August 24, 2011

Stretch- The Secret of Effective Leadership

I like to work out at 24 Hour Fitness. 30 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of weight lifting is a panacea for me. My muscles respond and grow if I am faithful at this. But there is a part of my fitness routine that I am woefully inadequate in....STRETCHING.

My wife is a faithful stretcher and seeks to influence me in the higher ways of stretching. But I am a slow convert. It just seems to me that stretching doesn't accomplish much. Cardio- my lungs and heart expand...Lifting- my shirts get tight around the biceps. Stretching...I don't see immediate results.

But my wife, as usual, has a wisdom I don't yet possess. She understands that with stretching comes flexibility, resilience, adaptability, prevention to pain and injury, increased muscle capacity.

There are a lot of leaders who work hard but haven't learned the wisdom and power of STRETCHING.

Stretching is the SECRET of the RUBBER BAND. Have you ever tried to "shoot" a rubber band? If you don't stretch it far enough it has no power and flies nowhere. If you stretch it too far it simply breaks. But if you put the right amount of tension on it. WHAM it flies further than you imagined it could.

There are 10 Stretches for Leaders that I have identified. Let me share just one.
STRETCH between your REALITY and your VISION.
Reality is defined by where you are right now and what you have to work with currently.
Many leaders want to VISIONIZE without regard to their present reality.
They want to start from where they wish they were or where they inaccurately think they are.
Integrity in reality assessment is crucial.

Vision is defined as "a clear picture of your preferred future that produces passion in you today"
Many leaders never get a truly clear picture of where they are headed so there is no tension in their rubber band. Vision clarification is vital.
Being fully attached to REALITY and yet STRETCHING towards a defined VISION, that is where the power lies.
The power resides in the ability to STAY in the TENSION.
It is our natural tendency to want to ease the tension and become SLACKERS.
More to be said on the subject...but my prayer is that God would help me learn to STRETCH more effectively (and Deb...I promise I will start joining you for more stretching in the gym, too).

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