Oct29ThuOctober 29, 2015
Leaders in every field often feel isolated and have a very limited circle of relationships. Because of a leader's position it is often hard to create secure relationships that go deep and bring joy.
Here's what the Word says in Ecclesiastes 4 The Message:
9-10 It's better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there's no one to help, tough!
11 Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone you shiver all night.
12 By yourself you're unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three stranded rope isn't easily snapped.
If you have been leading people for a while, be it in business, practice or ministry I'm sure you can relate.
As leaders we are warned not to get too social with our team members. Other leaders can be seen as competition, and clients, customers, members of our ministries tend to create awkward relational dynamics.
So what is a leader supposed to do?
First of all there has to be a realization that social relationships and friendships are crucial to a balanced joy-filled life.
I have observed that many leaders (speaking from personal experience), and men more than women, tend to get isolated. They may feel like it's just easier to be the lone wolf. After a day or week of leading other people they just want to disconnect and have alone time.
They don't have the time or the energy to invest in a relationship.
I know this is how I feel a good percentage of the time. I also know that this has left me pretty lonely at times and (while we are best friends) relying on my wife for all of my friendship needs just isn't fair to her, and is causing me to miss out on the variety of good friendships with other men.
If Marie is off with "her girls" hiking the High Peaks, I'm good for the first few hours. In fact I anticipate and look forward to the alone time.
But then after some great alone time I realize that I need some peeps as well!
Even more importantly, if I'm dealing with a difficult situation or a crisis in any area of my life I need other men that I can go to for council, support and accountability. I want to know someone's got my back!
For most guys, nurturing deep relationships is not natural.
We tend to not prioritize friendship and the friends we do have we keep fairly superficial.
Playing hockey with a bunch of guys once or twice a week is a good start but that in itself doesn't build deeper relationships.
As a next step we need to identify one or two other men that we can talk to and go deep with.
This is the scary part for me. It's just not natural for guys to go deep or to ask for help.
This is the amazing thing about the relationships we build within Warrior. We are "forced" to go deep so the connections, relationships and friendships can go deep fast. The accountability partner process continues that journey.
Warrior Women you are certainly not off the hook here either!
Women are definitely better at this and tend to make a higher priority of making and keeping friends however,
professional and business women are more often then not pulled in every direction and time for relationship building is usually scarce.
Work and family time pressures can be all consuming. This can also lead to a shrinking circle of friends.
Realizing that secure relationships are crucial to a joy filled life is the first step.
The next step is to acknowledge that relationships will require some investment in time.
It often doesn't require a ton of time but you do have to be intentional.
In the WarriorWay90Day there is a place to prioritize your time. In the upper right page there is a list of important relationships and ways to build them. They include date night with your spouse, one on one time with your children etc.
At the bottom of this list is 'Other'. This is where you write out the one relationship you want to build into this week.
One simple email, phone call, or meeting for coffee can have a huge impact on your joy levels over the long term.
I recently reconnected with a friend from our old neighbourhood. We moved about two years ago.
In actuality we only moved 5 minutes down the road but he and I had not talked since the move.
I realized that previously we had connected mostly by running into each other on the street and since the move that opportunity was gone.
It was great to drop by the old street and reconnect.
Left unattended relationships will wither. With a little tending they can be restored and will blossom again.
I can't end it with a tough 'drop and give me 20!' Instead I'll sound like your mom sending you off on your first day of school. Be nice and make some friends.
This is heart work. Pray about who you should connect with and take that first step!
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