“At Easter, God finally reveals His glory: He takes away the last veil and astonishes us as never before. We discover, in fact, that God’s glory is all love: pure love, mad and unthinkable, beyond every limit and measure…”
I have been desperate to engage in some type of formal professional development for the last few years. I have had an Executive Coach for years, but I haven’t done any type of structured effort with others for probably a decade. Thanks to a very supportive supporter, I began a 52-week program in February with CEOs from all different industries and from all over the world. It’s already been worth it simply in hearing the perspectives and wisdom from those in my cohort, not to mention finding some comfort and encouragement in the shared challenges and opportunities we face in our respective organizations. However, there’s a 'but.' The program emphasizes two repeated mantras which I am fighting hard. "Leaders get the organizations they deserve," and a simple question, "What does unconditional responsibility look like in this situation?" I love it in concept. I despise it in application to my own situation. As I was lamenting to my wife about my love/hate relationship with these constant refrains, she looked at me and asked, "Why do they bother you so much?" In the moment, I wasn’t exactly sure but as I reflected upon it more, the idea that despite all my best efforts, all of my hard work, doing "everything" right, I still need to claim "unconditional responsibility" for others’ shortcomings, mistakes, and failings just seems downright unfair.
As part of the program, I am supposed to do a "weekly review" on Fridays of where there is a lack of congruence between what I say I believe and what my actions of the last week demonstrated. My Outlook reminder to do my weekly reviewed popped up at 3pm on Good Friday and as I looked at the crucifix in my bedroom, I couldn’t help but first think, "that seems pretty unfair." Quickly my thought then moved to the reminder on my phone: "What does unconditional responsibility look like?" Despite my lack of control in any given situation, as a leader and more importantly as a disciple, can I embrace unconditional responsibility for the most Christ-centered outcome? Am I willing to accept that, more times than not, that outcome will involve carrying a cross that’s not mine for the benefit of someone who’s not me? Do I really hate the question or am I afraid of what the right answer requires? As we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord who modeled unconditional love and responsibility this Easter Season, let’s not forget the journey it required for Him and our shared baptismal responsibility to follow in His footsteps as His disciples. Happy Easter!