Category Archives: Type A

Living on Purpose

“We shall not cease from exploration;
And the end of all our exploring;
Will be to arrive where we started;
And know the place for the first time.”
~ T.S. Eliot

Maybe it had something to do with being the eldest of four.

Maybe it had something to do with being in an organizational setting as a file clerk at 12 years of age.

Maybe it was because my parents trusted me, championed me, and nurtured me.

Maybe it had something to do with God creating me this way and placing certain desires and interests within me.

Definitely it is all of these, and more.

I’m talking about my interest in leadership, my ambition to be a leader, my belief that being a leader opens doors, and my awareness that leaders are the ones who really make a difference and an impact on our world.

I recently celebrated my 39th birthday, and as with most people I become more self-reflective around my birthday. As I reflect back, the journey hasn’t been exactly what this Type A girl had drawn out at 11 and 12 years of age, but nonetheless, 39 finds me having arrived at the intended destination: living life on purpose and helping others to do the same.

A conversation that began well over a year ago has brought me to this destination, which is actually just the beginning.

In April, I was invited to join the prestigious organization, Building Champions, as a business and leadership coach. Building Champions is one of the leading coaching organizations in the U.S., with clients such as Chick-fil-A, Prime Lending, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Northwestern Mutual, Pfizer, and State Farm. We are engaged every day to make a positive difference in the lives of those we touch with this motto: coaching business and life on purpose.

I am honored to be part of an organization that is truly making a difference in the way people live and lead. Being able to combine my loves of business strategy, organizational culture, people and leadership development, vision clarification, and priority management is a dream come true and my intended destination.

With this new beginning as a coach with Building Champions, I am looking for people who need someone to partner with them as they work to achieve their professional and personal goals. I help people and organizations get clear in who they are and where they want to go, define their current reality, and develop very specific actions, plans, and strategies to close the gap from their current reality to where they would love to be.

I am specifically looking for 10 additional new clients by the end of August. Who do you know who might benefit from business and leadership coaching?

Additionally, I am also specifically looking for speaking engagement and workshop facilitation opportunities over the next several months. Who do you know who might benefit from a workshop about time management, vision planning, team building, strategic planning, or culture creation?

One of things I realize as I write this is that you might be led to think that by having realized my dream, that my life might be perfect. One of the beautiful aspects of this new role is getting to share life with my clients and being in community with one another as we experience the triumphs and tragedies, and the valleys and peaks of life. For example, one of my current battles is losing the rest of the 30 pounds that I gained while working toward my Ph.D. My birthday present to myself was a Dr. McBabe’s Walking Desk for my treadmill; it’s such a fantastic invention. I’m also excited to use it to begin training for the 2015 Hood to Coast, which I will be running as part of the Building Champions’ team. Another example, as with anyone who has “Achiever” as one of their top five strengths, I’m working diligently to discipline myself to have one day every week where I completely disengage from anything work-related and spend the time in fellowship, community, worship, play, and rest. This is a very difficult thing for me, but is absolutely crucial if I am going to live a full and meaningful life.

Whether you’re 39 or 59 or 89 it’s never too late to live on purpose. I’m curious, what is keeping you from living on purpose?

Letting God In On Your Goals

I’ve never really been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I guess it always felt phony, like I was trying to reform, conform, or transform myself; attempting to make myself someone new, someone different, someone who I naturally wasn’t. I also didn’t want to be labeled as part of the crowd who gives up on their resolutions within two weeks, since statistics show that is what happens to most people.

I have, however, always been a goal-oriented person, or maybe just a downright stubborn person. When I’ve set my mind on something, I’ve always gotten it done, made it happen. But, I’ve struggled with this because while I like the feeling of achieving my goals, I don’t want to be so ambitious, so driven, so focused, so type-A, that I put blinders on and close myself off from what God has for me.

Desiring to remain a goal-oriented person, but also be inside of God’s will in my goals and endeavors, last year (2013) I decided to try something new for the goals that I set for myself. I wrote down my goals, as have done for the past several years, using the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) format that many highly successful people attribute their success to, and recommend as the way that leads to the highest percentage of achievement. But, in setting my goals, I did something different that ended up bringing me more peace of mind and satisfaction than in years past; I set two goals for each goal, an attainable goal and a stretch goal. For example, I wanted to lose weight and I wanted to lose it in time for my 20th high school reunion. So, I set one number that I knew I would be excited to reach and that was definitely possible, and I set a second number that I knew I would be on cloud nine if I could reach, but wouldn’t be discouraged if I didn’t reach it. An additional example is that 2013 was the year of completing my doctorate degree; there was no way I was going to let the year come to a close without having defended my dissertation. In January when I started writing my dissertation I didn’t know all that God had in store for me for the year, so I set two timeframe goals, one that would bring me absolute delight if I could reach it, but that would definitely be a stretch, and one that was more easily attainable but would still have me reach my overall goal of completing my Ph.D. in 2013.

While I did not reach the stretch goal in either one, I did reach the attainable goal in both. I was victorious and could acknowledge and celebrate my successes in both goals, knowing that I had committed my goals to the Lord and released my hold on the reins, so that He could guide me through my goals from start to finish. The experiences allowed me to know that God cared about me and that He could be trusted to bring the desires of my heart to pass.

Be Nimble

Your life is not your own. You have been called to surrender your life, your desires, your agenda, your hopes, and ask God to implant in you the desires, agendas, and hopes that He has for your life. Not at all an easy thing. In fact, it’s actually quite mysterious. There is no road map, no GPS. It means setting out every day with no preconceived expectation of what the day will bring. This is hard to understand, especially for our Type A, ambitious, driven culture. We are planners. We see life as a chess game, knowing our strategy three or four moves ahead. Yet, God calls us to surrender in a way that allows us to be nimble, to be able to respond to an opportunity that we could not have seen coming.

Craig Groeschel, pastor of Lifechurch, the largest church in the U.S., talks about how he no longer does strategic planning for the church because he doesn’t want to be boxed in and miss an opportunity by limiting themselves to what is outlined in a planning document. The faith that is required in this approach is one that is not for the lazy. It is not a sit back and wait to see what happens type of posture. It is a faith that goes to God before anything else that morning and asks for God’s explicit guidance and God’s hand to be on that day and all that it entails. It is a faith that doesn’t ask God how something is to take place, but simply asks what one step you should take this morning to move toward what the Lord has for you today. Scary? Yes. Especially for people who want to have that 10-year plan. But, if you’re honest with yourself, doesn’t trying to create that 10-year plan actually bring more stress into your life than if you simply choose to live in the present, one day at a time. When you think about a 10-year plan you start to think about all of the “what-ifs”. What if you make the wrong decision about something? What if you pass up an opportunity? What if you don’t give 110% in that particular thing? You start to freak out that if you don’t do this and if you don’t do that, then you won’t attain the goals outlined in your 10-year plan and all will be lost. In reality, you are called to something much more simple. You are called to give up your agenda and ask God for His agenda for you. Craig Groeschel says, “When we show God our faith, he shows us His Faithfulness.”