People are ok, most of the time.
I choose to stand as close as I can to the line of really enjoying other people, or wanting to put on Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak and never be seen again.
It doesn’t even depend on the day, it depends on the minute, the situation, or well, the people.
Do you do well ‘with’ people? Like, at school, or in your job, or when you’re home with the kids most of the day, do you look forward to being with people, doing things with people? Or are you in absolute bliss when you’re on you’re own?
I sway between the two.
As a part of LAUNCH, I’m with a great team of Youth Workers that each have their area of expertise. But I’m also out there on my own quite a bit.
Like, when we’re figuring out how to expand the reach of our Leadership Ministry, we need to work together as a team. We need to listen to, learn from, and laugh with each other.
But when I’m out speaking to a crowd, it had better be on my own.
I’ve done the shared stage thing a few times, and it’s ok, but there’s nothing quite like having full ownership of the room and guiding the crowd through the talk exactly as you hoped.
(This also leaves you being the only one to blame when it bombs…and, well, that’s not the most fun).
This month, I’ll be leading a workshop on Teamwork to a group of young leaders out in BC. Which is significant because I’ll be in Toronto, leading the workshop and assessment debrief over Skype - a FIRST for us! As part of the process for these Young Leaders, they take our LAUNCHTools Teamwork Assessment, a 360 degree survey about how one reacts in different ‘teamwork' atmospheres and situations. It’s super enlightening stuff.
I’ve filled out a billion of these personality and leadership-style surveys, but these ones seem to be unique in their analysis; and more than that, in how they bring others into the assessment to take the survey on your behalf. The results are all mashed together and give you a great report about how self-aware you are of your own skills and character or teamwork style.
Here’s the thing,
Sometimes, all I want to do is be in a room with people, bouncing ideas off one another and coming up with the next world-changing movement! Other times, I might be in that room with people and there’s nothing I want more than for them all to disappear and leave me alone with a whiteboard and a fistful of markers with some Bon Jovi playing in the background to keep my body moving while I write all my ideas out. Whoa-oh, Livin’ on a Prayer!
Yet, I know I couldn’t do the ‘alone’ thing forever.
It works best when I Can be alone, but know that I'm part of a team.
People, somewhere, that I can call on for help and support. And I bet that’s how most of us really are. Regardless of how you perform at your best, whether that’s with a team or on your own, you need to know that at any given moment you can be just you, or you can be part of this team, listening to, learning from, and laughing with others to create something amazing.
A few weeks ago I was super discouraged, by support-raising, school assignments, Donald Trump, how my kids were acting, you know the place right? So, I called someone on my support team, one of our financial supporters. We went out for coffee, and after about 65 mins together I felt ready to tackle all these issues! (Except for Trump, not going near that).
This is what I mean. When so much of your day is spent alone, in your own head, maybe you need a team to help get you out of that head. This is team work. Not just a group of 5 people creating a fun video to get a new idea across to the board, but individuals knowing they’re work is part of something bigger.
I hope you have a team in your work or your home or your church that encourages you.
I hope you’re part of a team of people somewhere that you know you can trust and will always lift you up to feel better than when you came to them.
I also hope you have space in your daily rhythm to be alone and to work out what only you and God can work out together.
Today, as I sit here alone writing this, I’m swaying towards the line of wanting to be with people. Thankfully, even though I don’t know where you are right now, or when you’re reading this, I know that there are people with me, constantly, supporting the work I’m doing with Young Leaders and wanting to be involved in the journey.