“Put aside the Ranger. Become who you were born to be.”
Elrond to Aragorn
Several years ago I had a mentor I deeply cherished. He walked with me through the years approaching my father’s death and for a while after. At some point, we sort of seemed to lose touch. I knew he was busy, but he always seemed to have plenty of time for a friend of mine.
Some time after my father’s death, I was able to get on his calendar for lunch. After doing a pretty deep check-in with me on how I was feeling about and processing my father’s death and some of the other big events surrounding my life, he sort of gave me the thumbs up on how I was doing. While that was very affirming to me, I still had to ask him the biggest question on my mind.
“Why don’t you seem to have much time for me anymore?”
As a lifetime spiritual orphan, I have aggressively pursued father figures and mentors and he had been a significant one. After I questioned his availability, he paused for a moment before he spoke. He said,
“You don’t need me.”
He explained that God had gifted him to help walk men through challenging seasons of their life and that he had only so much time in every week to carry out that calling. Frankly, he continued, there were a lot of men who needed his time more than me.
I understood what he was saying, but I am only recently beginning to feel the weight and integrity of what he said.
I have learned that…
my empirical curiosity + discernment + fearless questioning =
conversations that unearth unknown and powerful places
One of the hallmarks of our coaching methodology is that we ask the questions no one else asks and say the things that no one else dares say. Most people in senior leadership positions have reached places where few, if anyone, feels they have the right to question them.
We all need that, right? I know I do.
We have incredible tools and processes to bring about real change for our clients, but often the necessary and most important first step is with the senior leader (or leaders). They are often the biggest challenge and the greatest opportunity for organizational success.
Turns out, an increasing number of high integrity leaders in our area really want to grow and take ground on becoming more the person they could ultimately be. That requires transparency and openness to coaching from an outside perspective.
Back to my mentor friend. My calendar is starting to feel a little stretched as well. The ranger in me wants to do what I want when I want, but a bigger part of me wants to become who I was born to be.
As I process the people I am spending time with in the average week, I realized that I am beginning to apply a pretty aggressive filter with this kind of priority:
- Called - those I feel specifically called to meet with
- Contracted - those I have a contractual obligation to meet with
- Need - those who really need and would benefit from my unique ability and gifting
- Want - those that don’t necessarily fit the prior three categories that I just desire to meet with
It is all about getting really clear on my greatest Kingdom contribution and trying to steward that with as much integrity as possible. Increasingly, as I walk more into my calling on a vocational level, all top three qualifiers above are present in many of the people I meet with.
I am privileged to have regular requests for meetings. I can’t always comply. I don’t ever purposely avoid anyone, but I am doing the best I can with the gifts and time I’ve been given.
- What is your unique contribution?
- Are you clear on what God has particularly wrought in you to offer as a manifestation of his love and glory?
- Are you allocating your time for the greatest contribution? What filters are you employing consciously or sub-consciously?
- Does your calendar reflect the beautiful collision of the world’s great need and the unique nature of God’s divinity translated through you?