Last week I posted about the importance of identifying the voices in your life and then maximizing them for learning opportunities. I want to continue with some more things I'm learning when it comes to following well, being mentored, and embracing the life of a young leader. These are all things that have ben passed down to me that I'm constantly needing to be reminded of on a sometimes daily basis.
1. Know the importance of timing - Be sensitive to the rhythm of your leader. Sometimes it's best to schedule time for the long or hard conversations to make sure you are both fully present mentally and emotionally. I learned this one the hard way. I had an extremely hard and sensitive conversation with my mentor...on his birthday! I think it's easy to blur the boundaries with the people that have opened their life up to you and sometimes that leads to bad timing on our part. So be aware of their calendar and look for the right opportunities to barge in.
2. Never underestimate a connection - When someone introduces you to someone, consider it a compliment. Follow through on the opportunity to learn from someone new. I've been surprised how often those relationships work for good. Everyone gains success with the help of others. Failure to realize that leads to false pride. Don't feel bad or shy away from using the connections and networking relationships you've been able to build.
3. Be a team player - Be the encourager and positive influence to those on the team. Look for ways to add value to the people around you. Don't just be another meeting on their calendar. Instead, come alongside them and add value to what they are already doing.
4. Be faithful with little - Demonstrate in the small and unimportant tasks the characteristics you will have in the large and important tasks. Be teachable, patient, humble, moldable and grateful. Recognize that most things of lasting value take time and discipline to achieve, so be faithful in the process.
5. Write everything down - Be just short of annoying on capturing the things you are taught. It helps you remember, and it also communicates that you care. I have a leadership journal that is full of what I have taken away from certain situations- what was done well, what I would have done differently, what I wanted to take away from how the leader handled it.