The discussion was growing more and more intense. The gentle tone of participants was quickly being staccato bullets that were aim and fired at the heart of anyone potentially unsympathetic to the speaker’s perspective. As we approached the halfway mark for the time allocated for the meeting, I was no longer sure anyone remembered why s/he had been invited.
Even as I look back on the meeting with the benefit of time of space, I struggle to see things clearly. The intent of the meeting was to work as a group towards a shared goal. I came in thinking that everyone held a clear picture of the goal and its universal nature. Additionally, given our varied skillsets and experiences, we were positioned to help each other achieve what we all wanted! Taking steps together on this road was clear, simple, and obvious; at least that is what I wanted to believe.
From our steps in the meeting through the halfway mark, it appeared we were farther away from our goal than when we had started. Our direction was questionable. Our next steps uncertain. Success was hiding; I do not think anyone knew where she was.
For me, several lessons emerged.
It is important to stand up for what is important. In this case, it was the goal we shared as a company. It was a universal calling. Even as I look back, I can hear the echo of our calling’s final plea; “What’s wrong with you, Sea, that you ran away? and you, River Jordan, that you turned and ran off?” (Psalm 114.5)
Modelling the right behaviors is more important than the goal. In this case, we needed respect, patience, and a willingness to pause. In my embrace of each, I gifted others with the opportunity to share the embrace.
Separate the personal from the community. You and I are accountable for what we do, not others. We decide the role we will play. Our journey is our own. Our responsibility to others is to be a positive force.
My take-away, stand tall and live.