A leader…you talking to me?
Do you ever wonder if you are a leader? I want to help you answer that question, but first I would love to share a bit of my day to help you get a sense of what I see a leader is and how I saw that reality today.
Vacation is finally here. It is a bit of impromptu vacation, but it is good. Not planned months in advance like our normal vacations, this one was planned only about a week or so ago. I was supposed to be out of town on work and that work got cancelled. So, now I sit on a balcony overlooking a lazy river, writing. It is cool outside and I am in one of my favorite places in the world.
My heart always finds rest in the mountains of Tennessee. My heart finds its purpose again. My sense of life and breath are restored. But of all of the days I have spent here, today might have been the most sacred.
Today consisted a long hike in the woods – almost 4 hours. For some that is not a long hike, but for our family that is the longest in the history for our family by at least 3 and half hours. The leaves here are changing. It was cool this morning, but it was deeply crisp hiking on the mountain trails.
Our path this lead to a waterfall. It consisted of many memories and moments that are hard to even write in words. There are some pictures included in this post, but what resides in my heart is what is etched in eternity.
It was in the midst of seeing my kids and my wife living out an adventure the I saw the essence of leadership. They were climbing. Running. Falling. Slipping. Smiling. Laughing. Getting tired. In moments they seemed to be pure reflections of the Creator living in the creation made just for them. At other times, I saw them struggle to deal with going just another step.
Today, in that 4 hours it was as though time stopped and yet at the same time it was so real and intense. Again hard to describe, but we all experienced it.
It was in these moments of clarity, a clarity only achieved by being in creation that I re-realized why I am writing and putting my ideas out there for others like you to digest.
I care about leadership. I deeply believe we all have the ability to lead others. We will vary in the numbers we will lead and to what degree, but all have the ability, dare I say even the call to lead others.
And you say, “Excuse me Kevin, I am not a leader. You must have me confused with someone else.”
So let me help you out a bit, because I am talking to you. Here is my working definition of a leader so that I can assure you I do not have you confused with another person:
A leader is anyone that chooses to use their gifts and influence for the good of others.
I want to create this space for others- to read these words, to soak in pictures, to have emotions provoked, and thoughts stirred – to check their leadership. To help them ask if they are choosing to use their gifts and influence to help others around them.
That is what this space is for. It is for you and for me to make sure we are living fully into that which we are called to.
Today I lived a bit of this quote and my heart longs for more:
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms. -Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
I invite you to go the woods.
Find your clarity in creation.
Figure out who needs you to lead and lead well.
Fight, crawl, pull, run, and walk.
But whatever you do, do not stop.