growing into leadership

P1010042lately, i’ve been reflecting on how i grew into my leadership. specifically who had influence in my life to challenge and encourage me to lead as myself. today i’m thinking about the influence of my family.

it all started with my grandpa, my Papa Paul. he told my parents when i was just 3 years old that i was a leader – and that they could expect to work for me someday. my papa paul passed away when i was just 7 so i never had the chance to fully discuss what specifically he saw in me – my sneaking suspicion is that he saw a 3 year old who loved to boss around her parents and her little baby sister, used her charm to get what she wanted, and most importantly never took the word “no” as an official answer to any question.  i maybe didn’t exemplify the definition of leadership at age 3, but i am grateful that Papa Paul saw something in me before anyone else did.

maybe because of the words of my papa paul, my parents encouraged me as a leader each day of my childhood. my dad often told me to do my best, and stand out in the crowd, and work hard, and lead so that others would follow. and he modeled to me the life of a leader with integrity – to not play games with your co-workers, and to always tell the truth – despite how good it might feel in the moment to lie, and most importantly to never, never cheat. he convinced me that if i played by the rules and did my very best work each day – i would earn the right to lead, that i would be a respected and trustworthy leader. and he was right. 100% right.

i’ve often been in leadership situations in which i’ve been tempted to play games – to make the right move politically. to lead selfishly so that i could get ahead. and i always come back to the example my dad set and i choose to lead with honesty and integrity.

my mom, day by day encouraged my leadership with her words – which turned out great for me because my love language is words of affirmation. my mom used words to tell me what she saw in me – “i love the creativity that comes from your heart – i could never think the things you think.” or “i see the way people follow you when you lead.” my mom always supported and even encouraged my crazy expressions of leadership as a kid – specifically when i pitched the idea of turning our entire backyard, including her shed – into a “Summer’s Fun” kids camp – which included inviting all of the neighborhood kids over for a full week of games, art, races, prizes, and a carnival – in which we would invite all of the parents over for a bbq. i even hired my sister as the Assistant Director, and I typed up a contract for her (and i do mean “typed” as in i typed the contract on my parents’ typewriter) in which i promised to pay her $5 a day for her duties as Assistant Director (not Assistant to the Director). And to all of this – my mom said, yes! What a great idea, Amy! She really did encourage me with her words.

and so because of my family’s influence, i began growing into my leadership. the first step was acknowledging it. fully embracing the fact that God gave me leadership gifts to be used for His good and His Kingdom and for His children. Leading well, and leading as myself so that others would be affected.

how are you growing into leadership? and who specifically influenced the leader you are today?


One response to this post.

  1. Oh the Summer Fun Kids’ Camp! I had ideas like that too when I was a kid. Unfortunately, mine never came to fruition. We lived miles away from town so there were no neighborhood kids. : ( I still live in the country so I can’t even do it now! LOL


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