Archive for March, 2007

It’s not lost if you know where it is

It’s never easy to let go of loved ones when they die. My wife’s grandmother passed away last Friday evening due to kidney failure. Thankfully, the doctors told us earlier in the week that Mamaw wouldn’t make it too much longer. It gave us all plenty of time to tell her how much she meant to us and remind her of how much her loving hands impacted our lives. While were blessed to have one last time to say our good byes, it was still hard to let her go.

Mamaw was the glue of the family. Despite disagreements she could always someway bridge differences and pull off the most peaceful and enjoyable holiday dinners. This was a lady who could barely walk due to degenerative arthritis in both ankles. Every step she took was filled with pain. However, you would never know her pain by the look on her face. For the 15 years I knew her, I never once saw her without a smile. She had a gift of making you feel better about yourself and your circumstances. She was an eternal optimist. She led by influence.

As we buried Mamaw yesterday I couldn’t help but thinking how proud she would be. Not that people of all ages showed up to give their fond farewells but proud that people she came in contact with were a little better because of her influence.
I sincerely hope and pray that when I take my last breathe there are many who can say that they were made better by knowing me. As I told some family members, we didn’t lose Mamaw because something isn’t lost if you know where it is. And there’s no doubt Mamaw is enjoying some pain free and peaceful days now.

It’s all a process

I’ve been visiting a friend in Phoenix for the past few days and while there had the opportunity to discuss the subject of leadership. My friends leadership journey is in it infancy stages and is in its most fragile state. His area and level of influence has grown tremendously, however with each spurt of growth comes a defector. As a new leader, my friend is devastated when one defects and does not become a leader themselves.

One thing to remember when you become disappointed along your journey is that leadership development is a process. Leadership expert John Maxwell says it perfectly, “It’s not the dream of a lifetime, it’s the dream that takes a lifetime.” Leadership and successful living doesn’t come to us overnight, it takes time to grow. And probably the most important thing that happens along our leadership journey is the fact that trials help us grow as leaders. Trials refine us as leaders; they serve to knock the gray, dirty rock from around our golden nugget of leadership.

The next time you feel disappointed in your leadership progress remembers these three things:
1. “It’s not the dream of a lifetime; it’s the dream that takes a lifetime.”
2. It takes time to grow as a person and as a leader.
3. It takes trials to make us successful leaders. Learn to appreciate trials for their ability to refine and find the gold within a dirty rock.