I was asked to speak at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce in December. A friend of mine shared Choose Joy with the chamber and thought it would be a great topic for their chamber members. I was so excited that I, of course, said yes. Then realized that I needed to figure out how this topic would be helpful to businesses.
I have been in Human Resources, talent and leadership development for 30 years and wanted to have the opportunity to use this ministry in the business world. Through prayer, God put on my heart to talk about Sara as a leader. The title became… “Leadership Lessons from a Homebound Girl.”
Sara was a global leader! She touched the lives of thousands of people not only in the United States but in other countries as well. They followed her blog. They sent her care packages. They reached out to my family after Sara passed away, expressing their condolences. We skyped her funeral so they could be a part of saying goodbye. People that never met her except through her words. Through her leadership.
I was reading Jenni Catron’s book, Extraordinary Leadership, and I believe it is a perfect description of the leadership characteristics Sara possessed and I believe all leaders should possess.
Leadership is influencing. Jenni challenges us to look at leadership as sacred work because you are influencing and shaping human lives.
In Luke 10:27, we are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And to love our neighbor as ourself. This is where Jenni saw the true characteristics of extraordinary leaders. Those that lead with all their Heart (Relationships), Soul (Centered), Mind (Strategic) and Strength (Visionary) — all of you.
Sara was a servant leader. Every relationship she developed across the globe she cherished. Sara was aware and present in every moment, making people her top priority. She was centered and humble, reminding us that this life is not about us. Sara was visionary and saw the big picture, reminding us of our purpose — to fulfill God’s plan by living the best life we can with what we are given. This means we must not be a victim of our circumstances. Sara showed strength. Living with a debilitating disease, loss, and pain, she showed us that we still have the ability to choose. Choose joy.
We are all leaders in some capacity. Remember to lead with all of you…your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Lead as Jesus calls us to…through servant leadership.