The Every Day Leader: Who Is Shadowing You?

There is always at least one person that is in my life that I know God has placed there for a reason.  The timing may not always be convenient, it may not always be in my plans, but somehow it always works out.  Somehow God knows just what I need, just what they need.  And always, when I take the time to invest in that person, I get out of it way more than I put into it. 

                                       Happens every time.

Investing in the life of another takes time, effort and a huge part of me and it won’t happen unless I take the time to do it.  It means I have to be willing to sacrifice, I have to be vulnerable, and transparent to share my life with another…my whole life.  There are parts of my life that I am not so proud of, there are times of my life I had to learn lessons the hard way.  When I invest in the life of another, it means sharing those times too. It is truly sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, because lessons can be learned from every area and all of our life experiences.

The funny thing about investing… those relationships you put your heart and soul into mentoring, they are the ones that never fail to teach me something new about me.  Of course, I sharpen my skills and learn patience and understanding as I learn to work with someone new.  But it is so much more than that.  True mentoring makes me take a hard look at me.  As I teach and share, I also have to evaluate, I have to intentionally seek to understand myself better.  I learn the why’s of the past and begin to  see things from a different perspective.

Most of all, I am taking the time to think things through instead of plowing ahead with the business of life. 

If someone is following in my shadow,  I need to look at the person they are following.  How am I really?  Am I doing all the things I say?  Do I practice what I preach?  Do I lead others in such a way that I am worthy for another to want to be my shadow? Am I patient in answering questions?

Have you ever tried to copy someone’s shadow and anticipate their moves exactly?  It is almost impossible.  It is a pretty big bill to fill to have someone look up to you and want to be mentored by you. You have to be selfless, patient, and giving, even when you are tired or busy.

I look at those who have and who are mentoring me.  I am so thankful for them, for the time they have taken to invest in me and to make me a better person.  They have modeled for me the importance to do the same for another.

Who has God put in your life?  Is it someone who has never had a mother?  A Father?  Someone who needs to learn how to run a business?  Someone you are teaching spiritual principles to? Or maybe it is just someone who seems to be always clamoring for your attention by asking questions about everything you do and have done. They seem to be so eager to learn and soak up like a sponge anything you share.

Mentoring does not have to be lengthy and involved. Do you have an hour a week, twice a month, or a month? Scheduled times of mentoring help focus but there are also many informal times that conversations are had and lessons are imparted.

There are endless ways we can mentor another and endless opportunities to do so. Don’t miss a  chance to invest in another, you just may be surprised at how valuable they are to you!

The Everyday Leader.  Living a life of intention.  Mentoring another, always investing in those around you.

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The Every Day Leader: Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day.  For some of us this is a great day that reminds us of the incredible love we have had from our mother.  It may also remind us of the gift of our own children. 

Yet for some, this day may bring memories of sadness due to a loss of their mother or child. It may be sadness for not having a relationship at all or even having a strained one with their child or mother.  Maybe it’s a hurt from having an estranged child.  Whatever the reason, Mother’s Day can be a day that reminds us of a heartache that is all too real and testifies to the messiness of life.

My mother gave me an amazing gift… unconditional love. The gift of having someone love you and invest in your life in a way far beyond what I could have ever imagined. I think back and I never doubted the love of my mother, no matter what, her love was there for me regardless of what I did.  She modeled before me what true love was.  It was through that example that I was able to model this  to my own children.

I have met many who never grew up with the kind of love that I had from my mother, yet God has blessed their lives by giving them this incredible gift of love by another.  A person who was willing to invest in them, love them, teach them, train them, hold them accountable, pray for them, listen to them, encourage them, spend time with them, and be there no matter what.

These individuals are our every day leaders. They have chosen to invest in the lives of another and make a difference where they can, instead of selfishly holding back.

How about you? Is there someone in your life you can invest in? Someone, who would benefit greatly by your time, guidance, and wisdom? Each day God gives us opportunities all around us to be used to make a difference. Imagine the impact you could have on just one life if you lived intentionally, willing to pour yourself into another.

Investments take time, it could be just one hour a month or an hour a week, but the rewards are eternal.  The time you take can change a life forever.  Is this not what we are put on this earth for?  God calls us to connect with others, to walk with them on their journey of life – no matter what that journey holds.

Making an investment in the life of another will come at a cost.  It will cost you to be vulnerable to another, real and authentic. It may mean having to confront in love when misunderstandings happen.  But in the end, it will be a cost well spent. You will not be disappointed.

 I challenge and encourage you today to seek out that person to invest in.  Your investment could be life changing!

I want to be that person. I want to be the one that intentionally seeks out someone to pour my life into knowing that the gain is far greater than any loss.