Here we go, part 2 to this whole attempt at helping people lead people. Where do I begin? First things first, I do not or have I ever felt absolutely qualified to lead people in any way.
Things I DO feel qualified for
- choosing a bangin’ pair of kicks for any occasion! preferably a reebok classic or a vintage new balance
- picking out a pair of Jeans that will look good on my husband without even having him try them on
- arguing my point
- always having a comeback
- stalking people on social media and retaining meaningless information about them
Those things I can do, blindfolded! But leading people, nope, I’m not the greatest. I’m like a firm C+. So why are you reading this? I don’t know, Maybe you’re bored or maybe you are imperfect just like me and God has asked you to step into stewarding people. If so, then you are in the right place. So, instead of telling you how great I am during this portion of these posts I’ll share with you my ROYAL screw ups so maybe you won’t do the same. Hopefully these mishaps will help you while leading and navigating your the workplace, ministry or in your family.
I am incredibly relational, and at the beginning of this journey I treated my team like family. I still do, and its awesome, but at the beginning I treated them more like siblings who I asked for stuff on occasion, instead of people I was gifted to steward and teach. I blame this technique on being a Latina and wanting everyone to be happy and fed all the time. But in ministry, in the workplace and even in my own personal life people will always need a leader. Because I didn’t lead AT ALL and I just kindly let them blaze their own trails, in moments where I had to step in and correct I instead offended, and started fires I couldn’t put out. And those fires fed new fires and it burned the paper town I had built to the ground. Because I never stepped UP, neither did they, and instead we were all just hanging out on the same step filling the space with smoke and bitterness. And because I cared more about being keeping the non existent peace, I stopped teaching, stopped innovating, stopped inspiring, I just stopped. I’m not proud of this at all. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m sharing this JUST IN CASE someone else out there has been thrown in the deep end of leadership with no floaties. If you are not careful, you’ll drowned and worse yet, others will follow suit. So if you are in a position to go first, GO! Collaboration is great, we do it A LOT, but sometimes you’re going to need to just make the hard decisions and own it! Sometimes you’re just going to have to love people through correction and say no even when it means an eye roll is coming. You are doing a disservice to those who are following behind you if you don’t step up…so step up.
2. ADMIT WHEN YOU’RE WRONG.
I don’t like to be wrong. It mainly stems from the fact that I am rarely wrong. I am not being proud, like I am totally usually right. Its the worst thing ever because in moments where I do fail or make a wrong decision, its the worst! And if I am super honest, I don’t deal with it well. Leading people means saying I’m sorry first, and admitting when you’ve made a bad call. And not just admitting it, but learning from it. For example: I have a kid on my team who is the YODA of PRINT! Like this kid could teach at any conference, has wisdom beyond her years and has the greatest ideas. I made a call recently that wasn’t the right one regarding the area she helps me oversee. Once I realized the error I made the switch and I totally took her advice she initially suggested and gave her credit in front of our entire team. Why? Because I made a bad call, because your circle, my circle needs to know that we have their back and we believe and trust in their feedback. I am not striving to be a great leader, I’m not even sure if I’m a good leader. I just want to push my circle further and higher than I will ever go. So that means making bad decisions might happen more than I’d like. Pioneering is messy, and that’s what I want to be great at. Making roads where there’s never been a road, and that my friends means sometimes leading people down a dead end or a dangerous trail. Its not ideal, but its okay. It’s okay to fail, but don’t be known for your failures, be known for your comebacks!
3. LIVE INSPIRED.
I taught and modeled for a hot minute that you needed to find inspiration in order to thrive in the creative field. I did this until I could no longer find anything that inspired me. I realized in that drought that as a result I needed to live inspired instead. For the CREATIVE, life is not always filled with moments calling to be captured, ideal locals screaming to be explored, music that moves you, or stories that deserve to be told. Sadly, many look at those seasons of drought as a stifling of their creativity instead of a call to truly live with an understanding of who the creator is and what He’s actually doing. Real life, like the life that pays bills is usually filled with a 9 to 5 you may not be happy with, tiny lunch breaks, mundane design pieces, numerous edits asked by non-designers and no space for adventures. But its in those droughts where you remember that the only creator is God and it’s our job to replicate what He’s doing in heaven on the earth. So instead of finding inspiration, sit, close your eyes, pray in the spirit, and gain a new perspective. Creativity isn’t its best when cultivated in total freedom, its its best when cultivated with boundaries and time-frames. Its only there in the boundaries and deadlines that we innovate and view the wall of opposition as a roof that needs to be lifted.