FIVE LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM MY GRAND CANYON HIKE
I finally did it! I HIKED the Grand Canyon! After years of wanting to just SEE this wonder of the world, I not only SAW it and wept, I HIKED IT!
Here’s some of my thoughts as I hiked and prayed for leaders.
1. The trail is not easy.
There is nothing that says being a “leader” is easy. We have to know that going in. In hiking The Canyon, there are levels of difficulty as related to various trails. Similarly, LEADERSHIP is a high-level trail with dangerous curves, drop-offs, isolation, elevation-related challenges, surprise weather patterns and so much more. Be prepared. Even Jesus said, “In this world, we will all face difficulties….” John 16:33.
2. Enjoy the beauty around you while on the journey.
I found myself looking around at my boots so much….so many drop-offs, sharp rocks, unstable surfaces. On a brief stop to catch my breath, I looked around, I looked up and I looked down and, trust me, I had a “WOW” moment — so much of my energy had been on the “trail” itself and not the beauty that was everywhere. This amazing creation, with scenes changing as light reflects, with shadows and contrasts to the layers of rock, limestone, granite and sandstone, slopes, cliffs, and vivid colors…..I needed to “stop and smell the rocks”. Our journey in leadership is not the focus that we are leaders, but that we have so many beautiful people that God has put into our path. Enjoy the relationships that God has given you on the path of influence. Leaders pay attention to people, not just their own journey! “Then God surveyed everything He had made, savoring its beauty and appreciating its goodness.” Genesis 1:31 The Voice
3. Ask advice from others who have walked the trail.
Other trekkers know this perilous pathway. They know the “highs and lows”. They know the dangers, the best views and the best place to get fresh water. I didn’t hike The Canyon without tons of research beforehand. I read the stories of those who had gone before. And when I got on the trail, I found those who had already been where I was going. The Holy Spirit gave us a good word – “Without advice plans go wrong,
but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 GWT
4. Take time to rest and be refreshed.
I had to “unplug” my legs and calm my rapid heart-beat many times during the climb. “Where’s the shelter? Where’s the fresh water?”, was my quest after being on the trail for a time. Every leader needs rest and recovery. Besides, every time we rest, and fully rely on God, we have another reminder that we are not God. So our “leadership world” will not fall apart by time-outs. But on the contrary, if we don’t “come apart”, we will “fall apart”. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2
5. Celebrate the small steps.
I could not have made the climb back up without the “small steps”. I have to admit the alternatives to stopping were going through my mind. I could picture myself on a donkey with a big white blanket with a red cross draped across its back. I had small visions of a helicopter landing nearby to rescue the weary. Get it together and take a small step and then be glad you were able to accomplish a small step! Anyway leader…..God has a grip on your hand! “Stalwart walks in step with Godhis path blazed by God, he’s happy. If he stumbles, he’s not down for long. God has a grip on his hand.” Psalms 37:23,24 MSG
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