The Every Day Leader: Courage

I remember watching the Wizard of Oz as a kid.  I was fascinated with the many different characters and the yellow brick road – the journey to Oz.  No one can forget what each character was in search of. What Dorothy was looking for made perfect sense to me, she simply wanted to go home.  Who wouldn’t want to get home? I can relate with her on most days!

What the others wanted was a little harder for me to grasp at such a young age.  Didn’t everyone have a heart and a brain? As a six-year-old, courage was the one that seemed a little different. I simply thought of it as being something you needed every now and then for the big things you  might face.

As I grew older I found those same things the characters sought are still things that many of us seek today.

 Many of us chase our roots, instead of home, trying to find where we really came from and how we belong.   Everyone has this innate need to feel and be a part of something.  If we don’t have that sense of belonging we continually search to find it.

Like the scarecrow, we know we need a brain and often seek after higher education – many of us becoming eternal students. 

How many of us search diligent trying to fill the emptiness we often find in our hearts?

For many of us we hope we have courage at the exact time we need it!

Courage is not just needed for big things but is really something we need each day!

If you are struggling, it takes courage to keep going

Courage is needed to take the first step

Courage is needed to hear your own voice in the crowd

Courage is needed to take a stand

Courage is needed to think and speak for yourself

Courage is needed to stand up for yourself and not listen to lies

Courage is needed to follow your dreams….

Courage is so much more than something needed in a time of crisis, and is required for more things than I could have ever imagined as a kid.

I now also realize that courage comes with understanding.  It comes with knowing who you are.  There are many times in our lives we have to be intentional to be courageous. 

It takes intentional courage to step our of our comfort zone.  It takes intentional courage to be a catalyst for change.  It is what we, as every day leaders, must be willing to pursue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Every Day Leader: Breaking out of the mold

I once gave a speech in high school that started out with this line…

“The statue of liberty is still standing. Of course everyone expects it to be”.

While I don’t remember the rest of the speech, I remember talking and thinking a great deal about expectations.

That was MANY years ago…Life experiences have taught me much more about expectations since that time. For one, we all have expectations for others, for our country, for our lives. Secondly, we all have expectations we think we need to live up to from others.

Sometimes the expectations are good and spur us on to do better and reach higher. Other times, the expectations we perceive for our lives can bury us, as we struggle to live up to them.

There are times that we may even put ourselves in a mold that we think we should fit into, based on the expectations we or others place on us.

Are you living your life based on the expectations of others? Or, are you living your life in such a way that you are okay to break out of the mold, to live the way you were created to live?

Are you using your gits, talents and passions in such a way to make a difference?

Breaking out of the mold:

takes courage

takes determination

A bold confidence to make a change

Knowing who you are

It means taking a risk

The choice is yours. We can stay in the mold that we are in. We can live a life based on the expectations of others. We can also choose to breakout, take that first step for a bold change, living every day with meaning and purpose.

Every day leaders don’t settle. They are willing to break out of the mold knowing that sometimes we have to step out and make a difference.

The Every Day Leader: STAND OUT!

Ever pick out your favorite colors in M&M’s when you eat them?  Are you drawn to a particular color?  Statistically, the company puts the highest number of blue in each container…in fact 24% in each bag.  Can you guess the least amount?  Yep, brown, an average of 13%.  Any guesses as to why blue is favored over brown?  I don’t have the answers, but have my own theory.

Blue stands out

We are drawn to people for the same reason. We are often drawn to those people who stand out. It may not be because they are loud or outgoing, or because they are some great leader by position, or because of their following or even their money.  It might be because of their gentle quiet spirit, or maybe it is how they consistently love people.  They may stand out because of their guidance and leadership to those around them.  Whatever it is, we all see it.  They are different.  They are the everyday leaders around us that stand out because of who they are and not for what they do.

These every day leaders are leading and influencing those around them in powerful ways.  Perhaps it is by mentoring another.  Maybe they are influencing someone by tutoring a high risk child.  They may be the leader in a ministry or a business,  leading a few or leading many; regardless, they are making a difference in the lives of others.

Go ahead try it…Stand out. 

We are drawn to those who stand out  by how they behave, how they think, how they respond, their integrity, their words, and their discipline. We know we  can trust them, they have a servant heart and model it. We can count on consistent decisions and a strong confidence.

 We are drawn to their character.

Just like the blue M&M’s stand out, I long to be that everyday leader that people are drawn to because of my character.  I long to be someone who people can count on,  someone who influences the people in my life.  I want to make a difference today.

What about you?  Are you willing to settle to be among the brown M&M’s or do you have the courage to stand out and be bold like the blue M&M’s?  It is never to late to be the best you can be.

Start today.  Stand out. 

Be the Every Day Leader living a life of intention and make a difference.