I have been in the working world for 30-plus years. The “job” has provided for my family and myself, from a financial perspective, but I have not felt completely satisfied. Don’t misunderstand me; I’ve achieved some successes. I just haven’t achieved the significance that I want. It took me a long time to learn that the majority of companies do not intentionally develop their people. They may invest in a few—mostly in upper-management positions—but for the majority of their people, they seem to settle.
To me, success is personal. Significance means that I leave something behind for others. Even after 30 years, I am not a person who can just cruise until retirement. Significance is in my sights. I believe that I am doing what I can, and pray that I am on the same path as God, in order that I can truly make a long-lasting difference.
Over the years, I have spent considerable resources to develop myself. I have spent far more on me than my employer has. I have always set a high bar for myself. I am a high achiever, but my quiet nature has challenged me in connecting well with people. For this reason, I became a lay pastor, as that gave me a method to share my faith in a structured manner and forced me to get in front of people more often. I developed many close friendships. However, I realized that everyone is different. Yes, that is not a surprise. What is surprising is that there are people who have such a scarcity mentality. A great example of this is a time I was leading a committee. We had collected funds to help some families at Christmas with extra groceries. Not a large amount; I think it was $375. Some people on the committee thought we should hold some of the cash collected as seed money for the following year. It was a challenge to help people understand that if we can help people now, we should—not save it for another year. That’s scarcity thinking.
Serving as a pastor influenced my faith journey more than anything up to that point. But everything has a season, and after my season as a pastor ended, Kris and I spent the next year visiting other denominationally (is that a word?) related churches in and around the Lincoln area. This also happened to be within the same time frame of joining the John Maxwell Team. As we developed through our personal growth path, we realized the struggle that many people have with life, the comfort in accepting where they are in life, and that many are not looking to achieve their greater dreams.
What satisfaction is there in living smaller than one is capable of living?
It is helpful to know that John Maxwell had his own church struggles. In fact, I am currently participating in a mastermind study on one of John’s books, Intentional Living. As I was rereading the book, I had a new appreciation for John’s words saying that he went to seminary and studied theology, not leadership. John has since studied and helped others with leadership principles for over 40 years. Leadership is a challenging subject—because it’s all about people!
People will be the source of your greatest accomplishments; people will be the source of your greatest challenges. —John C. Maxwell
There are many people that make comments such as “Leadership development is so important for all other people” with the implication that they do not need it themselves. If a person who has studied it for over 40 years continues to study and help others, how does someone else even suggest that this is only for everyone else?
This also reminds me of how so many parents are more than willing to give their children all kinds of opportunities as they grow up, but they spend little effort developing themselves, creating a model for their children to stop developing themselves in the process. It’s not surprising the average person spends more money on entertainment than education. It’s like once we have our “job,” we stop preparing ourselves for our future. We expect the employer to take care of us. The exceptional employer does invest in the employees. The average employer does not. For which one do you work? One that invests in you or one that does not? And if you work for an average employer, how satisfied are you with average?
This reminds me of a quote by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla:
Nobody changed the world on 40 hours a week. —Elon Musk
I have never considered myself average—and I never will! Life is about Growing and Getting Better. So, what is your plan to improve yourself? What dreams are you working toward? What does significance—and the legacy you are leaving—mean to you?
Leadership Harbor would love to be a part of your journey. Leadership is not a position. It’s a way of increasing your potential and the potential of those around you. Contact us today. There is something that fits every budget financially and also your time availability.