As a leader in your church, your organization, or your business, it's easy to fall into the rut of simply completing tasks and getting work done. You can get so busy and even overwhelmed with deadlines and process, that you simply follow a track that’s laid out for you. You can get really good at doing what’s needed, but fail to go further and fulfill what you were meant to.
Most people tend to react to life. They tend to respond to what life brings their way. They don’t ask deeper questions and push through to the why behind something. So many people live from reaction to reaction, failing to critique how they think, speak or act.
As a leader your effectiveness and fruitfulness, is determined by how proactive and creative you are. It isn't necessarily complex or intimidating, but they are the additional steps extraordinary leaders take to get to the next level. Let's look at 4 key areas that help you get there.
Define Your Life-Vision
Vision describes where you see your life headed. It's a picture of what your life would look like years from now. It tries to answer the question, "If I achieve all my goals, what would life look like years from now?" A personal vision is what inspires you and pushes you forward. There's a mental image of what you want life to look like, and it becomes a constant reminder of where you're headed. When you live from that place of vision, you will be focused and resolute. Whatever environment you're in, whatever team you're on, you become a person who offers your unique gifts, talents, and abilities, because you know who you are.
Leaders who react, lean into the vision of those around them. They are formed and shaped by the team, friends, family, or organization they surround themselves with. In most instances this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes though, someone else's vision for their life might not be right for them. These kind of leaders find themselves frustrated, overwhelmed, boxed in, and comparing themselves to those around them. They don't live inspired or focused, but instead find that they are becoming an image of the environment they're in.
Define Your Life-Mission
Mission is your reason for existence. It is that bleeding-heart core of why you do you. It takes where you know you're headed, and gives it feet to walk out now. When you know your mission in life, it gives you purpose, direction, and pace. It allows you to filter what you could do, through what you should do. You will go the distance in good times and in bad, and you will see the positive results of staying the course.
Leaders who react, become a reflection of their current season in life. They will think a certain way, or speak a certain way, or live a certain way, simply because the environment they're in dictates it. A leader without a mission is easily influenced, easily distracted, and easily shipwrecked. Because the reason for why they exist changes from day to day, it hampers their effectiveness and longevity. There won't have the internal resolve to walk through tough times, and they'll fail to the fruitfulness that comes because of faithfulness.
Define Your Life-Values
Your values are a reflection of what you believe and how you behave. They are the compass in your life for what you will never do and what you will always do. It takes the guesswork out of decision-making, because you know who you are and how you will live. There are certain lines you will never cross, because you know it crosses your values. Values take time to develop, but once they are developed, you can hold fast to them.
Leaders who react, live based on preferences that are constantly in flux. Their ideals and beliefs will forever be evolving to match their environment. Without a set of core values, they will simply do what makes them comfortable, or whatever makes the most sense in the moment. They will cross lines, and not feel bad doing so. In the end, they will find themselves reacting to life, instead of creating the life they were meant to live.
Define Your Life-Habits
There are certain core habits that effective leaders include in their schedule. These habits become so connected to you, that it reflects your vision, mission and values. When you know where your life is headed, why you exist, and how you will live, you can then build your life around a core set of habits. Your core habits take what you know and believe, and create momentum in your life. The rhythm you develop, leads to incredible fruitfulness. .
Leaders who react, build their lives around what needs to be done, not who they are. They don't have a core set of practices that reflect who they are, but instead their habits are a reflection of the task at hand. The problem with living this way, is that the highs are high and lows are low. The euphoria of one season might not carry over to the next, because there isn't a consistent rhythm to life. When bad things happen, these kind of people have no foundation that keeps them going or helps them push through.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why."
- Define Your Life-Vision – Where do you see yourself headed? When you think about your life in 10 years or 20 years, what do you want it to look like?
- Define Your Life-Mission – Why do you exist? When you boil life down to it's bare essentials, what makes you tick? Why do you do what you do?
- Define Your Life-Values – How do you plan to live your life? What is the moral compass that guides your decisions and thinking? What will you never do, and what will you fight to do?
- Define Your Life-Habits – What will you do daily, weekly, monthly? What are the core habits you want to schedule into your day, and help you get to where you want to go? What are you practically choosing to do consistently without fail?