Remember that “gung-ho” spirit you had when you first began leading? There was a fire burning inside of you – a desire to see change – there was a drive to make a difference, make your mark, make things better…
What happened to that passion?
Where did that passion go? Did it get watered down, stamped on, pushed back or smothered and strangled? Was your reserve depleted years ago? Did the dregs of your passion dribble out and now you’re scraping bottom and it’s a bit mucky down there?
Has your leadership personality been diluted to the point where you don’t want any new suggestions, because it’s going to mean yet more work?
Are you tired to the depths of your soul, and don’t know where to turn?
You’re fatigued, but you still see the value of leading. You’re worn, but you know you’re in the place you’re called to be. You’re drained, but there’s still those following who need your leadership.
You want to feel the passion again. You do.
How to put passion back into your Leadership
Passion doesn’t disappear overnight. In the same way, it’s not going to reappear (in a sustained way) within an hour or two or twelve.
Re-igniting your passion is a step-at-a-time process.
This post begins a 5-step series on putting passion back into your leadership – one post, one step, for the next five weeks. And we want to encourage you – you don’t need to “feel” the passion to take these steps.
Perhaps you’re alone in this need for renewal. It could be that your spouse is feeling just fine – OR – it could be that your spouse isn’t ready to begin – yet. That’s OK. Just begin. (Yeah. That’s leadership, even in a husband and wife relationship.)
In an ideal situation you can sit down and talk about a renewal of leadership with your spouse. Only you’ll know if this is the time to do it together as a team… Or proceed on your own. Out front. Leading.
Here are the steps:
- Step Away. (October 24, 2014)
- Step Over. (October 31, 2014)
- Step Around. (November 7, 2014)
- Step Toward. (November 14, 2014)
- Step Up. (November 21, 2014)
For each of the steps, we’ll suggest extra resources, and provide encouragement. Also, we want to encourage you to reach out and communicate with us if you have any questions or concerns. (Our email is Robert.Lori@dev.leadershipcouples.com.)
Putting passion back into your leadership is important: what you can provide to those who follow you, and those who will benefit in the future, is priceless. Continuing without passion is not an option, because you have been called to accomplish great things.
“…Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom for a time like this?” ~ Esther 4:14
This is not more work.
It’s a renewal.
Here’s the first step.
1. Step Away –>
Do not quit. (Let’s be clear about this. You’re not quitting.)
Stepping away is not quitting, rather, it’s an internal action. It’s a reflective action meant to spark the re-grouping, re-filling, re-pairing and re-equipping. Passion-less leaders rarely spend time in reflection.
Leaders with passion take time to look at the big picture from a reflective stance. So, step away to see the big picture.
Take time alone.
Reflection can only happen when the buzz of activities are elsewhere.
- Step away from the buzz.
- Step away from the distractions.
- Step away from technology.
For one hour. Step away.
Here’s what we’ve learned from our visits with those in leadership. Talking with ministers and wives, and couples in business, it’s clear they exist within frenetic schedules. It’s an epidemic.
There is no time to sit in silence. The TV is on from the moment they rise, the computer sits waiting, their cell phones are at their hip in a holster, pocket or purse, ready to pick up and peruse at 5 minute intervals. Activities are scheduled back-to-back, kids are involved so parents are hovering, aging parents need care, so the sandwich generation is responding.
There is no time to be quiet. No stillness. No silence. There’s need. There’s noise. There’s confused commotion. The well is dry, and everyone is still dipping into it to find another drop.
Step away to prepare to look at the big picture.
Schedule time to step away. It is possible. You are leading. Stepping away is a priority to lead well.
Schedule your time to step away for one hour- each day – for the next week. Depending on your life-commitments you might have to…
- get up earlier than normal to step away for one hour
- take your lunch hour to step away
- get home an hour later than normal to step away
- turn off the TV to step away for an hour
- go outside to step away for an hour
- step away for an hour for a solitary walk or run
- take an hour drive alone (without the radio/CD playing) to step away
- say “no” to others (with deliberate kindness) to step away
- sacrifice something (temporarily) pleasurable to step away
Yes. You’ve scheduled your time – your hour each day – to step away.
What will you do with that time?
No words to hear, no words to read. Your hands are still. Your eyes have nothing on which to focus. Your thoughts have no directed action. The only purpose you have for this one-hour time period is stepping away. If you’ve done that – stepped away – then you have met the objective.
–> It’s going to feel awkward. Uncomfortable. Perhaps painful.
Stepping away – into nothing – is unfamiliar, in our 1st world culture.
You’re going to find yourself prevaricating. Step away, anyhow.
You’re going to find yourself thinking this is a waste of time. Step away, anyhow.
You’re going to find yourself believing you’re needed elsewhere. Step away, anyhow.
Begin the process to look at the big picture.
It’s only a week. Seven days.
(Ah, but what God could do in seven days… imagine what He might begin in you… )
Who does this?
This stepping away might sound odd – crazy even… are you thinking there’s no precedent? Well, there is.
- GOD. God stepped away after He was finished creating the universe. (Genesis 2:1-3)
- JESUS. Jesus stepped away on numerous occasions. (Scripture tells us He often retreated to pray.)
- Historical geniuses: Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Nicola Tesla, Joseph Haydn practiced solitude
- Thought Leaders: CS Lewis, Steven Covey, Aristotle, John Milton, Henri Nouwen, Gordon MacDonald, Mother Teresa, support solitude
- Science: books are written by psychologists about solitude, studies are run on the need for solitude and the adversity to solitude.
This first step – stepping away – might be the most uncomfortable of all 5 steps to put passion back into your leadership. However, stepping away into solitude may also have the most impact.
Hey, you can do nothing for an hour each day… can’t you?
It’s only seven days.
– read Chapter 11