My friend and podcast accomplice (which will hopefully start up again very soon) Shane Hipps wrote on his blog about making the leap from creating ad campaigns for Porsche cars to becoming a Mennonite pastor. It’s a great insight. Money quote:
In my experience, the best thing I can do to lead people spiritually is to show them love. At the heart of love is making space, honoring the free will of the other. This requires that I intentionally divest myself of their outcomes, decisions, and conclusions. Sounds counter-intuitive, but then again, most things in the life of faith are. When someone senses that I need them to grow to validate myself, it usually hinders their growth. When they sense that I love them and have no need for them to take my advice, they’re more free to do so if they choose. This I’ve found to be the most fertile soil for spiritual evolution. And it is diametrically opposed to the tasks of advertising and marketing, which are driven entirely by outcomes.
A great insight that not only applies to leadership but relationships in general. I took the Enneagram personality test the other day it indicated that I am an “8”:
The “shadow” of an 8 or a “Challenger” is a fear of not being in control. When I saw the results of the enneagram, I was a bit surprised at first but after a bit of introspection, it totally made sense. What’s at the end of our noses can often times be the most difficult for us to see. What’s daunting about this shadow element that I’ve realized I have to contend with is that control is ultimately the opposite of love. Have you ever met a truly loving and gracious person who was a control freak?
Life lately has been peppered with moments of both fear and peace. Practicing contemplative prayer has led me to a valley of shadows but the light still breaks through. Facing my shadow, giving it shape, not turning away from it can be scary but also incredibly freeing. While walking through that dark valley I come face to face with my own evil. The Lord’s prayer doesn’t say for us to avoid evil but to not fear it, for we don’t face it alone. I have to learn that giving up control to make space for others takes a selfless love that comes without condition. Unfortunately, that’s the most difficult love to give (is there any other kind?) and only through God’s grace can I give it.