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If you’ve been called to any position of leadership, you know all to well that you are always “on.” Even with a healthy work/life balance, a good leader knows that they are “leading” whether they are standing at the front of the room making a presentation or vacationing with friends in Mexico. And the best leaders in the world are not only aware of this, they embrace it. They realize that the basis of strong leadership is relationship and count it an honor to share their life with those they lead and serve.

Do you consider yourself a leader? If so, how do you feel about the fact that the cameras are always rolling? If this thought makes you cringe, you may want to consider redirecting your career to a role where you are an individual contributor. Don’t see it as a copout; the world needs a lot of highly skilled talent. But what the world doesn’t need is mediocre leaders.

So, do some soul searching and ask yourself the question. If you see this kind of “life on life” leadership as a way to leave a mark on the world through others, then go and live a life worth following.

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Forced. The word itself can bring to mind some pretty negative mental images. As a kid my little brother really wasn’t very “little.” He was big and he was strong. We were only two years apart and although we are super close now as adults, as kids we were on a mission to kill each other. A vivid memory of mine is locking myself in the upstairs bathroom in order to avoid getting my tail kicked by this guy. Not that I was taunting him at all, of course!

Whether or not my brother was justifiably provoked could certainly be debated, but either way, I still felt forced to spend hours in this small little room, screaming through a locked door.

The bottom line is that no one likes to be coerced into doing something that they don’t want to do.

But sometimes the pressure has a purpose. A friend lovingly confronts your sin and you’re swept into the midst of an intervention. Your spouse grasps your hand as you head into that needed surgical procedure you’ve been putting off forever. Yes, sometimes being forced is exactly what you need.

I’ve had many moments like this in life and in hindsight I’ve always been thankful. However, a recent incident brought more pressure than I can remember ever feeling, and it came from an unusual source – the Holy Spirit.

A true and safe leader is likely one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and by the press of the external situation.”

A.W. Tozer

So, here I sit. Now just three months in to a leadership role I absolutely did not want. It has been the biggest professional challenge I have ever faced – times ten! There are moments when I have called out to God, exclaiming that He must be crazy. But then I remember His distinct, undeniable call and I surrender. I vow to Him that I am here – ready and willing, even if not able. He has carried me through every difficult decision and has filled me up when I have felt more than empty. I have never felt closer to Him than I am now. And for that I am thankful.

Let it be known that I am an avid people watcher! But not the typical people watcher, mind you, I have a twist. My most favorite thing to do (especially at airports, the zoo, or the park) is to zoom in on parents and their children. No, I am not a parental critic. Most often it doesn’t really matter to me how parent’s decide to raise their kids. I spend my time trying to figure out who the kid looks like! I find it fascinating! Mom’s eyes? Dad’s nose? Hmmm…

I can spend hours doing this and for some crazy reason I just think it’s a blast! I wonder if it’s because deep down inside I am absolutely amazed with the entire creation process? Have you ever thought about it?

Here’s another twist… Have you ever wondered who you look like? Have you ever wondered how much you “look like” Jesus? I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and it’s been an interesting introspection. When I recount my day and put it through the test, I see many, many moments where I didn’t “look like” my Savior at all.

I am reading a great book called, UnChristian, by David Kinnaman. The entire book is based on research about how young “outsiders” (those who do not know Christ) perceive Christians. As a believer it has helped me understand a few things. At the end of each chapter the author has given pages to a few contributors for insight. Yesterday I found this great quote from Sarah Raymond Cunningham:

I am not asked to impersonate the Holy Spirit but to live a life that gives off God’s fluorescence. And I resolve to remember that God often allows us to learn just as much as we travel our chosen paths as we would have if we had walked only his lighted portions.

I love what she is saying here about learning from our bad days as well as our good days. Yes, no matter what, my desire is that I learn what He would have me learn.

God’s fluorescence… I love that!