Where Do You Start?
This is a reprint of a post from Leadership Couples, written by my wife, Lori. I’m posting this here because I feel it contains some awesome insights on how to lead forward from whatever spot you find yourself in right now – in business, in ministry, and in marriage. Enjoy!
What if it’s way past the beginning?
What if where you’re starting is much further than the beginning?
What if this entity you’ve signed onto, signed up for, signed your life away for, has been on the journey longer than you’ve been alive – (or at least it feels like that!) – and you want to start? What then?
We could be talking about your marriage; you’re into it for more than 45 years, or 10 or 2 years. It’s not the beginning, it’s weathered some storms… and you want to start over.
Or we could be talking about your congregation or church. It’s existed for your grandparents, your parents and now you. It’s definitely not at the beginning. But you’ve been called to pioneer a new start… a brand new start with an old guard. You’re starting again.
It’s possible we’re talking about your new position in a family-owned business, or established non-profit. You’re new, your spot is new. The market is new. But you’ve still got the history behind you… How do you start – new?
You want to start. Start new. Start over. Start yet again. Where do you start?
Start with what’s the same.
Which things are the same in these 3 places to start: New, Over, and Again?
You are not alone.
In marriage, in ministry, and in business, whether you’re starting new, over or again, you are not alone.
People surround you. They’re going to support you or they’re going to hinder your efforts. Or they’re going to sit back and just watch.
Bottom line? You’ve got to get to know these people you’re with, because you’re not alone.
Get to know them in a new way.
Imagine you’re at the beginning and you’re starting to get to know them as though you’re all new to each other. (Even if they’re your parents, your spouse of 3 years or the retired minister who baptized you 20 years ago.)
How do you get to know these familiar people in a new way so you can start?
- ask questions
- listen intently
- spend time with them
It’s about forging a newness into your relationship. It’s about re-aligning, re-inventing, re-purposing to start. Start New, Start Over. Start Again.
You are part of the history.
You’re either going to be leveraging a good history or a messed up one. (Or something convoluted.)
What’s the same in “new-over-again”?
There is history.
Bottom line? You’ve got to make use of this history.
You can’t get rid of it, so use it.
Be strategic. Plan a way to:
- use your history to learn from
- use your history to build on
- use your history to point out truth
In marriage, if you want to start over with the same spouse, you’re going to have a history to learn from, to build on, and to identify what truths were strength and which ones were stumbling blocks. Use them to start over.
In ministry, if you want to start again and include that old guard in the newness, be deliberate about using the history of where you all have come from, when introducing the new. Build up with that history, use the truths of that history, and show how the newness you’re starting will enhance that history.
And if you’re starting new in a new spot, with a new market in a business or non-profit – then leverage what’s come before to show how history has always held new opportunities. You’re just the newest.
What else is the same in this journey to start: over, again or new?
You are leading.
If you want to start – new, again, or over – then you are a leader.
Bottom line? Suck it up. Lead.
Even if you are the only one who sees the benefit of starting – over, again or new – then start by leading yourself.
- look to other successful leaders and do what they’re doing
- get a book, here’s a list of resources, Pick one, read and start doing
- show up. Sometimes all leadership is about… is showing up. Again, and again, and again. Show up and lead.
If you want to start over in your marriage, surround yourself with friends with good marriages, you read (or listen to) a book on improving your marriage, and you keep on trying. Again. And again. And yet again.
If you want to start something – once again – with an old guard in your congregation or church, then find out how other leaders have introduced new changes within an old environment. Model their behavior. You keep reading. You show up, even if you’re all alone… at first. That’ll change.
And if you are in a new position, with a new market at an established business, or non-profit, then it’s the same. Look around in the world to see how others have done it, read about it, and just show up. Every day. Start new.
Start with what’s the same.
- Start with the people. Get to know them. Really know them.
- Start with the history. Know it. Leverage it.
- Start by leading.
Ready? Set? START!