How to Prepare Your Soul for Leadership in 2021

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There will be hundreds of posts readily available this month to help you set new leadership targets for 2021.

Today, I want to ask you a very different leadership question: “Is my soul in a better place today than it was a year ago?”

For 12 months you’ve been doing the hard work of leadership. You’ve led through the crisis of a pandemic that has likely struck a blow to your team or organization. You’ve been:

  • Making tough decisions,
  • Re-arranging teams,
  • Disappointing people for a greater purpose,
  • Saying “no”,
  • Challenging your team to “pivot” in the new reality,

All of these necessary tasks can take a toll on the leader’s soul.

The writer of the biblical book of Proverbs states emphatically, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23). For leaders, this means taking time at the end of a full year to examine the condition of your inner being.

So before you tackle another year, before you set down another list of goals and resolutions, take time to wrestle through these questions. At the end of this year of leadership:

  • Is my heart towards people more, or less, compassionate than a year ago?

  • Am I growing more, or less, irritable than I was a year ago?

  • Does laughter come to me more or less easily than it did a year ago?

  • Is my appreciation of natural beauty more, or less, heightened than it was a year ago?

  • Would people describe me as more, or less, “winsome” than I was a year ago?

  • Is my connection with God more, or less, fulfilling today than it was a year ago?

This list is far from exhaustive, but I would urge you to reflect on these kinds of questions before you even think about tackling a new hill in 2021.

Because while resolutions and goals really are important, a healthy soul trumps everything.

As the Proverb says, “everything flows from it”.

Happy new year.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Global Leadership Network. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave, Willow & Olive and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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