Learning from your Past

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere are things I learned from my past that help me today.

Yes, this is my picture when I was 17 years old.  Do you like the suit?

When I was 13 years old, I was working as a custodian at the church my father was a pastor of.  My job was to clean the church during the week, then on Sunday Morning, before church started, I was to dust and make sure that things were clean and ready.

I vividly remember my father not only “telling” me what I was supposed to do, but he “showed” me exactly what it should look like.  He created not only an expectation, but he helped me understand why it was important that the church be “ready” for Sunday Morning.

I held that job for years through Junior High and High School, and even though it was tough to get up on Sunday Morning, I knew that there was an expectation for me, I knew what it was supposed to look like and I understood why this was important.

I wish I could say that every week I met the standard and expectation, but I can’t.  When it wasn’t as it was supposed to be, my dad gently reminded me what was required, and I worked to maintain that standard.

Today, I find that there are a number of times that I look back at that experience, and I’m amazed at what I learned from it, and how it fleshes itself out today in my life:

* When I am setting up a room for a training event or a meeting, I have a high “standard”.  I want it to look a certain way, I want it to be clean, I want people’s first impression to be, “Wow! The room looks nice and it’s ready for us.”   This came from the years at the church.

* When I’m creating materials, I want them to be organized, I want them to be ready, I want them to be presented in a certain way.  The value of helping people understand that I’m excited to see them, I’m ready for them, I’ve put work into the preparation of this time… that came from my years at the church.

* When I ask others to do something, I am willing to not only “tell” them, but I “show” them.  As a leader, there’s nothing that I’m not willing to do in order to meet my goals and purpose. There is no job that is too small, too meaningless, and too ‘below me”.  I set the standard, and I help others understand what they need to do to reach that standard.  I learned that from my dad, at the church.

Think about your past.

What lessons do you remember that still make an impression on your life today?

Take some time to think and remember.  If you’d like to share below in the comment section, we’d like to hear some of those lessons.

“The past can hurt, but the way I see it; you can either run from it or learn from it.”  The Lion King

Russ Cline has wide experience in church, mission, and global leadership. Beginning in the local church in Southern California, then moving to Ecuador for 16 years to be a part of launching three distinct organizations, Russ is now back in Southern California working with Extreme Response International in providing leadership coaching and organizational development to leaders around the world. Russ' passion is to come alongside organizations and to help them identify areas of growth, focus and change, resulting in greater impact and effectiveness. Russ graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Business and Christian Education and completed his graduate work in Organizational Development. He has been married for 29 years to Gina, and they have three kids: Rheanna, Riley and Raylin. Write directly to Russ at: rcline@extremeresponse.org www.extremeresponse.org www.leadermundial.org twitter: leadonesource, leadermundial

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