Friday, June 29, 2012

Be Yourself

This morning, I'm going through the StrengthsFinder results that 12 Kats for Christ students took and am enjoying soaking in the way that God made these students. It is helpful to know these things and am looking forward to learning more!

As I see them getting excited about their pouring more energy into enhancing their strengths, I remembered something important about the value of spending time learning who you are! Here is the profoundly simple thought:

When you know who you are, you can be yourself.

This seemingly obvious and simple idea is deeper than it first seems. I'm amazed at how easy it is for me to slip into a mode of trying to "be" someone else. Here's an example. While I'm standing among a group of people it becomes obvious that this group (generally-speaking) is opposed to and even says some harsh things about another group who holds certain beliefs. As someone who holds that supposedly "negative" belief, I am tempted to "act like" I believe something different. Even if asked a direct question in that situation, I still try to "act as if" I hold different beliefs and go into vague generalizations of some kind rather than answer their question directly.

Well, as I've grown in understanding who I am and even what I believe, I've learned that I can actually be myself. I can actually answer a question someone asks me without worrying how the other person or group of people will respond! It is so freeing! It energizes me to be who I am.

What about you? Do you struggle to be who you are? How have you been tempted to be someone else?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Strengths are Important!

"Effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and build on each person's strengths." Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, Strengths-Based Leadership

We are going through a process in the Kats for Christ ministry where we are intentionally trying to enhance the principle in this quote. I want to help us all learn our strengths so that we can live fully alive and experience God's fullness in that!

Isaiah sees a world that I desire for our ministry. It is a world where students come because they know God will reveal himself directly and they will learn more about themselves. Isaiah says all kinds of people will river toward God's place and will say, "Hey, let's climb God's mountain....He'll show us the way he works so we can live the way we're made."

This image compels me forward as we are in the process of developing a Kats for Christ Student Leadership Team. The exciting part of this process is giving nominated student leaders an opportunity to take Tom Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0.

While we've been talking about working in our strengths for a long time, we are now taking a big step in integrating that idea into our organization. I love how the assessment gives you your top five strengths, explains the tendencies for each of those strengths, and even factors in the other four strength areas in giving you that feedback! Amazing!

On top of that, the report includes practical ideas for action so you can utilize and enhance your strength areas! It is also insightful in offering perspective on how others may be perceiving your strengths.

As each student goes through this process to develop our KFC Leadership Team, I plan on communicating a little more about my own discoveries! This, actually, is one of the suggested "Ideas for Action" under my Input theme.

What do you imagine happening when we focus on our excelling in our strengths?