Working with people. Trying to get people to work together. What do you do when everyone wants to lead and no one wants to follow? What do you do when people are only looking after themselves and their agendas and have no initiative to help someone else? I believe if you help someone else get what they want, you will get what you want. However, you have to set boundaries, of course. You don’t want to enable someone to be dependent on your “help” to live their life, but I believe you can model behavior that can still help that person make better decisions. Many times people learn better by observing and doing than being told what to do. Some people are so bent on leadership they cannot take instruction or suggestions, they have to come to the conclusion on their own about what is best for the whole or even themselves as individuals. I don’t believe in manipulation because I think it leads to bitterness. But I believe in honesty. Express your desire to see teamwork and improved outcomes and believe that hopefully the person you are working with will agree with your vision and join you without feeling like they are giving their power away. Some people, so driven by their ego and their desire to feel in control, often care more about image than they do about what is best for everyone. I believe the greatest leaders are the servants. The ones who humble themselves to help others, not to manipulate, but just out of sheer desire to see good outcomes overall. It is a great feeling to help someone else. If everyone looked for opportunities to serve instead of trying to boss everyone or tell them what they are doing wrong, I think it would create more of a teamwork mentality and a more pleasant work environment. Some people are in positions of authority and they deserve to be followed and respected. However, some people want this for themselves and treat other people poorly, spend more time trying to tell other people what to do, instead of focusing on what they can do themselves. Sometimes people want to change the world, but they don’t realize they have to change themselves first. People seem to respond better when you present the challenges and allow them to come up with ways to solve them instead of telling people specifically how something should be done. Nevertheless, there are different personalities that perform better under direct instruction, but perhaps it is individualized for each person. Obviously, there is much to learn about leadership and working with others. Unfortunately, this can often be complicated by high turnover in a company, in which case, individuals have to keep earning the respect of new coworkers to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding mission and vision. Training seems never ending when retention is a problem. On a positive perspective, human beings thrive on challenges. Without them, we would be bored. Knowing we have a mission and a purpose, including overcoming obstacles, can ignite passion within people to work together to create better outcomes.
Just a personal observation about group dynamics and teamwork.
With the closing of this winter break, ending of 2014 and a new beginning in 2015, I have thankfully been able to clarify some personal things in my own life. Recently, I made decisions to purchase things to better accommodate my family. These decisions created an excitement for me about the benefits these new purchases have had for us. It also made me want to do more big things. It felt good making decisions and seeing good results. So good, in fact, for a moment I was ready to conceive another child! However, after much thought, I have decided that stabilizing our financial situation and considering a larger home would take precedence over giving birth right now in my life. Just the thought of having to leave a new baby to go to work everyday broke my heart. It made me want to work two jobs to be able to pay off debt to be job optional for a short period of time while my new addition is still a tiny child.
I have a lot of faith in my unseen God. I feel the Holy Spirit loves me enough to make me aware of important things that need my attention. I felt awakened in the 4-o’clock hour this morning feeling led to look at my student loan information online. To my surprise, my lender had been changed without my knowing. I have automatic payments set up, I never have to really look at anything, but it transferred automatically to this new company. I found that my contact information needed to be updated, and I was also able to update my information for my kids college rewards program. Sadly, this information had not been updated in over 5 years. I have felt a leading in my spirit to better manage a savings plan for my children. I am thankful for the direction of the Holy Spirit in my life, without which I am nothing and I have nothing.
So in light of my great appreciation for these circumstances, I thankfully begin this new year with an attitude of gratitude and praise. I am tempted to feel stress and pressure of the great responsibility I have of raising children, but then I remember how great is the God I serve. He helps me because I am weak. I depend upon God because He is faithful. In little ways, I believe The Lord reveals His everlasting love for me. Pulling out a Bible from under a pile this morning while making a cup of coffee, I noticed a candy cane stuck inside the pages. My eyes read the words on the page in Romans 8:31-39. The passage was entitled “God’s Everlasting Love.” I closed the Bible and went to pick up the spiral journal I had received as a gift this past year, which I still have not written a single sermon note or any other entry for that matter. I considered writing in it this morning about the thoughts in my head, but I decided to blog about them instead. As I set the journal down, I read these familiar words on the cover that I just found on a page marked with a piece of candy from a Bible that had been crammed in a kitchen drawer with other miscellaneous items. “NOTHING IN ALL CREATION WILL EVER BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS REVEALED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD. Romans 8:39” How it is possible that so rarely I read the Bible, or even look at this journal, do I find matching messages in two places this morning? I stood stunned at the coincidence. However, my relationship with The Lord has been filled with many of these types of happy “coincidences.” I feel it is the way God speaks to me and the message itself that is so intriguing and inspiring. God is not dead, He is surely alive. One cannot ignore His supernatural power working in the life of person who has a personal relationship with Him. He gives me abundant life and reminds me of His everlasting love. In the midst of responsibilities and opportunities for multiple life decisions, The Almighty shows His constant presence and perfect character. For those of us who are sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we cannot help but fall to our knees in awe and adoration for the grace and kindness He shows us. It only feels natural to verbally praise our Creator for the big and small ways he demonstrates His love for us.
Happy New Year indeed, as we remember the One who makes all things new.