I have come to the conclusion that I want my life to reflect a life to those around me “that matters.” In my leadership style I have always demanded NOT to be religious but relational in my attempts to reflect a genuine down heartedness to those that cross my path.
I have thought long and hard about my leadership style because when I leave this life I want anyone made aware of my departure to say “man, she mattered.” She mattered because she cared so much about those whose lives she touched.I still believe in the power of Palmers quote when he states: “I value ethical standards, of course, but in a culture like ours- which devalues or dismisses the reality and power of the inner life- ethics too often becomes an external code of conduct, an objective set of rules we are told to follow, a moral exoskeleton we put on hoping to prop ourselves up.The problem with exoskeletons is simple: we can slip them off as easily as
we can don them (Palmer, 2004, p. 8).
This “outside/exoskeleton” life that I try so hard to shed is what I describe in my attempts to show others around me how important it is to” matter.” Or to leave a lasting impression on those we leave behind in our attempts to live on or to leave a legacy. You see, my job isn’t just to counsel/preach/teach, my job in this earth is to point others (God puts in to my path) towards Him. In all that I do, at the end of my life, my Ph.D. won’t matter, nor any of the power/privilege that come with it, my denomination won’t matter, nor my political affiliations (although I claim none), my skin color won’t matter, nor my sex, so the only thing people will
remember me by (even as a professional) will be what my heart displayed. The only thing in this life I will be remembered for is how my love for that soul demonstrated God’s love in the things I did/said for/to those around me. For good or for evil.
I think the term “I die daily” is one of the hardest biblical truths to apply to our lives, outside of taking our thoughts captive, because both require us to be attentive. Attentive to what we are thinking, saying, or doing (when we interact) leaving an impact on those relationships.
This paper is even important to my heart because I want to make sure that the heart reading this knows that whether they know me, or ever meet me, but that this heart knows that someone out here is praying for them while I attend their class or write in a blog. I’m not just here to attain a degree or to be assigned a grade or just to write, I’m here to serve others in every way possible as I feel my life is supposed to serve a greater purpose.
I believe in Churchill’s Principals within how I establish/build my life and I believe with all my heart that those I interact with (in leadership circles/trusted inner circles) know me to be a woman of my word (Borgmann, 2006). I believe that’s important because here 30 years later, after serving 30 years in ministry you can ask any past team member I’ve served with and most will tell you “man, make sure you want to know the truth BEFORE you go to Missy because she SURELY will tell you the truth- according to her biblical beliefs.” I don’t state that arrogantly but as a matter of fact, because I believe it’s important (even when we misunderstand or disagree with
each other) that we all are able to dialogue and find solutions amicably. I believe that we will have all kinds of people who cross our paths in this life with varying views/opinions, some right, others very wrong, but it’s not our place to change that mind/heart , it’s God’s, and I’m not Him.
I believe that leadership within my own life is mostly silently reflected by my daily actions which make people in my sphere feel safe to open up to my heart. This is the “circle of trust” that Palmer stated in his example of how we get a soul to open itself up to inner transformation in opinionated groups.
If I ever think anything, any title, power, or money, or affiliations (political or religious) will carry me in this life I am only deluding myself with fleshly things because it’s the matters of the heart that will always make a difference. A good leader has ethical standards, they are usually almost always (or should be) neutral/indifferent and should act as a bridge to conversations/solutions. This doesn’t matter if I’m a Kantist, Utilitarian, Evolutionary Psychologist, etc., it’s all mute, when it comes to sound leadership and ethics leading hearts they influence. I also believe that we are ALL held highly accountable to whom we influence for good/evil in the eyes of the Lord and I take this truth very seriously in my daily career activities.
In my field I am called to listen/minister to some of the most heinous life experiences as when I wrote about the woman who tried to adopt the drug addict’s child, as no class member commented on my writing.
I very rarely ever talk about my counseling experiences because some are so bad/unbelievably evil that it makes those hearts listening run away. I felt this same stance was true in the lack of comments on that last writing. It’s always the same response which is why I feel it necessary when forced to step into that type of situation that my actions “matter.” I wrote the response to create a jolt/reaction to make people wake up to the fact that not everybody has the same type of life that we do so WE need to BE that difference. We each need to “matter.”
I feel that my actions begin to “matter” when I am able to listen/guide that heart with biblical ethics/virtues in the way that heart should/can make it through such atrocities. “This is the way walk ye in it (New International Version, Is 30:21). None of the things of the flesh/world will fix that kind of hurt but my actions/ethics as a leader/counselor will hopefully assist in giving that guidance. My actions do not represent judgment, or cowardice, my actions hopefully show that heart that God is viewing their life as one that matters as well so that inner transformation (like Palmer spoke of) can occur.
Friday I will be attending a funeral of a dear family friend who was like a father to me since I was 22 years old as he died just yesterday. I might be called to pray or speak about his life/situation to a group of deeply hurting people to assist them in dealing with the tremendous loss they’ve just experienced.
As a leader, my thoughts are already gearing up as to what I might say over Eddie’s life, which will lead me down a path to the truth of HOW “he mattered.” He mattered to a 22 year old who was lost when her own father died in his ability to show my heart how to pick up and move on with my own life.He mattered when he would call to check on me throughout the years just to say “he loved us or to ask how were we doing?” Because of these actions his life showed my heart that not only I mattered to him but that “HE mattered.”
My question today and every day hereon will be: “Do others who view my leadership style/life see it as one of purpose/integrity because of the impact I am making for Christ? We are all connected in this life, whether we choose to believe that or not, but your life touches mine and vice versa and how I live out my life will impact yours, and many others. The bottom is line to the question ethical leadership is not “did I live my life to the fullest but what my life “FULL of making a difference?” Because to Christ if my life is not bearing fruit daily THAT matters (New International Version, Matt 21:19).
(Kleinke, 2007) stated that self-sacrificial leadership promotes the image of leaders as being willing to incur personal costs to serve the “greater cause”, especially when exposed to external threats or crises.
(Markie, 2000) stated that good teachers/counselors/leaders are those that can
demonstrate certain values:
Sense of Relevant connection
The Knowledge of Human Beings;
My only hope is that I am one of those with these traits ……..………and…..that I mattered