Learnt 4 Things from 1 Conversation with a Leader

Some leaders have the power to shock you . I had a leader shock me a few weeks ago and I keep thinking about it

A very Senior Leader in our church called me to tell me she wouldn’t be attending an event I had invited her to. She told me she had no excuse, she just wouldn’t be coming.

Here is why this shocked me

1. She called

She took time  to call and actually speak to me. She didn’t send a text, write an email or just ignore the invitation. She called – and in so doing she took a risk. She had to deal with my reaction to her call. We actually had to have a conversation about this.

2. She was honest and told me she had no excuse

She said normally she really liked the type of event I had invited her to but this night she just wanted to go home. She did not give me the whole” I am so busy and so important that I need a night off ” line . I happened to know she had  a big week but I brought that up she did not.  She just said I really don’t have any excuse I just want to go home. I love that !

3. She chose to build our relationship with transparency.

By being transparent she allowed me to see her for who she really is. She is a leader who values relationships and makes the call. She is a leader who is honest and real. She is a leader who can take care of herself in the middle of a big life.

4. She showed again how to lead without people pleasing.

She was confident in her decision, not afraid to tell me she was not coming. It was a real, clean conversation and there wasn’t any need for her to people please by coming up with any excuse or reasons.

We laughed, I thanked her. I already loved her leadership style – now I am even more of a fan. I bet she has no idea how much I learned that night.

I want to learn from every person in my world and I learnt something wonderful from that conversation. I learnt leadership that is real, honest and clean can be shocking and it is so wonderful.

 

(P.S Thanks to this of you who filled in the questionnaire asking you what you wanted to see in my blog. I am having a week off next week – and will be going through them all to find them and start answering your questions )

So I guess It’s Not All About Me !

This week I want to do something very different – I want to find out about you . I want to know about the people who read my blog.

I don’t want to keep putting out my thoughts without getting some back from you all !

So I decided it would be fun this week to do a little survey – to get your opinions and feedback.

I want your help in making my blog better. To be honest I don’t have a clue what I am doing. I just started to write because I felt compelled to.

So now two years later – I want to hear from you guys.

So here is a an anonymous survey that will honestly take you 2 minutes to do – it is all on one page.

You would help me so much if you could fill it in.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PamBorrowBlog

Thanks in advance. I really value the incredible people who take the time to go on this journey with me.

Here is a picture of a gorgeous beach in Margaret River, WA to show my appreciation !

Margaret River

 

 

Made a Big Mistake, Should have Known Better !

 

Recently when I was travelling I made an insensitive cross cultural remark at a dinner. I made a dig at another nationality without thinking that there was some-one at the table of that nationality. Such a rookie mistake.

To be honest I don’t remember what I said, but I remember the hurt I caused. I also remember that my little remark opened the door, for four other people who respect me, to add to my remark causing even more hurt.

After I  found out that I had been offensive , I apologised profusely. I just wish it had never happened.

Here is what I learned

1. You never know the backgrounds of people listening to a conversation so any snide remark about any people group is seriously unhelpful. (Most of you already knew this- I did too – I just forgot)

2. As a person in a leadership role – you make take an inch. The people who look up to you will then take a mile. What we do is modelled good and bad. This is mostly sub-conscious . People don’t think “Pam made a negative comment, hey now I have permission to make one too” – they just do it, because I opened the door for it.

3. Apologising is good. However I cannot undo the damage done to the  relationships of the other people in the room who joined in my negativity. I can pray and believe for them but I cannot apologise for them. I am responsible for the repercussions.

4. Pride comes before a fall. Honestly I thought I was pretty good cross-culturally. Apparently not ! I need to go back to being more aware.

5. The cheap laugh is never cheap. It costs a lot. It breaks trust.

It wasn’t a total disaster. This is mostly because the person I offended was incredibly gracious. But it has crossed my mind numerous times in the last few weeks.

I want to be a better person than I was that night. I don’t ever want to cause pain in relationships because of insensitivity.

I want to be a leader that opens the door for positive faith filled words to flow. Words that build people. Words that encourage and uplift. Words that are filled with grace and truth.

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)

5 Surprising Benefits of Travel for Leaders

This week I am in the US and Canada for work. Most years I get to do some work travel which is amazing. I have also personally done a decent amount of travel on holidays -not as much as many people, but travel is definitely high on my list of the joys in life. To be honest I have probably spent more money on travel than I have on shoes – and I love shoes !

We al know about the normal benefits of travel ; expanding your understanding of the people’s lives, experiencing other cultures and enriching your soul with the beauty of the planet.

However for leaders there are some surprising benefits.

1. Loss of Control

When you are travelling you are frequently at the mercy of many other people. Whether it is an airplane pilot or some-one picking you up from an airport, you have to rely on people. For people who are use to calling the shots this can be un-nerving. It is good to feel this again and realise we are never really in control. We need to stay in a place of dependence on God, good to be reminded of this as we travel so we are prepared for life’s challenges

2. Keeps us Flexible.

No matter how you travel, even if you can do first class five star all the way (and that is certainly not me -yet !!) you have to stay flexible when you travel. Planes are delayed, baggage gets lost, host families eat dinner at 9pm, instead of 7pm. In your normal life you can get quite stuck in your ways – flexibility means we can flow with these experiences. This ability to be flexible makes us better leaders and ministers because we can learn to flow with the Spirit

3. Teaches us Patience

If you live on the bottom of the world like I do, most places I travel to require a LONG flight. Even short flights require early check-ins and long lines to go through security checks. These places give us a good gauge of how the fruit of the Spirit is operating in our lives.

4. Creates a Strength in our Walk with God

Of course we all prefer to sit or walk in our special place to meet with God. Routines are good for us. However I have had some amazing revelations at 12,000 feet up. We need to have strength in our walk with God that allows us to connect with him wherever we are.

5. Creates a Character Check

Yes we all can behave well in our spheres of influence where our roles are defined. How do we behave in a city where no-one knows us. How do we treat people when we are tired and lost. Will we rip off local people when travelling alone ?

If you can possibly do it, build some travel into your life. It doesn’t have to be expensive, get on a train and go to the next state, stay in a backpackers for a night. Have an adventure – it will do you a surprising amount of good !

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)

 

 

 

What Do You Believe ?

A few months ago a thought took root in my mind. It started as a seed and was soon on its way to becoming a fully grown tree. It was a tree that was covered in thorns and was choking many other trees and my joy.The thought said that my value was linked to a negative in my life circumstances. It took me going on holiday and climbing a mountain to meet with God to get rid of that noxious weed.

It reminded me how important it is to know what we believe – the thought that had taken hold was based on a lie, and I should never have let it take root.

Here are a few areas where we need to know what exactly we believe. (I am sure you can think of so many more)

1. Who God is

I am reminded of the parable of the talents – if we believe, as one of the men did , that God is a hard task mater, it will influence everything about how we live life. It will cause us to bury our talents and live in fear. If we believe God is a goof Father, we will live in confidence and rest in the knowledge that we are loved.

2. The Value of Human Life

If we honestly believe every person is made in the image of God – it will mean that we will value every person we encounter. It means that prejudices and favouritism should not be part of our world. It means that the life of a homeless person is valuable, the life of a disabled person is valuable, the life of a person who has nothing at all to give us is valuable.

3. We can make a difference 

In this media soaked world it is easy to get compassion fatigue, feel overwhelmed and do nothing. Alternatively we can believe that every act of kindness brings a change, that every word can shift an atmosphere – that we can be the light of the world to our family, friends and neighbours.

It is so important to know what we really believe and to keep digging up the seeds of wrong beliefs that we all have . That’s why I love studying theology – it keeps me in a place of seeking to understand the faith I profess. Its why reading the Bible is key to life. We start to see the areas that our beliefs are going to paralyse us or cause us to treat people or ourselves badly. Then we can dig out those noxious trees and live the fulfilling life we were meant to!

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)

5 Principles I use to Guide me on Social Media

Like many of you I engage with Social Media all day – in one form or another- and until recently it was a large part of my job! So I was paid to be on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter !

Along the way I have developed a few internal principles I use to guide me – they mean I have boundaries that are in place to help me navigate the wild and wonderful world that is social media

1. Be kind 

Thats it – just be kind. Don’t be mean and vindictive. Don’t shame people publicly. Be kind.

2. Be generous

I LIKE lots of things and i comment when somethings wonderful .

I see it as a very simple way to give people a little bit of encouragement – we all need a little bit of encouragement.

3. Be positive.

I always make sure anything I put up ,even if it is about a tough situation, has Hope in it.

I don’t ever put up my personal struggles. I have close friends and family for that. Random people following me on Instagram may be lovely but they haven’t earned the right to my heart.

4. Don’t get involved in other people’s arguments

I don’t have the time or the energy – and I am not sure it is good use of either. I run away from quarrels and controversy on social media.

I know who I am, I do best if I can sit and talk through an issue face to face.

5. Don’t compare.

We all only put up the photos  that make us look young, hip,  hide our double chins and make our lives look fabulous . So does everyone else. Stephen Furtick says it best “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life to some-one else’s highlight reel”. Instagram is not real life ! Enjoy your own, in the moment, life, don’t let comparisons rob you of it. (This is a work n progress for me)

and a bonus

6. Take a break

Make sure you schedule Social Media Breaks – holidays, Sabbaths – whatever works for you. So you have a time where you disconnect and let your soul restore itself from the input overload.

 

I often wonder how Jesus would have used Social Media. One thing I know – he would have used it to reach people with the Love of the Father – but not in some cheesy christian cartoon !!

Any principles you would like to add ?

(If you would like to get my blog in your email and never have to look for it on social media again – just subscribe on the side. I can’t guarantee it will always be brilliant, I can promise it will always be real – my aim is that it would always be helpful)

 

5 Benefits of Turning Your Emails Off at Night

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I love technology. I love being connected to friends near and far. I love access to all kinds of input that enriches my world.

However since I got back from my Long Service Leave two years ago I have started turning my emails OFF on my phone at nights and weekends.

Before this I was known to have my emails permanently on – and reply to emails all times of the day and night. I did this mostly because that’s what everyone was doing. I thought it meant I could get ahead of the game and save myself some time at work.

Here are 5 benefits  I have found since I decided to turn Emails OFF at night.

1. It gives me an actual break from work – turns out if I keep emailing at night I am effectively working 12-14 hours and this is exhausting. I need mental and physical rest in the evenings and especially on my sabbath day on the weekend.

2.If I return emails all hours of the day and night people will expect immediate turn around time and I will create an expectation I cannot sustain.

3.  Checking emails at night makes me feel like I am never OFF work and this leads to staleness in the work place. This means that I am actually less productive and creative during my work days.

4. It means I give full attention to my family and friends – instead of giving them a distracted Pam who looks at her phone every time it bings. This gives us all more meaningful connections.

5. It reminds me I am not that important ! Pretty much everything I do can wait until tomorrow to get a response. When something is really urgent people will text. However even this is very rare. When I feel the need to email people back in the evenings it creates a false sense of how important I am. This is a dangerous place to live. I need to be comfortable in my identity as a daughter of God – not as some-one who works all hours of the day and night.

I am hoping I am the only crazy one who had their emails on all hours of the day and night (when I was checking email when I went the bathroom at 2am – I could have guessed I had a problem)

If you are on email at night – I would suggest for the sake of your health and longevity -you turn EMAIL OFF.

(If you would like to get content like this  in your email regularly and never have to look for it on social media again – just put your email address in  the subscribe section . My goal is to help you avoid some of the mistakes I have made and to encourage you on your journey!)