Five weeks ago I self diagnosed a need. I had a need for a day unlike any day I’ve experienced before. This need was driven by various things. Did I need rest? Yes and no. Did I need time with God? More yes than no. What did I most need was my question. I took this to my coach and what I came up with was this: I needed realignment.
I’ve never heard of a realignment day, but it resonated with me. Since it was self diagnosed, that meant I had to come up with the “treatment plan.” I went into the day with some structure, but very loosely held. I knew prayer and reading would play a major role, but how long and with what content I wanted to be fluid and hopefully spirit led. I’ll share some of how the day went and give you something to consider for your own realignment day.
- To establish why the title of realignment, I considered these definitions: 1. To place back in line, to bring back into line. 2. To rejoin as an ally. In the consideration, I looked at biblical examples of folks who needed and received realignment such as Adam and Eve, Samson, David, Jacob and Esau, Hosea and Gomer, Moses, Jonah, the prodigal son, and Peter. This led me to a personal conclusion: I need to realign with how God sees people, with his grace, and with who I am in his eyes. This foundation led the rest of the day’s activities. These activities including reading, praying, and worshipping through music.
- Reading: four scripture passages and portions of two books about these passages. Some of this was planned and some not. I knew that I was drawn to reading prayers and conversation between Moses and God. But in the moment I was led to other passages from Daniel, Job, and I John. These passages illustrated what is needed for realignment and how to pray for it.
- Praying: confessional and covenantal. The truth about realigning with God is that he isn’t the one that got out of line. So realignment should include confessing where you got out of line and covenanting about staying in line. But before I wrote out those two prayers I started the conversation with God by asking him this: “What messages do you want to share with me?” To my surprise, he had a lot to say-a full page, a total of 13 clear and specific messages. Those alone were worth the effort and intentionality of the day.
- Music: listening and creating. Again, to my surprise I was led to listen to one particular song throughout the day. Then as a result of reading and praying, a new song was birthed in my spirit. By the end of the day, where I ended up at a bayside park, not only was I realigned but I also had a song of offering to give back to God and to others what my realignment day had given to me.
Not everyone requires the same type of realignment, but I’m convinced we all need it occasionally.
- Are you due?
- What could assist you in realigning?
- How vital should a realignment day be in order for you to make it happen?
- What surprises could God have in store for you on your realignment day?
A few weeks ago I saw Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO, interviewed about his book Onward. He and his book’s message intrigued me, so I downloaded a copy. Plus, I needed to check off a book on leadership in my 2018 reading self-made requirements.
Onward did not disappoint. It was even more than I expected. A bottom line summary is the book tells the story of the transformation of the company in 2008-2009. This transformation involved many things which required excellent leadership by Schultz and the partners he empowered to lead at various levels in the company.
The writing is strongly narrative without too much direct leadership application. However, here are a few leadership principle highlights:
- Communication is always important, but it is even more essential when things are not working. Ensuring that communication is narrow, clear, and repetitive to set expectations wins people’s trust.
- A core capacity of leadership is the ability to make right decisions while flying blind, basing them on knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to stay wedded to an overriding goal.
- People have to stay true to their guiding principles. To their cores. Whatever they may be. Pursuing short-term rewards is always shortsighted.
- How leaders embody the values they espouse sets a tone, an expectation, that guides their employees’ behaviors.
- Growth for growth’s sake is a losing proposition.
- Every enterprise and organization has a memory. And those memories create a path for people to follow.
Besides the narrative of the New Orleans conference, worth the purchase of the book alone, this is the quote I most liked:
Wherever the location, the best beans – the ones with enchantingly complex flavors and compelling characters, known as arabica – grow under some degree of stress, like high altitudes, intense heat, or long dry periods.
This truth exemplifies the story of Onward. We can all learn from these beans. We can all be on the mission of moving onward.
My guess is most readers of my blog have not read Susan Cain’s book Quiet. My encouragement is that you should.
Her book first came on my radar in 2012 when I heard her interviewed briefly about it at a Catalyst conference. I was intrigued but didn’t reach for it until now. Too bad I didn’t read it earlier.
Why? Because she helps you get it-the differences between extroverts and introverts. She helps you embrace your introversion, if you are one. And she helps the extrovert understand you. Yes, that’s possible. She even gives you insights into those people who appear to be one but are really the other. You’re intrigued now, aren’t you?
So who should read this book?
- Anyone who suspects they are introverted but aren’t sure
- Anyone who knows they’re introverted and struggle with it
- Anyone who lives with an introvert
- Anyone who works for or leads introverts
- Anyone who wonders why they are drawn to have introverted friends
Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet. P266
This is one of those books to not only read but add to your library. Power Up!