Monday, January 1, 2018

How To Inspire

So, there we were, returning from running errands and having a big conversation about "what we're made of." Silly notions volleyed between our family and our two young friends, Micah, age four and Josiah, age six, who were spending the day with us.

Someone suggested, "What if our skin was stretchy like rubber?" 

And then someone else, "Or if we were made out of rocks?"

I turned to look at Josiah and Micah, "Maybe we're all made out of plastic."

And the response? Classic. 

I can still see Micah with his head thrown back in a full on belly laugh as he proclaimed, "Not the Johnson's! We're made of skin!" 


Several months later I was in a conversation with another friend. She relayed to me the hectic pace of their previous weekend, listing off the birthday parties of her children's friends, family get togethers, a church service and other commitments carefully scheduled into time slots and met in quick succession. 

She went on to tell me about their friends who had called at the last minute on Friday night to ask if our friends could care for their children throughout the weekend while they went on a spontaneous getaway. She said yes, figuring the three extra children would simply get swooped into the flurry of activities and be along for the adventure. 

As she came to the end of her story, she paused and then, reluctance lacing her tone, "I hope we didn't overwhelm their children. It was a lot. I started to apologize to them for the craziness, but then I love what my daughter said. She just laughed and told them, 'This is what it means to be an Eva!'" 

I love both of those stories. I love when the people we lead can declare with confidence, "This is what we're made of! This is what it means to be a part of this culture!" 

As we embark on the new year, I'm taking stock of who we are and where we want to go. I'm asking myself hard questions and ensuring that priorities and actions align with our values and beliefs and move us closer to our goals. 

Not just move closer to goals for the sake of achievement. That's so cliché and, quite frankly, blasé. But because as image-bearers of the King of Kings, we have this exhilarating and redemptive narrative to steward. 

And as leaders, it's our profound responsibility to inspire those we lead to steward their stories with an eternal perspective. To rally a team of champions who will build cultures of honor wherever they are. To know, anything is possible. I'm dreaming big because of Whose image I bear. I'm all in. I'm living an "it is finished" victorious legacy. 

When my friend finished her story with her daughter's declaration, I heard, being an Eva means able to adapt, be flexible, have fun, be present. Even four-year old Micah knows his identity as a Johnson means (at the least) that they're not made of plastic. :) 

It's inspiring. 

How about you and the people in your family or others you influence? What are you doing to inspire those around you? 

Let me know if there's anything we can do to help or encourage you. We'd love to meet with you in person or get on a call to talk about the legacy you're living and your big dreams. Just hit reply to this email.

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