Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Using What You’ve Got

Last week I participated in the Leadership Coaching Project Retreat led by Mark Tidsworth, the president of Pinnacle Leadership Associates. We met in a beautiful setting—Lutheridge Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina—with some great people. Including the Pinnacle team, we had leaders from Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Lutheran churches.

As I facilitated a small group of leaders and listened to the presentations that Mark did, I was reminded that each of us has great resources for growth and ministry. Every believer is wonderfully gifted by God. Retreats like this help us to discover more about ourselves but, in reality, most of us already know much more than we are doing! Coaching is one way to make better use of our gifts and natural talents and to focus those for life balance and more effective service.

What are some of the things that keep us from effectively using what has been given to us? You can come up with your own list, but here is mine.

First, I need to determine my priorities. I am involved in so many good activities, but what are the best for me? The problem is never finding something to do. It is making good choices about what to do.

Second, I need to determine the best use of my gifts. Although I don’t see myself as enormously gifted, I know that there are some things that I do well. I also know that there some things that I could do that might be done just as well (perhaps better) by someone else.

Third, I need to protect my core but be open to change. I admit that I borrowed this from Jim Collins (Built to Last, Good to Great, How the Mighty Fall), but it makes good sense on a personal level. There are some core values built around family, God, and community that are vital to me and inform who I am and want to be. At the same time, these values can be a springboard for growth and service rather than an excuse to ignore opportunities.

I will probably add more to this as I think about it, but this is a beginning point. What’s your list?

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