I got some great advice from staff today. The guidelines I was given were very well thought out and explained; there were not much that I could disagree with nor was there anything I could complement with and contribute. I appreciate the discernment they put into the guidelines they gave me, but I felt very uncomfortable receiving it.
The reason I felt uncomfortable was because the guidance was so well detailed, and I felt undervalued as a past and current leader of Epic. For me, my thoughts wandered toward, “Why was I not given this much direction in the past when we in similar situations?” It’s not so much about whether our past leadership teams were personally cared for as much as it is about efficiently and effectively picking leadership that can mobilize a movement. You know, why didn’t the staff step in last year (or the year before) when we needed help sorting and discerning leaders then as well? The staff are stepping in now with more authority than before and their input and involvement makes a big difference, one that would have assisted us in the past. I guess the thought process is… “If they had helped us last year, actually helped us, we wouldn’t have dug so many holes to fill this year.”But even so, that’s not really what bothers me. What bothers me is me.
I personally wish they had assisted us in earlier years of leadership discernment because it would have reduced the number of obstacles we’d have to overcome for the past 2 years. If the discernment process were simplified or we were directed more clearly, then I wouldn’t have experienced as many of the petty inconsistencies of leadership – visioncasting ability, commitment, personal growth, community building among leaders, etc. What this all culminates into is the thought that if they had stepped in and actually helped more previously, I wouldn’t have had to make uninformed decisions on how to pick leaders. If I learned how to pick good leaders, I wouldn’t have some of the problems we’ve had. If we didn’t have these problems, we would have been an effective movement. If we were more effective as an Epic movement, then I would actually feel like I achieved the vision of epic while I was here at A&M.
And there it is, my pride speaks louder than anything else. I wanted to accomplish epic’s vision, but because I don’t feel like I was an effective leader while at A&M, I’ll never see that personally come to fruition through my works. I want to feel and see the glory worked through my hard work, but I’ll never get that. So my pride tells me to get angry because “if only the staff had asserted themselves earlier, I would have been better.” And so as I was reading the guidelines, it was hard for me to absorb them graciously because the only thing that was going through my mind was, “I didn’t do good enough, whats wrong with me? I’m obviously doing the wrong thing now, and so I guess my time is up and I should get out of here. It’s time for the next time to step in, and they’ll be better than I was.” Something on those lines, with less or more intensity.
In a nutshell, it’s hard to accept that I was/am leading people wrong. And although accepting Jonathan’s criticism about how I can lead better or more effectively is nothing new, it’s still hard to realize and accept. There are good things coming for Epic leadership, and I will continue to pray and for their growth and success as a movement seeking true revival on this campus. As for me, for now, I have some acceptance and growing to do.