Last month, I competed in my gym's annual ironman competition. Now before you call me a liar or get impressed, they give us a month to complete the ironman verses the insane people who can achieve it in 1 day or less. If you don't know what it takes to complete an ironman, here it goes.
112 miles biking
26.2 miles running (marathon)
2.5 miles swimming (180 lengths of an olymplic-sized pool)
Needless to say, I spent some major time in the gym exerting a ton of energy for the ultimate prize of a cookout, t-shirt, and the satisfaction of knowing i completed a goal I set for myself. Noone was standing over my shoulder. there's no one in the stands cheering me on. Day after day, i'd roll out of my cozy, king-sized bed and slide on some gym clothes and commence to sweating.
About halfway through, I realized noone was holding me accountable. The cookout, nor the t-shirt was appealing enough to keep me "excited" about this goal. To be frank, it sucked!! I felt myself begin to make excuses and try and justify taking shortcuts. But every time i would begin to feel that way, something would check me and remind me that the only way to feel true satisfaction in completing a goal is to COMPLETE THE GOAL!
As i saw the end of my goal coming to an end. I saw a tremendous leadership principle i would like to "Challenge" you with this next month. It's what i would like to call the "IronLeader Challenge." The challenge goes like this every workday for a month:
2. 112 minutes of Biking = "cycling"
3. 2.62 hours of Running = "goal pursuit"
4. 180 minutes of Swimming = "resistance stroking"
5. Cool down
Warmup for 30-45 minutes
Everyday warmup with a leadership book of some sorts. It can be a few pages. For me, I like to read a chapter everyday. Reading is not a joy, it's a MUST for me. Why leadership and not the Bible? 1. The bible is not a job thing, it's a relationship. 2. A leadership book will get your brain thinking like a leader. Secular or sacred, it doesn't matter. Just let your mind grab leadership from a leader.
2. 112 minutes of "cycling"
A large portion of leadership is simply understanding and focusing on the cycle of ministry. Practices, meetings, planning, services, bible studies, discipleship, etc. Cycling is simply putting your butt on a seat and working the pedals. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Every meeting, practice, event, class, or whatever requires 3 things to be effective. 1. Pre planning 2. The event itself 3. Debriefing
If your thing isn't worth getting ready for, don't have it in the first place. If your thing isn't productive enough for you to have to debrief and see what you are doing next, don't have that meeting again.
3. 2.62 hours of "goal pursuit"
"make the vision plain so those that are running can read it clear."
Have an agenda. Let it be a godly agenda. Propaganda is not a bad thing, if it's Gods agenda you are trying to peddle. Everyone like a goal. It's the only way to know whether u are winning or losing. Set what I call "WIGs" ( Wildly Important Goals) they are quantifiable and attainable with a little more effort. Set goals that will make you and your team push a little harder, but not so outrageous they can't be achieved. It's a demoralizing effect on a team when WIGs are unattainable. Especially when it is not from a lack effort. Decide what your WIGs are for you for this month and for 2.62 hours everyday, "run"
4. 180 minutes of resistance stroking
This is something that great leaders work on everyday. Find resistance points in your leadership and make it a point to address them everyday. Don't mistake what I am saying. I'm not saying to deal with problem people for 2 hours everyday. That should be a part of your week. What I am saying, is address those areas where you are weak and begin swimming against your natural tendencies to "go with the flow." 1. Poor communication is always an issue in any team. Return calls. Return emails. For the next month be the example of excellence. 2. What are the "gossip" issues your team is involved in? 3. What are unresolved issues that need resolution? 4. Who are the people in your team and in your congregation who are not sharing your common purpose? 5. Who are the people at church who currently aren't the biggest advocates of your ministry, but with a little attention could be who also carry a lot of weight in your church?
5. Cool down for an hour
Make your list of things not resolved today that must be addressed tomorrow. Empty your mind of every single thing you can think of that needs to be done and plug it into a time slot on your calendar for about 30 minutes. This will help you relax knowing that you no longer have to remember not to forget!!! Take the last 30 minutes and do something you enjoy, before you go home. Your family will notice a difference when you detox before you get home.
Try this for a month and see if you are an "IronLeader!!!!"
Hope I helped, gw
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