Thursday, August 20, 2009

Buckets, Brains, and Drains

My church, the church I also work for part-time, SGCF, sent me to The Leadership Summit for the second time. What a smart investment. It is--without a doubt--the most powerful conference I've attended in the last 10 years. The collaboration of brilliant leaders from within and outside the church domain is unprecedented.

Lots of big brains.

The list goes on and on. All of these hosted by Bill Hybels, one of my mentors in faith.

What a privilege to attend.

Hybels confessed the downturn in the economy has created another full-time job for most leaders: how to navigate through this new reality. And, in his humble way, he also confessed his natural response to all of this was to work harder. In his own words, he said the life he was living was not sustainable. He had to make adjustments.

He drew a bucket on a paper. It's so simple. All of us have a bucket that holds our sense of peace and well-being. When the level is full or nearly so, we can lead, work, love, give and perform at our potential. However, the very act of doing these things drains the bucket. Add to this the people that we all must deal with that also have a "draining" effect on our energy, and you very quickly can begin to see the levels of peace, fullness, satisfaction drain away.

We have to re-fuel. We have to renew. We have to proactively take responsibility for the filling of our own bucket. For those of us who follow after God, this necessarily involves time with Him, with scripture, prayer, and truth. And, of course, it could involve engaging in more of the activities that are energy boosters (exercise, hobbies, time with family, etc.) and adequately monitoring the energy drains.

This is just one simple, but profound "take-away". More to follow; my bucket is spilling over.