The Best Flavor of Leadership

Great coffee. Fresh watermelon on a hot summer day. Roasted vegetables that were brushed with balsamic. Cherry pie from my favorite pie shop in Chicago. My mom’s famous stuffing and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving…

I love the flavors of all of these things. They’re all different. They’re all satisfying. They should not all go in a blender together. That would ruin it.

Flavor is the distinctive quality and indication of the unique character of something. And we all have our flavor. Yet, sometimes we take what we see, what gets praised, and what has the spotlight on it and try to blend a little bit of it all into our own flavor to try to make it more …well, MORE…and end up with a really weird green-ish smoothie.

It’s just really not appealing to anyone, and we’re the ones stuck holding the glass.

So what is your flavor? How do you lead in your flavor? And how do you add the things that enhance that flavor, and resist blending in the things that just aren’t you?

You can learn more about the flavor of your voice and leadership by taking a look at these questions:

  • What matters the very most to you? What are your core values?
  • What motivates you? What’s the driving force behind what you say “YES!” to?
  • Can your team articulate what you really value back to you?

You may be able to answer all of those quickly and easily. Or you may be thinking, “I’m not sure that I’ve been able to slow down long enough to really get that nailed down.” Or “I can remember what that used to be, but now that got a little hazy in the busy-ness…” Or “I’m not sure that what they would reflect back to me would be what I hope…”

And you know what? This is ok. It’s all a part of taking the journey back to rediscovering your God-given flavor and letting it find its way back into your life and leadership. I would guess your original flavor is a lot more distinct, powerful, and zingy than you realize. So, what are some ways we can get back to that?

Here are some helpful starting places… notice I said starting places:

  • Get curious
    • Do the work of digging into why you do what you do, and what motivates you. Great tools that can get you unpacking these facets of your flavor are things like the Strengthsfinder assessment tool and the Enneagram personality typing system.
  • Get close
    • You shouldn’t do this alone. Ever. Find people who are safe, and who will be loving and honest enough to help you rediscover your flavor and how it can begin to manifest itself in your leadership. (Bonus– finding a coach would take this to the next level.)
  • Get courage
    • Courage is the ability to do something that scares us to death. It’s not fearlessness, but it’s a fire that is greater than the fear… because what is at stake is more important than the fear. You need a fresh reminder that what is at stake (your calling and how it is manifested) is a lot more important to the Kingdom work you’ve been assigned to (the discipleship of kids and families) than you can fully realize right now. And today, it is more critical than ever, that you’re bringing all of what God has given you to the table. So how can you get courage?
      • Get into the Word and get on your knees. Every day. Multiple times a day.
      • Find your people. (See “Get close” again)
      • Connect to a greater community of leaders. There is power in knowing you’re not alone, and celebrating one another’s flavors. The cheering section has always had the power to change the game, so find yours. (And I personally think a great place to do this is at CPC18… surprised? I sure hope not 😉 )

So what is the best flavor of leadership? The one God gave to you (see Psalm 139 for evidence).

Friends, this is barely scratching the surface of something that, as you begin to pull back the layers, you’ll realize it is soul-level deep. But do the work. We need your flavor on the front lines. Not a weird green smoothie of stuff that doesn’t look like you.

Cheering for you!

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