I’m still learning from my Paraguay experience. The most I reflect on it, the more I recall the experience I had when got to train in Paraguay’s Congress.
I believe I was meant to be there and here’s what I have learned so far.
I. LEADING IS ABOUT TAKING PURPOSEFUL ACTION
When we, 8 coaches and 4 translators, got to our destination, we quickly realized we didn’t have enough materials. We had materials for fifty (50) people and we were supposed to train a hundred (100).
In the middle of the confusion, I chose to connect with our host and quickly figure out what could we do to get by while the rest of the coaches contacted someone to send us more material.
- I took the first steps to gather everyone’s thoughts and ideas.
- I suggested pairing a Spanish speaking coach with a English speaking one to save time on translations (since we were going to be behind due to lack of resources).
- I then took it upon myself to distribute the resources the best I could and make sure all coaches had what they needed before I went to my group.
- By the end of the day, everyone was looking up to me to help control the “chaos.”
I was no better than the rest of the coaches, I simply took the first step.
II. WE INTUITIVELY KNOW WHEN AND WHO TO FOLLOW
Whichever the reasons for me to end up leading the group, it was pretty surprising to me how quickly it happened. I didn’t explicitly request permission from each coach, it simply happened.
- What’s the plan for this?
- Where should we reconvene?
- What should we do about the booklets?
- What do you think of this idea?
- Let’s figure this problem out.
These are some of the questions I ended up addressing due to simply taking the first step to serve and organize.
I still can’t figure out why, I just know we all quickly found our roles and moved on.
III. A CRISIS REVEALS WHO I AM AT A SPECIFIC POINT IN TIME
In this case, this “crisis” was a window for me to see who I am today.
I have been in similar situations before. And, some of you may know, that I liked to bark orders, point out everything that’s wrong, and force my will upon the rest.
This time around, it was all about service. It was about solving the problem, tending to the customer, and impacting lives.
I’m still surprised at how I kept my cool. No stress, no worries, no doubts, just focused on getting the job done with everyone’s help.
IV. SIGNIFICANCE DOESN’T REQUIRE GREAT EFFORT
I liked to think that to change a life I needed to put in a lot of energy and time. Paraguay proved to me that significance can happen in a simple process that takes less than 1 hour.
The process I followed, wasn’t mine. It was five steps. It required little preparation. And I didn’t have to fix anyone’s problems.
Yet, by the end of it, it was an amazing experience to see and feel the energy in the room. Individuals filled with hopes and excitement. People looking forward to duplicating the experience with others.
Significance doesn’t require great effort, it just takes a intentionality and a servant heart.
I can only summarize this experience with the words of my mentor John C. Maxwell
Once you have tasted significance, success doesn’t satisfy.