If you don’t know me personally, I’m going to share with you right now that I’m a super-sensitive soul, you know, the wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve type of woman. And perhaps like you, I’ve never taken well to criticism.
However, age and experience has taught me that in order to be an effective leader & a finer woman, I have to be willing to admit personally and publicly when I’ve made a mistake. This can be hard on the ego and way easier said than done. Especially when you’ve messed up royally. God is still working on me in this area, but the good news is that I know that I’m not who I used to be – and I praise him for that!
I had dinner over my mother-in-laws house last weekend and as my husband and I were leaving she remarked that I had put on some weight and that I needed to get back in the gym. I’m not going to lie – I was straight up hurt. And my mother-in-law is a wonderful woman, but she has a way say of speaking to you that pierces like a knife. Now in full transparency, my first reaction was to tell her to mind her business (I told ya’ll God is still working on me!), but when I stripped away my feelings about what she said and looked the truth square in the eye, I had to admit that she was right. I hadn’t been taking care of myself as well as I should have and I let myself slip. That Monday, I re-started my exercise and healthy eating regimen. I didn’t buck back at her, or deny that I had indeed gained weight. Instead, I used her comments as fuel for doing what I knew in my heart, I needed to do.
I sometimes see those characteristics in those of us who serve in leadership. Too many of us ONLY want the titles & accolades that come with these positions. We want the compliments, to sit at the head of the table, to show off on the dais, but not take the heat for our mistakes. True leaders, true finer women, take responsibility for their actions – even & especially when it’s uncomfortable. Admitting that you’ve messed up isn’t a sign of weakness – and while it may be a blow to your ego, it’s actually the ultimate sign of strength. And it takes a strong, Godly, grounded woman – someone not so wound up in their ego to be able to do this. The fact is, you can’t get better if you’re not willing to look at & fix what’s broken. Deflecting, trying to hide your mistakes and making everyone else wrong speaks way louder than your mistake ever could. Had I bucked back at my mother-in-law based solely on my hurt feelings, I probably would’ve never got up off my butt to work out the way I needed to.
We’ve got to do better ya’ll and ask ourselves – BEFORE I run for that office, seek that position or do whatever we’ve been called to do, can I leave my ego at the door for the greater good? Am I truly ready for EVERYTHING that being a leader entails?
If the answer is yes, then please step up to the plate because our families, our communities and Zeta needs you. If the answer is no, then do some serious soul-searching and ask God to help transform you in those areas that need work. And then DO the work.