is INSPIRING me?
- How am I practicing FAITH?
So today, I am sharing with you my most recent checkup in regard to becoming a more compassionate leader.
What am I Trusting?
I am trusting my listening skills. Over the past several weeks, I have listened closely to the needs, aspirations, and mission of our local churches. At the same time, I have listened closely to the strengths, skills, and needs of our clergy.
I am trusting what is emerging. In the midst of listening, what emerges is not exactly what I have in mind. I am trusting the new things God is doing.
I am also trusting the shift in my prayer habits. I continue to make the shift from having a prayer life to living a life of prayer.
For whom or what am I grateful?
I am grateful for trusted friends. I am grateful for those so close they not only love me just the way I am, but they give of themselves so I can become who God created me to be. I am grateful for the embodiment of unconditional and unselfish love in their lives. I am grateful that the love I experience in and through them encourages me to be more like Jesus.
Because I am surrounded by friends who embody such love, I am becoming a more compassionate leader.
What is inspiring me?
Most recently, the Galatians: Following Jesus Every Day reading plan. It is this habit of reading, reflecting, and responding that helps keep me focused and growing.
This past week, to hear the names of the persons participating in the study lifted in prayer was an awe-inspiring experience.
How am I practicing faith?
By God’s grace, I am working on being clear about what I think and how I act. I know that might sound strange, but I am trusting that God wants me to live in the real world. There are times that I find it easy to “interact” with God in seclusion, where I can escape from responsibility. I find it more difficult to follow God into the office, the community, or into relationships I cannot control.
I am practicing faith by stepping away from a fear of failure. It is my fear of failure that keeps me from taking risks and keeps me in my comfort zone. I am also practicing my faith by not talking about success, but by stepping into the arena to participate in the possibility of success.
It’s time for A Check-up
It is nothing spectacular. But being a healthy leader allows me the opportunity to see the people around me as God sees them, to understand more who I am becoming in God’s work, and to catch a glimpse of God in and through trust and obedience.
So, how are doing with Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration, and Faith?
Church leader, it is time for your next checkup. Are you willing to participate in it today?