3 Ways to Reload Your Leadership

Published January 22, 2018

2018 is upon us and, by now, you’re probably knee deep into the thick of it all: meetings, tasks, projects…oh, and your inbox.

And, in case you didn’t do this over your Christmas break, take a minute and ask yourself, “How satisfied am I with my amount of reload time in 2017?”

Reload? Let me explain.

Think of the reload as WhiteSpace, think space, active rest, reflection, etc.

Pastor Jon Peacock, senior pastor of Mission Church, says, “It is one thing to relax and another thing to reload.”

I want to share three principles I live by in order to reload effectively and continue to live and work with greater purpose year after year.

1) Avoid Creative Inversion

Creative Inversion is a concept I heard from author Todd Henry in his book, Die EmptyCreative Inversion happens when ideas flow out of us at a higher rate than we allow inspiration to flow into us. As leaders, we are constantly on the hook for new and fresh ideas and creative solutions to urgent problems. How are you doing at keeping your well of ideas and solutions filled?

Maybe it’s a blog or podcast a day. Perhaps it’s a book a month. And especially one leadership conference such as The Global Leadership Summit every year.

What will you put into place in 2018 to avoid creative inversion?

2) Prioritize Rhythm Over Balance

Life balance is not only a myth, it’s uninspiring. When life balance is the goal, all we achieve is life balance. However, when rhythm is the goal, we achieve growth.

Jim Loehr’s The Power of Full Engagement changed how I approach all domains of my life with the following phrase: Stress is not the enemy in our lives. Paradoxically, it is the key to growth.

I have come to follow the blueprint of stress, rest and repeat in every part of my life. In my relational, vocational, physical, emotional and spiritual life, I intentionally move toward stress that shapes and grows these areas of my life. I then immediately follow up this stress with intentional rest before engaging in stress at the next level. This is how I believe growth is achieved.

We’ve always lived by principles such as, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” And while I don’t disagree, we tend to plan only for growth in the stress that acts on us. We fail to lean intentionally into stress in ways that shape us and form us into healthier leaders.

Perhaps it’s counseling for yourself or your marriage. Maybe it’s hiring a personal trainer for your physical life. Or maybe you serve and sacrifice in a way that forms you spiritually. The key in all of this is to follow with rest and reflection before re-engaging higher levels of intentional stress. This is living a life in rhythm.

3) Trust Is Required

The idea of pausing our work for WhiteSpace, reflection and rest requires trust.

I have found there are three ways trust is required to reload effectively.

First, we must trust our team. When we get away to reload, our lines of communication and understanding with our teammates must be clear. We also need to have a healthy plan in place to delegate work when it’s necessary to take time away to reload. Trust in both directions with our team must be in place to reload effectively.

Second, we need to trust our work. We need to believe the work we’ve already executed is sufficient enough to move on, and we also need to believe our work ahead of us will benefit from our time away to reload.

Finally, we must trust our God. I believe our Sabbath rhythm must rest the parts of ourselves that command us to love God with: our heart, soul, mind and strength. You have to trust enough to stand up, shut off the office light and say, “God, you got this. I’m going home.”

So, are you ready for a reload in 2018?

What is the state of your creative inversion?

Does your life aim for balance or rhythm?

And, is the necessary trust in place for you?

Here’s my hope for you and the people you lead this year: make 2018 the year of the reload.

About the Author(s)
Tommy Bowman

Tommy Bowman

Executive Pastor

Mission Church (Roselle, IL)

Tommy Bowman is the Executive Pastor of Mission Church in Roselle, Illinois, a GLS host site and a growing community in Chicagoland. He has a contagious passion for the local church and is enthusiastic about helping church leaders reach their full potential. To find out more about Tommy and the services he provides church leaders through his visionary training, visit www.tommybowman.com.