I attended two conferences this summer in July and August. As I reflect back on them, a theme becomes apparent to me. The first conference was the Gallup Strengths Summit (GSS17) and the second was the Global Leadership Summit (GLS17).
I went to them with an expectancy there was a divine reason I was able to attend both. The GSS17 connected deeply with my faith and the connection my God-given Strengths have in accomplishing my life mission to walk alongside leaders to maximize their potential while living the life they love.
The GLS17 challenged me as a leader to discover and direct the influence I have with others in a way that is unique and fulfills my calling as a wife, mother, Gramma, friend and coach. A theme seemed to rise up for me which connected both conferences, and that’s what I want to talk about today.
I didn’t budget to attend the GLS17, so when I was gifted a ticket I knew it was important for me to be there. God had something for me to learn. But what was it?
The speaker who had the most profound effect on me was Fredrik Haren, who spoke on Creative Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World. He said an idea is when two formerly known things combine to make a new thing. What that said to me was to combine what is already created to create something new–and that is the birth of a new idea.
Then Haren defined creativity as involving a person in the creative process of combining knowledge and information to form a new idea. In that moment, I realized God was asking me to consider creatively combining Strengths and Leadership in a new way and something new would result.
Why did this impact me so deeply?
Every time Haren offered an example, the new thing created was very unexpected, yet simple. He used the example of combining a sink and a urinal. It was quite simple, but until I saw it, I didn’t get it. Put them together and the benefits become many. It increases the likelihood of hand washing!
Often when I struggle with a concept God has challenged me to consider, I go to His Word in the Bible. I look for what it says to me. Since the word “create” was in every aspect of this new concept, I immediately thought of the creation story in Genesis. I was blown away by what I discovered.
As I began reading from Genesis 1
As I began reading Genesis, I noticed a pattern arise. I saw three profoundly creative ideas of God in Genesis. Each idea lead to a very simple and necessary outcome.
Idea #1: “Evening” and “Morning” combined to be a “Day.”
In the first example, our lives are measured by the days we have to live on this planet. We know that evening and morning combined is 1 day, but we simply refer to these two things as a “day.”
Idea #2: The “Work” of creation and “Rest” on the seventh day combined to be “Holy.”
God thought so much of this idea that He did it first as an example for us to follow.
The second example is the least commonly thought. The idea that six days of work and one day of rest combine as the idea of “holy” is mind bending for me. This causes me to then ask the question, “If I am holy by following this idea, is that creativity in God’s eyes?” Because of this, I’m motivated to honor His example in the pursuit of holy creativity.
Idea #3: “Dust of the earth” and “God’s breath of life” combined to make “man a living being.”
Then finally, the third example is one probably most controversial in our culture today. Scientists argue many theories of where and how man came to be. As for me, those ideas take much more faith than I have. Instead, it is far easier for me to believe the idea of an all knowing and loving God who reached down to form man out of the dust of the earth, then chose to breathe His own breath of life into this form to make it into a living breathing being, possessing the image of the Creator.
God in Genesis gives us the example of creativity being the holy combining of two formerly different things together to create a unique new idea.
As I began to reflect on the story of creation in Genesis I began to wonder what combining Strengths and Leadership together might become.
My connection with Strengths & Leadership
As a coach, I bring the power of Gallup’s Clifton Strengths to my clients because it so accurately describes how they bring their best to every single thing they do. Research shows these strengths are innate and rise up out of the core of who we are. As God created beings, I have to believe He gave us these strengths as divine gifts for carrying out our unique callings in order to make a difference in the world in which we live.
I have seen it happen over and over when a client discovers and begins to name those talents and build them into strengths. Their lives become so much more directed and powerful. The leadership within them begins to rise up.
Leadership, on the other hand I believe is acquired and can be learned. Things like environment and experience either stifle or bring out leadership qualities in each person. We can lead people astray, or lead people upward toward a greater combined purpose to bring about good. The choice is given to each of us.
Now It’s Your Turn
I don’t have a full understanding of the combination of strengths and leadership yet, but I’m on board for the journey to find out.
I would like to invite you on a journey of discovering this with me. Please comment below and let me know if you’re with me, and subscribe to my blog as I promise to send an email every time I publish something new. I often am inspired to write because of my conversations with you my readers, so let’s create, understand, develop, and grow together.
Yours in living life fully, Cheryl.