The Every Day Leader: Lessons From the Farm

Summer is officially here!  It seems like school just started and now is officially out.  The kid’s are home, the farmer markets are in full force and the lawns need to be mowed more often. 

It is one of my favorite times of the year!

Growing up on a farm, I am a bit biased when it comes to the farmers market.  There is nothing that can compare to a fresh, home-grown vegetable.  So much preparation goes into making that produce the very best well before the seed even gets into the ground.  The soil is prepared and tested to see what nutrients it is lacking even as early as the fall before.  Once the soil is ready, the planting begins. There is care to watch the external elements of weather and ensure there is proper sun and moisture.  The farmer makes sure to keep the animals, bugs and weeds away so that no harm can come to the plant or the fruit at any stage of its growth.

I wonder if we as everyday leaders put as much thought into our lives as the farmer does for his plants.  The farmer is very intentional in the care and protection to get the best fruit. 

How are we at taking care of ourselves so that we may be our best as leaders?  How do we prepare ourselves to face the day before us?  Are our hearts in the right place?  Physically, are we getting the rest we need and the right nutrition to be our best?

Often the business of life pushes us to sleep less and eat on the run.  What about exercising?  It seems that these are all things we plan to get to, but just can’t seem to fit in our schedule.

There are things that hurt our relationships, steal our time, drain us emotionally and physically and cause us to not be our very best.  Are we aware of those things? Are we on top of the things we need to know, constantly growing our leadership and other skills?  Or is that something too, we always mean to get to, but can’t seem to find the time.  Even financially, are we so worried about our finances that it affects other areas of our lives? 

Being intentional means taking a look at all areas of our lives and being willing to make necessary changes.

Just like the farmer knows what needs to happen to get his best produce, we too, as intentional leaders need to be mindful of what things produce our best work and allow us to be our best selves.  It is our best that allows us to make the most impact with our lives! 

All of these things are about living a life of intention.

A life that longs to make a difference. 

The life of an everyday leader.

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The Every Day Leader: Weathering the Storms

The Midwest is known for its flat lands with hardly any trees in sight.  So when I moved to the South I was in awe of how many  trees lined the landscapes.  You could not turn from one side to the other without seeing trees!

When a tree has a strong root system, the deep roots provide nourishment and allow it to survive heat, wind, and storms.  It will even stay green, exhibiting life and vitality because of the strong root system that provides the moisture and nutrients it needs from deep within the ground.  In contrast, the trees that grow in clusters often have their roots close to the surface; their trunks are thin as they compete for vital nutrients. They are often the first to fall in a storm.

Intentional leaders will never know their strength as a leader until they have weathered the storms. They will never know what they are made of and how far their roots go down until adversity strikes and they are put through the test.  How are you when the unexpected happens? When someone attacks your character?  When you have lost what is most important to you?  How do you respond?  How we react is based on how strong our foundation is.   How we respond reflects the very character of who we are.

Character comes in being rooted firmly in who you are and knowing what you can and cannot do.  If it is your integrity that has been attacked, are you quick to set the record straight or can you rest, knowing that truth is all that matters?  If the unexpected happens, do you accept it with grace, knowing that God is in control or do you fall apart?

Maybe you haven’t thought about the foundation of your life, because you have never had to.  Living as an intentional leader means living everyday using all that has been given to us to the fullest.  It means thinking ahead.  It means being ready for the storms.   It means being strong.  It means knowing who you are.  It is living everyday a life of intention, a life that makes a difference.

Live intentionally.

Build a strong foundation and withstand the storms of life.