I don’t mean Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce. And I don’t mean fierce in the dictionary sense: savage, vicious, ferocious. More like Seth Godin fierce.
Wait, let me back up…
You see, for the past several years I’ve chosen a one-word focus for the year. This word gets written at the top of the white board in my office and serves as a reminder of what I believe God is calling me to in the year to come. This prayerfully chosen word inspires focus and determination in my personal and professional life.
For 2013, my word was Courage. For 2014, I had two words in Dare Greatly. And as the clock was ticking down towards 2015, I was still wondering what my word would be.
And then I started reading Seth Godin’s phenomenal new book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn)*. And there it was, on page 78, a word I would never in a million years pick was jumping off the page as I thought about my life and leadership in the coming year.
On page 78, Seth explains how furious is not the same as fierce. How being furious and getting yourself all worked up, fighting and striving, letting your ego lead, never works. But listen to what he says about the person who displays fierceness:
He cares so much about the work and the community and the opportunity to make a difference that he’s able to be rational when everyone else winds themselves into a knot being furious.
Fierceness takes honesty and commitment. Fierceness means telling yourself the truth about what’s at stake and what’s possible, without expending a drop of energy on trying to make everything okay…
Fierce means living with the simultaneous certainty that this is vitally important and this might not work.
Oh Leader Friend. Your leadership is vitally important to your team, your organization. Your words, your efforts, your planning and prayers all matter. And if you’re exploring and learning and growing and innovating you will constantly be aware that this version of the product, this attempt at meeting a need, it just might not work.
But it might.
And isn’t that just what God is asking of us in our leadership? To have faith and to put our whole selves out there for the work He has called us to without 100% guarantee that everything will be okay in the end.**
Which means we have to lean on Him. Rely on Him. Run to Him for strength, direction, provision, and peace.
And is there really any other way to lead?
Leader Friend, let’s be fierce leaders: this year and every year.
*I can’t begin to tell you how highly I recommend this book. Like go right now and buy several copies to share with your friends and read it all together and make a difference.
**Our pastor, John Stickl shared a great message along these lines last Sunday. He shared how he wants to really “go for it” this year and not hold back with worry of what others will think or what the outcomes might be – just all out obedience. Yes and yes.