To begin, I wanted to offer an explanation of why there have been no posts to the blog for over a month. In doing so I will cover a situation that will occur with all leaders from time to time and most especially volunteer leaders; that is the situation of being unmotivated.
I believe there comes a time in every effort that seemingly has been on track and progressing that momentum stalls and sometimes is lost. The little successes that were once celebrated and served as motivation cease and are replaced with setbacks. The setbacks may not huge but are enough to cause a leader to say to himself, “why am I doing this?” Once self-doubt creeps into an effort then it can have a snowball effect and if a leader does nothing to remove it, he loses sight of his goals and sometimes just quits; either for a short while or altogether.
This pretty much explains what happened to me and I became very complacent about writing about leadership. I did think about writing but for some reason it didn’t seem that important. However, I did continue to study leadership. I read two leadership books, regularly followed several leadership blogs and worked on a plan to redesign this website. But for some reason the “spark” that normally occurs that motivates me to write a post never came.
I now understand that this last month was allowing myself a rest; a time spent in reflecting about my leadership goals, assessing my progress and determining the order of my priorities. Pastor Gordon MacDonald in his book Ordering Your Private World, calls rest “a time of looking backward.” He says we should reflect on our work and ask questions like: “What does my work mean? For whom did I do this work? How well was the work done? Why did I do this? What results did I expect, and what did I receive?” Leaders should always be asking these questions and if necessary “take a rest” to make sure they are answered.
The lesson presented in the EA degree about The Twenty-four Inch Gauge instructs us to use eight hours of our day for refreshment and sleep. Refreshment certainly means not only physical rest but mental rest as well. The MM lecture reminds us of two Masonic virtues that should be used as we rest mentally; silence and circumspection.
Leaders need to create a time to rest and reflect. It should be part of your daily routine. Perhaps if I had remembered this I wouldn’t have needed so long for the “writing spark” to come back. I have just added another personal daily goal; Rest and Reflect. You should think about doing the same.