Monday, March 13, 2017

[P]ainful Reality: Making Extraordinary Ordinary (leaders of all kinds)

I AM EXTRAORDINARY

I AM EXTRAORDINARILY NORMAL

I AM NORMAL

Recently my wife and I surrendered to a deeply personal and insightful assessment of our life, leadership, marriage, ministry and preparedness for church planting. You may not care about ministry or church planting, but all of us care about personal and professional development, about family of whatever nature we live family, and about leadership. So, this applies to everyone. 

After 3 days of deep-dive-interviews and assessments, we came out with more information than we can process in a week. So, we are taking time to process together and decide what the information tells us. In general, however, we came away with one huge glaring reality. The reality was not a surprise, but a confirmation and reminder, both to us, and in regards to most people around us. The reality is...

I AM EXTRAORDINARY

I AM EXTRAORDINARILY ORDINARY

I AM ORDINARY

This is not low self esteem. This is not overly critical. This is possibly one of the most important realities we can have in a society that magnifies and celebrates fame over familiar. See, you may connect with this conclusion when I say, I don't sing or dance great, I don't dunk a basketball or make blockbuster movies. I don't get invited to speak to nations or create life changing medical solutions. I can't cook very well and I only type 40 wpm. Truth is, my knees hurt most days and my hair is falling out, my kids don't always like me and I'm pretty sure my computer is about to crash. 

See.....I AM NORMAL, I AM ORDINARY. 

So.....WHAT IS THE POINT. 

Before sharing the point, let me share this leadership lesson from a recent book I reviewed. Then, I will share my punch line at the end. 


In reading leadership books, which I do somewhat regularly, I have fallen in love with most everything by Patrick Lencioni. 

I largely love his work because of how he presents his conclusions, through story. He tells what he calls "leadership fables", where most of us who have been part of a team, can find ourselves somewhere in the story. Even if we have not been part of a corporate team, we can imagine the teams he tells us about, and find application in what he teaches. 

That being said, I also want to learn to apply the proven ideas he shares, to my everyday life, even if I'm not the high caliber leader he seems to write about. 

In one book I reviewed recently titled "The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive", he shares about four simple but proven and profound practices that could transform our life. However, I want to learn to apply them even if I'm not the Extraordinary Executive. 

The Four Obsessions are.....disciplines...

1. Build and Maintain a Cohesive Leadership Team. 

2. Create Organizational Clarity.

3. Over-Communicate Organizational Clarity.

4. Reinforce Organizational Clarity Through Human Systems.


The Four Obsessions are....disciplines...

Be Cohesive
Be Clear
Over-Communicate
Reinforce

There are tons of details inside the four obsessions, the four disciplines, and we will only understand and apply them if we study and be honest about where we can improve. But, believe me, this material is worth it, and very helpful. 



THE POINT.....to be the best ordinary we can be, the best normal we can be, the best me I can be, without the intimidation and pressure of being extraordinary, according to the mystical and famous definitions the world tens to feed us. 

Remove the pressure of becoming an extraordinary fitness model with perfect abs, arms and butt. Insert a powerful goal of being the best "healthy person" you can be with disciplines of exercise, healthy diet, reasonable sleep and friends to live healthy with. That sounds very different now doesn't it. So, why don't the magazines sell us that second version of life? 

Remove the pressure of becoming an extraordinary father, mother, pastor, manager, artist, teacher or factory worker. What about the goal of being the absolute best YOU and what about growing and changing and improving with a never-ending diet of learning. That sounds doable. 

Remove the pressure of becoming something you are not made to become, but raise the bar on our daily disciplines that can produce the greatest YOU possible. 


BACK TO ME AND SHANNA: We are indeed, extraordinarily normal and ordinary. However, we serve a truly extraordinary God, with a call for us to aim our heart, home, life and career toward transformation and growth, to the Glory of God, In Christ. So, we look into the Word of God and the History of the Church and find challenges to grow and to serve this extraordinary vision of an extraordinary God. But, we have to be real about where we are and where we need to grow, not hold up the perfect template of what Extraordinary might look like and make that our idol. 

I pray and hope we all can challenge ourselves without the voice of a false god and enemy telling us to spend our days becoming something we are not and probably will never be.

We are not taking the low road, actually, we are setting the bar higher and higher, however, we are just setting the right bar for us, not the bar the rest of the world tells us we have to reach.  

TODAY I WILL REJOICE IN BEING THE BEST ORDINARY, THE BEST NORMAL, THE BEST I CAN BE, HOW ABOUT YOU!!! 




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