It is one of those days. I got out of bed without hitting the snooze button, yet I’ve been behind all day.
That is the way life works sometimes. Sometimes, life gets in the way of work, and other days, work gets in the way of life! Today we are chatting on the Matter of Work ~ a great segway!
One of the truths in this matter is It’s lonely at the top. There is debate on that truth. Some, such as John Maxwell, someone I trust and is considered a leadership expert, disagree.
Maxwell states that if “leadership is lonely, then you are doing something wrong.”
Though I love his principles, which are all based on God’s truth applied in a secular way (sound familiar to Women Worship and Work?), there are a few things I would challenge him on, and this is one of them. When I say I love his work, I want to reiterate that twice a year I attend a leadership conference of his and I am a Maxwell Leadership Certified Coach. I love the guy!
I wonder what Mr. Maxwell would say if he was ever the only woman at the long wooden boardroom table?
I wonder if he knew what it was like to take the only 15-minute break at a workshop and use that time pumping breast milk on a toilet seat?
Do you think he ever had to explain to the others at the table why it was wrong that no one of diverse ethnicities were sitting in fancy chairs?
Did he wonder why women join leadership and soon leave — along with most leaders of diverse backgrounds?
It is lonely at the top with a bonus if you are a woman or a minority compared to the rest of your organization. But I also agree with him that it does not have to be lonely if you are intentional about setting a different standard. See, I got you John!
That is why today we are talking about the importance of mentorship.
I am so excited to introduce to you what I have learned from mine.
I have a mentor in this current stage of my life, and God willing, I will have her as one for a long time. She has helped relieve some of that feeling of “am I the only one?” More importantly, she also provides tactical steps for improvement.
Practicing what she preaches, I have seen her move up the ranks in her current company. She has a new role reporting directly to the CEO of a national organization. She is a mom. A boss. A wife. A child of God. And so much more.
Before I share a snippet of her wisdom with me, I want to look at one example of mentorship in the bible.
Meet Jethro and Moses
I had to do a little research to remind myself who Jethro was. We don’t always see who is behind some of the most famous members of society. Moses was already a leader, he had previously led the people out of Egypt, but when Jethro came to visit, he instructed Moses with some advice.
“What you are doing is not good; you will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you because the task is too heavy for you. You cannot do it alone.” Wow.
He then instructs him how to build a team biblically and select trusted leaders. It is so good – I beg you to read it for yourself!
Today, I will share a little about my mentor with you. I could share volumes of nuggets I have learned from her, but for today, here are some of my favorites:
Speak directly, clearly, and kindly.
Sugarcoating, speaking in assumptions or subjectively, does no one any good, most importantly, yourself.
If you haven’t read the book by Squire Rushnell, “When God Winks.” He will wink at you by putting people and situations in your life to give you clarity and peace that ultimately leads to your purpose.
Lol, like $#!+ happens, so does drama. It occurs at 14, 34, and 54. It’s called being human. Every season, we will encounter a situation we haven’t walked through yet.
Have a mentor.
Have a mentor at all times and in every season. You never know when someone will give you wisdom in ways you could not have dreamed of when you will walk into a fire you were not expecting. It is vital to call on your trusted advisors for help in those times.
Pastor T.D. Jakes states that God provides you wood, but you have to build the table. If you have never made a table, you need direction and guidance from someone who has.
We need someone besides our besties to guide us if we want a sturdy, steadfast foundation to thrive in good times and survive in tough times.
Bring others up.
To “bring others up” wasn’t something Aisha said but modeled. She has been open and honest with me about her faith when she didn’t have to be. She has kept an open door even though I know she lacks time and resources due to her busy schedule.
She has continued to push me to be more than I am today. All because in one call, a long time ago, she said, “Call me if you ever need anything.” And so, I did.
Everyone should have a mentor and BE a mentor. Are you on the lookout for these women in your life? If not, get on it! Also, think about, who can you make the offer, “Call me if you need anything”… and who will you take up that offer?
Follow Aisha at https://www.fiftytwoweekhigh.com/. She is pretty amazing!