Startup Tips for New Leaders

Starup Tips for New Leaders

4 Strategies for Surviving the Two-mile Start

 

I have been a semi-avid runner for the last fifteen years. Over the years, running has become a way for me to pray, reflect, learn, and listen. I do everything from prepare for an important meeting to dance to my favorite new song while I’m running. (Cue JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”) And most importantly running is justification for eating more sugar than I ought. My motto is, “I run for treats.”

But for all the things I enjoy about running, I still hate the beginning.

 

The Temptation to Quit Too Early

Even after fifteen years and roughly 10,000 miles logged (including several half marathons), I still feel like I want to quit during the first two miles OF EVERY RUN!

It takes this long for my body to settle in, for my mind to settle down and for everything to start working together more fluidly. And if I don’t remind myself of this, I will get frustrated and sometimes even quit. Too many times I’ve forgotten this principle, and I’ve given up with excuses that, “I’m just too tired,” “something must be wrong… maybe I’m sick,” or “maybe I’m just not cut out for running anymore,”

This principle not only applies to running, but it also applies to most of the challenges we face in life. I remember when I was working on the development of The 4 Sight Group. While I was incredibly passionate about equipping leaders with the foresight for extraordinary outcomes, the beginning stages of starting a new organization were challenging. It felt like I was in the first two miles. It was easy to want to give up. It was hard work because not all the systems ran smoothly. I wondered if I was cut out for the challenge.

Are you in the early stages of a new project, a new relationship, or a new job?

 

How to Get Through the Two-mile Start

 

1. Don’t be alarmed when it’s harder than you expected.

The reason why we start new things is that we have a vision. We see the potential. Don’t lose sight of that vision when the reality of what it takes sets in, and it seems impossible. Stay the course and remember the two-mile principle.

 

2. Don’t quit in the first two miles.

Before you start your new endeavor, anticipate when to expect resistance. Every fresh start has a few moments of bliss, but inevitably, it takes a turn. You encounter a problem; you have your first fight; you have a difference of opinion with a coworker. Anticipate this ahead of time so that it doesn’t blindside you.

 

3. Build a support team.

You need people who will remind you of why you need to keep going. When my friend Rachel and I ran half-marathons together, she would write her name all over her t-shirt so that those watching the race would cheer her on by name. It was brilliant! As she ran, she constantly heard people cheer, “Go Rachel go!”. Make sure you have friends, mentors, and allies who will cheer you on during the difficult days.

 

4. Plan your reward.

You need to have something to look forward to when you make it through the difficult points. Before you begin, determine when and how you’ll celebrate. I approach every single day by building my schedule with some of my most challenging work early in the day and finishing with something I enjoy like reading a book, taking a walk with a friend or enjoying my favorite cup of tea. Whatever the project you’re facing, give yourself something to look forward to at those different increments.

 

Leaders do hard things. We charter new territory so others can follow more easily. Don’t let the initial resistance of a startup defeat you. Stay the course.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

Align Your Work to Changing Seasons

Your Summer Permission Slip 

 

School is out. We’re on the brink of summer.

 

It’s a Season of Change.

Seasons are an essential part of life’s rhythm, changing our pace, and creating disruption.

I used to think I didn’t like seasons. Spending most of my life in Wisconsin and Tennessee, I found the extremes of the seasons tiring. Whether it was the long subzero winters of the Northwoods or the triple-digit humid temperatures of Music City, the seasons were extreme and often exhausting. When I moved to Silicon Valley in Northern California, I expected it to be heavenly. Mild, Mediterranean-like temperatures year round. What could be better? Frankly, the seasons are better.

 

Seasons are Beautiful and Startling

The transition from one season to another stimulates change. It awakens our senses. Consider the fragrance of new growth in spring, the sun and humidity of summer, the crisp air and vibrant colors of fall, the stark and barren emptiness of winter. Each season, in its unique way, is beautiful and startling.

Summer is the season most of us eagerly welcome. It often involves a more relaxed pace, vacation, lots of sunshine, and extra time with friends. Summer is a season of rejuvenation. The new life of spring has given way to the flourishing growth of summer. Long days, relaxed nights, and if you’re lucky, a beautiful coastline, if even for a week, to enjoy the grandness of God’s creation.

In summer, I feel invincible. I feel appropriately large and small at the same time. I breathe deeper and exhale more fully. The world that I’m carrying on my shoulders doesn’t feel so unbearable. Seasons of change affects us and those we lead.

 

Embrace Seasons of Rest

For too many years, I saw summer as an opportunity to “try to catch up.” As a leader, I was always trying to stay on the cutting edge and kept leading my teams forward. I saw summer as an opportunity for me to gain some ground and prepare for the fall. I drove myself, and I drove others more aggressively than the season demanded. As a result, we were tired and frazzled instead of rested and rejuvenated.

Leaders, there are seasons for work. There are seasons of hustle and drive, and there are seasons of rest and replenishment. You need both, and your team needs both. You need to rest and play. I felt like it was a luxury I couldn’t afford. My resistance to embrace summer left me ineffective as a leader.

Let me encourage you that summer is an essential season. Ask yourself these questions.

  • What season are you in right now?
  • What do you need?
  • What does your team need?
  • What do you need to be doing in this season to prepare for the next?

Remember, set the pace. You must be aware of the current reality while anticipating a future need.

 

Your Summer Permission Slip

As schools take a reprieve and summer breaks way, step into it. Enjoy it. Don’t resist it. I hereby permit you to rest, to play, to laugh, to dream, to skip through sand, to soak in the sun, and to cherish memories with family and friends this season of summer.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging, so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

The Power of Vision

6 Steps to Steward the Power of Vision

 

I remember a friend calling me one day for some advice. She and her husband were at a crossroads. The couple had sold their home and most of their possessions to take a job across the country, leaving family and close friends behind.

It was a risky adventure, but the vision of the organization compelled them. The organization had some audacious goals but not outside of the realm of possibility. They were excited about the possibilities. They asked lots of questions and took time to process their opportunity with friends and mentors. They sought God for guidance and eventually, leaped.

Now they were struggling. They had made tremendous sacrifices only to discover that the organization wasn’t ready to pursue their vision cast. This family was in upheaval because the leader didn’t fully understand the power of vision.

Sound crazy or extreme? Sadly, change the names and organizations, and I hear a version of this story nearly every day.

 

Vision is Essential for Individuals, Teams, and Organizations

Proverbs remind us, “without vision people perish.” Those of us who are visionary by nature use this scripture to help us find significance in the visionary gift we have.

But visions are dangerously powerful, and leaders who don’t understand this power have the potential to cause irreparable damage to the people they lead.

One of my greatest concerns for leaders is that we don’t fully grasp the weight of our influence on others. Influence, by definition, means, “the power to change or affect someone.” Let this sink in, the POWER to change someone. Our position of influence gives us a power that quite literally changes or at a minimum affects another person’s life.

Think about the influence your parents had on your life or your first boss. How about your soccer coach or piano teacher. Your life has been shaped by their influence, positively and negatively.

Visionary leaders create hope and possibilities. They appeal to a person’s dreams and goals defining a preferred future. The better a leader is at casting a compelling vision, the more influence they’ll wield.

At their best, a visionary not only casts an inspiring vision, but they have the wherewithal to see that vision come to fruition. And while people may perish without a vision, we also know that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” When a leader doesn’t have the ability to see a vision become a reality, they create pain and hopelessness for those they lead.

 

The Dangerous Power of Vision

Visions have enormous power. And a vision in the hands of strong leaders wields extraordinary power. Power in and of itself is not bad, but power wielded carelessly leaves carnage.

Too often, I see leaders cast a vision and pursue it without a full understanding of the cost and impact. They get starry-eyed with the thrill of accomplishing a goal that we underestimate what it will cost, especially in human capital.

We’ve seen this play out with the business professional who scales the corporate ladder at the expense of his family. He cast a vision that working hard would acquire their “American Dream,” but underestimated the sacrifice of family relationships.

We’ve witnessed the fast-growing church with their audacious growth goal that gets blindsided by moral failure. They were racing so fast towards the vision that they blew past the warning signs.

We’ve read the stories of start-up companies that hire for rapid growth only to make drastic cuts when investment funds run out. But we can steward the power of vision.

 

6 Steps to Help You Steward the Power of Vision

1. Refine your vision with the wisdom of others. Visionary leaders nearly always underestimate what their ideas will entail. Often, they are removed from frontline activity; they have lost touch with what it takes to bring an idea to life. Don’t cast your vision to the masses until you’ve worked it out with a team of people who can help you understand what it will take. And by the way, make sure you listen in this conversation. Your gregariousness and charm can woo others easily.

 

2. Slow down and be cautious. Once you’ve received critical feedback, count the cost for accomplishing this vision. What will it take? What will you risk? Who will take risks? What will it cost?

 

3. Get in touch with reality. As you’ve processed the impact and the cost, think through the critical points in this vision. What key conversations will you need to have? Who may try to derail it? How likely are they to succeed? What difficult decisions will you have to navigate to keep the vision on track? What happens and who is impacted if the vision isn’t realized?

 

4. Count the cost. What will this require of you? Will it pull you from other priorities and if so, what is the potential impact? What will it take financially? Do you have the margin to pursue it? What will it require of your staff? What will they give up? If you’re recruiting people based on the vision, what are they risking, and if you were in their shoes, would you take the risk?

 

5. Proceed humbly. If you have taken the time to process well and feel compelled to move forward with the vision, hold it humbly. Acknowledge what it is required of everyone, every step of the way.

 

6. Evaluate your “why?” What motivates you to this vision? Is it a vision you would pursue even if it cost you everything?

 

Leadership is Sacred Work

Leaders, you have the sacred responsibility of stewardship, and the two most precious things you’ll steward are vision and people. They are inextricably linked – “without vision people perish,” but without people, visions are just pipe dreams.

We need you to be visionaries. We need you to dream great, God-sized dreams. Please don’t shrink away from that; however, we need you to recognize the power of those visions equally. If they are not birthed of God and nurtured with humility, you risk wielding your power dangerously.

Leadership is a sacred work. Visionary leadership is powerful work. May you sacredly steward your power for the glory of God and the good of others.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

The Value of Close and Healthy Connections

The Value of Close and Healthy Connections

Who’s in Your Inner Circle?

 

I think the book that has had the most influence on me as a leader is John C. Maxwell’s book, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day.”

I bought this book many years ago, and I re-read it at least once a year. One of my favorite sections is the chapter called “The Law of the Inner Circle.” In this chapter, Maxwell is pointing out the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. Maxwell says:

“There are no Lone Ranger leaders. If you’re alone, you’re not leading anybody, are you? You see, every leader’s potential is determined by the people closest to him. If those people are strong, then the leader can make a huge impact. If they are weak, he can’t.”

Maxwell continues to give you a list of the types of people you should surround yourself with for continuous growth. The value of close, healthy connections is so important that I decided to share my list.

 

Surround Yourself with 15 Types of People

 

1. INTERCESSOR– Someone who prays for you. My intercessor is my PaPa, my mom’s dad. I remember back in college that PaPa would send me letters and tell me how many times he had prayed for me each day.

 

2. LISTENER – A person you confide in, vent to, and bounce ideas off of for feedback. I have several people that fill this role including my sister Jessica and a small close group of friends.

 

3. ENCOURAGER– People who inspire you with courage. My encouragers are my dad and my husband.

 

4. CREATOR – Creative people stretch your mind, challenge your direction, increase your vision, and multiply your gifts. My creators are my team at 4Sight and my friend Stephen Brewster.

 

5. DISCERNER – These are people who see what you can’t see. In my personal life by discerner is my husband and in my professional life, my discerner is my mastermind group.

 

6. GIVER – This is someone who loves you unconditionally. My niece and nephew are amazing in this role.

 

7. DEFENDER – The person who steps in when weariness keeps you from fighting back. My husband is my greatest defender.

 

8. IMPLEMENTER – These are people you can trust to get things done — Jessica and Marisa on the 4Sight team.

 

9. CELEBRATOR – A person who knows how to throw a party. Alli Worthington as an Enneagram 7 brings the party to my life.

 

10. RESOURCER – These people help you gather information. I don’t have one specific person for this role. Different people serve in this role depending on the need.

 

11. SPONSOR – Someone in your life who will believe in you and who will use his influence to help you along. I’ve had different sponsors in different seasons. Currently, friends like Carey Nieuwhof fill this role.

 

12. THINKER– The people who are talented at solving problems – All of The 4Sight team bring this gift.

 

13. NETWORKER – These people know people. My friend Lindsey Nobles is brilliant at this.

 

14. MENTOR – Others who are ahead of you and help you along the way. Much like sponsors, I’ve had different mentors at different times throughout my life.

 

15. PROTEGE– Find the right person and pour your life into theirs. Throughout the years, I’ve had the privilege of “pouring into” the lives of some amazing young leaders. I want to continue to be intentional in this.

 

I encourage you to take some time and create your list. Which of these roles do you fill in other people’s lives and who fills these roles in yours?

If your list comes up a little short, consider a change. Meet new people, nurture an existing relationship, or join a peer-related environment. You can find a local or virtual community group, join a mastermind group, or make time for a conference or leadership event.

Don’t be a “Lone Ranger Leader.” Surround yourself with great people and experience “The Law of the Inner Circle.”

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

** Are You New to The 4Sight Group?  **

As leaders, we’re full of ideas and initiatives. We see potential and opportunity all around. We can almost taste the outcome, but often we get bogged down by how we’ll get from here to there.

The “how” can be overwhelming and discouraging so we give up on our goals or fail to build a plan to help us actually achieve them.

These five steps will get you and your team on the path to moving from ideas to action! We’d love to have you join our community and access this free PDF!

 

 

Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.

Jenni is the author of several books including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.


 

 

A Private Dream Needs a Public Vision

A Private Dream Needs a Public Vision

4 Things Leaders Need to Fuel Vision

 

As a leader, you’ve been entrusted with the stewardship of vision. Your job is to keep the dream alive. Vibrant. Inspiring. Hope-filled.

I suspect you can hear the timbre of Dr. King’s voice and feel the urgency of his plea as you read the words “I have a dream today.”

Dr. King knew that the strength of a vision rests upon the ability of the leader to communicate it.

While most of us won’t be casting visions or writing speeches that will grace the halls of history, the visions we cast to the people we lead are incredibly important to the dream we have before us.

 

4 Things Leaders Need to Fuel Vision

 

1. Courage

It takes courage to lead toward a vision. Visionaries are the dreamers who define new ideas and are the first to believe they are possible. It takes courage to stick your neck out for a new idea and keep championing it until everyone you’re leading believes in it.

2. Patience and Endurance

If courage gets you started, it’s patience and endurance that see you through to a realized vision. Hebrews 10:36 instructs, “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Living in a culture that is impatient with any process, we need to remind ourselves, and those we lead, that when we follow a God-directed vision, we must also trust his timing.

3. Conviction

What is that thing that keeps you up at night and keeps the wheels of your mind turning? What is that thing you can’t stop talking about? As a leader, you must know your conviction because it ultimately defines your vision. Conviction fuels patience and endurance; it’s the mark of true vision. Conviction puts teeth on a passion.

4. Focus

Visionary leaders with focus stay committed to living out their vision. Your focus is the result of a conviction. These are the two driving forces that will keep the entire team going in the same direction.

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

 

Without Vision We Flounder

Those we lead need someone and something to follow. As leaders, we provide strength for our teams when we understand the power of vision. Visionary leadership means keeping hope and possibility in front of yourself and those you lead.

Do you have a dream? Fuel it will courage, patience & endurance, conviction, and focus and see it come to life!

 

**This post is adapted from Chapter 7 of The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 


Leading Confidently

Leading Confidently

Overcome Fear and Insecurity in Leadership

 

One of the greatest monsters I wrestle with in leadership is being confident in the calling and gifting God has for me.  I battle the usual suspects of insecurity, fear, and playing the comparison game.

At a leadership event, I shared the story of Deborah and the confidence she displayed in her calling.  Deborah is one of my favorite leaders from scripture, and I’m continuing to unpack layers of her leadership that fascinate me.

 

Observations Found in Judges Chapters 4 & 5

 

  • Deborah is Judge of Israel during a time when the Canaanites cruelly oppressed Israel.
  • We know she’s married and that she holds court under a palm tree on a hill (sounds like a nice office).
  • She gets a command from God for Barak to rally 10,000 men and face the Canaanite army.
  • Barak refuses to go unless Deborah goes with him.
  • You never see Deborah waiver; she continually reminds Barak of God’s promise to deliver Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, into his hands.
  • Chapter 5 is their victory song.

I wish the writer of Judges had been a bit more descriptive about the behind-the-scenes relational and emotional dynamics in this story.  The writer tells us what happens and the decisions that Deborah made, but doesn’t give us a ton of insight into how she felt or what she was processing through each decision. It’s at this point that I start trying to place myself in her story.  How would I have felt?  What would I have feared?

 

4 Keys to Deborah’s Confidence

 

1. She EARNED INFLUENCE

Deborah was a prophetess and judge of Israel at a time when it was highly unusual for a woman to serve in such positions of leadership.  It makes me think she must have had some significant influence to be appointed to these positions. Deborah must have also displayed consistency of character, love for people, sound judgment, etc. in her role as Judge.  Barak and the 10,000 leaders were willing to follow her lead because they trusted what she said was God’s command.

2. She displayed INCREDIBLE STRENGTH

I can’t imagine living during Deborah’s time. Israel was weak, defenseless and far from God.  I suspect morale was low and hope was barely a flicker.  But Deborah had hope and faith in God’s vision. As a result, she summoned the strength to silence the voices of doubt and timidity, and as one author describes, “called the people to battle, leading them out of idolatry and restoring their dignity as God’s chosen ones.”

3. She showed CONSISTENT HUMILITY

It seems it would have been easy to take the credit if we were in her shoes.  She could have told Barak, “God told us to lead the army,” but she didn’t.  She told Barak that God had called him to lead the army, and at that point, her role was probably unclear.  However, she chose to turn the power and the potential glory over to Barak.

I also love that in Judges 5:7, Deborah doesn’t refer to herself as judge, prophetess or leader.  She describes herself as “a mother in Israel.”  She didn’t need to prove to herself or remind others of her positional power.

4. She was FAITHFULLY OBEDIENT

Deborah drew her confidence from her relationship with God.  God gave her the directive for the battle with Sisera, and she didn’t lose sight of this even in the heat of it.  Judges 4:14 says “Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand.  Has not the Lord gone out before you?’” After the battle ended, she and Barak sang a victory song in which they repeatedly thank God.

 

Practical Reminders for Leading Confidently

Deborah’s story is an excellent reminder of God’s faithfulness through our obedience.  Deborah was pursuing God’s glory, not hers. As a result, her influence allowed Israel to experienced peace for 40 years.  That’s a remarkable influence!

When we pursue a life of humility, obedience, love and sound judgment it ignites unstoppable strength because our hope and faith is in God. We can lead with confidence knowing that fear and insecurity has no power over us.

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 


Are You a Unicorn in a World of Leaders?

Are You a Unicorn in a World of Leaders?

Find Your Cohorts this Summer! 

 

Women in leadership can sometimes feel like a unicorn ready to journey through a mythical land to find her cohorts.

But a calling isn’t meant to be a burden. A calling is meant to be compelling. A calling is the unleashing of all of who we are for God’s great good.

You don’t have to go to a mythical land to find like-minded leaders, but you can travel to a beautiful island for our Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive on June 20-21st in Neenah, WI. But that’s just the beginning. Participants will experience six months of group coaching and community engagement.

Watch this video where we (Jenni Catron and Alli Worthington) give you a behind-the-scenes about this upcoming event at The Historic Syme-Gilbert House.

So, do you want to meet fellow unicorns? Since this group provides personal development and group interaction, participants are limited to only 20 women. Register today to secure your spot.

Click Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive for more information and to register.

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

 

March Month-at-a-Glance

If you missed one of our publications this month, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a convenient list.

03/05/19             Solving Gender Issues in Leadership

03/07/19             Women in Leadership Thrive Together

03/12/19             How to Lead Change and Build Trust

03/14/19             A Mistake Most Leaders Make

03/19/19             Minimize Leadership Stress

03/21/19             How to Regain Team Momentum (Video)

03/26/19             10 Warning Signs Leaders Should Not Ignore (Guest Post)

 

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 

 


Minimize Leadership Stress

Minimize Leadership Stress 

3 Ways to Plan More and Worry Less

 

My husband frequently tells me that if there isn’t something for me to worry about, I’ll find something to worry about. I’ve been this way ever since I can remember.

I’m a worrier.

I like to blame it on my wiring… my DNA… my personality.

As a leader, I’m a planner… a strategist.   I’m supposed to “worry” about what’s ahead. The people I lead rely on me to think, plan, strategize, and organize to minimize risk. Heck, even my family and friends count on me to do this. Whether I’m coordinating a move or planning a vacation, I anticipate the needs and direct the best way to get there.

 

A Fine Line Between Worry and Planning

Does your leadership role trigger worry? There’s a fine line between worry and planning. Here’s a great reminder:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

“Do not worry about tomorrow.” I can’t tell you how much this phrase rattles me. It seems that all I do is worry about tomorrow.

Worrying is what I do to cope when I feel out of control, and I don’t trust God to be faithful. Worry is frantic energy that showcases my desire to control all my circumstances and freak out when I can’t.  Worry robs me of enjoying today because I’m fixated on tomorrow.

 

We’re Not Wired for Worry

God didn’t design us to worry. It’s not in our wiring. Worry isn’t part of our DNA or personality.

Worry is not the same as using our God-given gifts for strategy and planning. When we plan rather than worry, we choose to partner with God because we recognize that God wants to work through us. He wants to steward the gifts, talents, experiences, and opportunities we have. He wants us to use our minds actively. He wants us to be faithful with what he’s given us.

 

3 Ways to Plan More and Worry Less

 

  1. Planning is doing what you can.

Worry is stressing about what you can’t do. Scripture often speaks of the importance of sowing seed and planning for a harvest. An example for me as a consultant is that I can help an organization build a fantastic plan, but I can’t force them to implement it.  I can influence the outcome by being faithful to equip, train and encourage, but I can’t control the outcome.

 

  1. Planning is working with what is.

Worry is being paranoid about the what ifs. Planning is building steps to reach the desired outcome. When I worry I’m not taking any steps, but instead I’m ruminating over a myriad of outcomes (which are usually not good).

There’s a parable in the Bible where an employer entrusts three of his workers with different amounts of money. The first two developed a plan and doubled the employer’s money. The third guy did nothing to invest the money; instead, he dug a hole in the ground and hid the money. When asked why, he said, “I was afraid.” What was he doing? He was worrying. He was afraid, so he didn’t do what he could.

 

  1. Planning is proactive progress.

Worry is engaging in the hamster wheel of anxious thoughts without getting anywhere productive. Even if our plans don’t turn out exactly the way we hoped, we can learn from the experience and be better prepared for the future. Worry, on the other hand, drains our energy with no positive return.

 

Are you currently planning or worrying? 

Ladies, if you want to accelerate your growth, I would highly recommend registering for the Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive. This is for women like you who are working in business, ministry or a non-profit high-level leadership role. You will benefit from the intensive discussion of a small, focused group learning:

  • How to cultivate confidence
  • The Key to Overcoming Anxiety
  • The Enneagram – full assessment and how it impacts your leadership
  • 360 Degree Leadership – Effective tools for leading yourself and leading others
  • Essential paradigm shifts that equip you to think differently in a rapidly changing culture
  • Strategies that will transform your work-life balance
  • How to effectively use your gifts, strengths, and influence
  • How to have hard conversations without fear
  • Create your personal development plan

Men, if you have women on your team or staff who would benefit from this event, share this information or better still, sponsor them to attend.

Remember, to minimize leadership stress, focus on what you can do, plan on what is and not the what ifs, and practice proactive progress using every experience as a learning opportunity for the future. “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” so plan well and worry less!

 

Keep leading well.

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 


A Mistake Most Leaders Make

A Mistake Most Leaders Make

 

Do you find the pace of life and your daily leadership responsibilities astronomical? Maybe you’re moving up in your organization, and you feel the need to learn and grow to stay sharp and bring outstanding value to your team or organization. But no one owes you a development plan; it’s up to you. The mistake most leaders make is not taking the initiative to learn and grow.

 

I read an article that said today’s culture has access to as much information in one day as our ancestors 100 years ago had in a lifetime. No wonder we’re overwhelmed. We’ve all felt the pressure of organizational expectations knowing we need to do, learn, and grow more, but how do you implement a consistent learning rhythm?

 

Let me give you a few insights into what I’m doing and how I’m taking responsibility for my growth and leadership development.

 

1. Read Every Day

 

It’s difficult to make space for reading, but I read ten to sixty minutes a day. Yes, it can be challenging, but ten minutes a day adds up to five hours per month. Let your daily habit build momentum. You could knock out four to six books a year.

 

Try to get up ten minutes earlier, and spent that time reading. Books come in different delivery methods. You could choose a physical book, digital books, or audiobook. Find what works for you. I usually read a passage of scripture that will spiritually inspire or challenge me, and I add pages from a business or leadership book. I also read biographies on the weekend that unlock a wealth of insights from leaders that have gone before us.

 

2. Take Time for Courses, Conferences, and Podcasts

 

When I’m on the treadmill, elliptical, or running (on warmer days) I am listening to a podcast. If you’ve never listened to a podcast, it’s like a 15-30-minute radio talk show that’s available 24/7. Podcasts are a great way to get insights and information from other thought leaders.

 

Courses and Conferences can be inspiring and life-giving. Ask yourself, how do I need to grow this year?  Consider the environment or the conference space that would fuel your goals and personal development.

 

3. Find Intentional Communities for Growth

 

You need two-way communication for growth and learning. When you find a connection through a coaching group or intensive where you’re getting interaction and you can talk about your recent insights, successes, and struggles it will provide awareness and accountability for growth.

 

I want to encourage you that connection is critical, and that’s what most of us miss. I joined my first coaching cohort about a dozen years ago, and I still meet and talk with most of those women. It was a valuable learning experience for me, and it’s one of the reasons why I’ve hosted online coaching groups.

 

What’s Your Learning Rhythm?

 

You can begin your learning rhythm, today. What book will you read? Which podcast will you listen to this week? Be intentional about finding a community for growth, and if you’re planning to schedule a conference this year, let me suggest the Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive. Ali Worthington is a dear friend and a brilliant leader who is co-hosting this event in Neenah, WI. You’ll find connection and women in similar stages and seasons of leadership who can share their perspectives.

 

In the meantime, let me know about your learning rhythm, and share the insights you’ve discovered but more importantly how have you applied these valuable insights. Let’s learn from each other.

 

We have access to so much information, but learning without application is just more noise in our lives.

 

Keep leading well.

 

Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group

 

           

Jenni Catron is the Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group.  Her passion is to equip and inspire leaders to lead from their extraordinary best! Schedule a free coaching call with Jenni. 

 

 

 


4 Tips for Using the Enneagram as an Effective Team Development Tool

4 Tips for Using the Enneagram as an Effective Team Development Tool

By: Jenni Catron

 

About 10 years ago my counselor introduced me to the Enneagram. It was one of the many tools that she used to help in discovering my motivations and convictions. We wrestled for months to accurately type me. Was I a “One” or a “Three”… maybe even a “Five”. She wasn’t in a hurry to determine my type although I was. To her, the process was a sacred discovery that would ultimately help us identify what some Enneagram scholars call the “automatic” self – the way I have learned to show up in the world to succeed.

 

Ultimately our discussions led us to conclude that my automatic self is a Type 3. Early on in life I learned to succeed by achieving. I internalized the belief that I was most valued when I performed well, whatever the role called for – teacher’s pet, straight “A” student, top of my class, star role in the musical, obedient child. Funny enough my nickname growing up was “Winners” although no one can remember exactly when or how that name was given.

 

Little about this process was humorous or entertaining. It was raw and many times painful but it was also incredibly beautiful. The Enneagram has been a tool of immense personal growth. It has stretched me and it has given me a framework for continued growth.

 

For the last decade, I have actively continued to study this tool both for my personal development but also for helping to serve the leaders I work with.

 

For many years when I would introduce the Enneagram, I would get strange looks and tentative questions “Ennea – what?” I’m pretty sure a few people thought I was drifting into some new age spirituality.

 

And so I have been mostly delighted with the rise of the Enneagram’s popularity. I’m thrilled that more people are aware of this tool and actively seeking to grow in their self-awareness.

 

As with any tool, knowing how to use the tool is important for it to be effective. A tool misused can be dangerous.

 

With a passion to help leaders use the tool well, I want to give you some thoughts on how to use the Enneagram effectively for you and your team.

  • Resist the desire to type someone. Sure, it’s kind of fun to try to peg someone based upon what you experience in their personality. But what we see on the surface is not always an indicator of underlying motivation. For example, I have perfectionist tendencies that can often be mistyped as a Type 1. With a closer look, you’ll discover that my pursuit of perfection is directly related to whom I’m trying to please. As a Type 3 I may shift my behavior according to whose approval I’m seeking. If you type someone too early, you may confuse them and yourselves and short circuit their discovery. When you allow someone to arrive at an understanding of their type, I promise you will learn much more about them.

 

  • Remember that the Enneagram is not designed to pigeon-hole someone into a type. While we all have a type that reflects our automatic self and this type will not change, the Enneagram is designed to help us become more integrated. Our automatic type will learn to be more fluid and balanced. As we grow and move to the healthiest version of our type, we will not be as extreme in our type or reflect the negative attributes of our type as strongly. I often hear individuals use their type as an excuse for behavior or I see team members box someone in with phrases like, “as an 8 you always have to be in charge” or “she’s a 4 that’s why she’s so moody”. We must resist the urge to limit people’s potential by seeing them as the stereotype of their number.

 

  • Use the Enneagram to spark understanding of one another. We naturally view the world through our own lens and as a result have difficulty understanding the motivations and behaviors of others. Healthy processing of the Enneagram equips your team to have a greater understanding of one another because you learn the automatic responses and motivations of each type. Using the Enneagram as a tool for learning more about one another can open up curiosity and lead to greater compassion for your team members.

 

  • As a leader, use the Enneagram to know how to coach and develop your team. You will build trust and influence with your team as you seek to understand them. Knowing your teams’ core motivations and fears give you powerful insight to know how to coach them, encourage them and provide feedback. For example, when you’re working with a Type 2 you can be sensitive to the fact that their desire to help everyone often leads them to overcommit and often feel taken advantage of. With this knowledge, you can be on the lookout for when they are overextending themselves and help coach them to be more clear with their boundaries. You can also keep an eye out for other staff who may take advantage of their tendency to rescue others.

 

Helping your staff be both self-aware and others-aware is a tremendous way to build trust and develop healthy teams. The Enneagram is just one of many tools that can be a powerful resource in creating healthy and thriving organizational culture.

 

What tools have been helpful for the health and development of your team?