Leadership Lessons in the Luminous Mysteries – The Transfiguration

If you missed the introduction and first mystery, you can find that article herehttp://blog.euphemos.com/2016/12/15/leadership-lessons-in-the-luminous-mysteries-baptism-in-the-jordan/.

The second mystery is here http://blog.euphemos.com/2016/12/22/leadership-lessons-in-the-luminous-mysteries-wedding-at-cana/.

The third mystery is here http://blog.euphemos.com/2016/12/29/leadership-lessons-in-the-luminous-mysteries-proclamation-of-the-kingdom/.

The Transfiguration

The story, for those unfamiliar: Jesus takes three of his disciples up on a mountain. They are supposed to be praying, but everyone falls asleep except Jesus. When they wake up, they see Jesus transfigured to be gloriously shining and white. He’s chatting with Moses (the law-giver) and Elijah (the prophet). The disciples propose setting up a place of worship. They hear a voice from heaven identifying Jesus as the son in whom the voice is well pleased. Jesus tells them to keep it to themselves for now.

Take time to recharge

Jesus spent a surprising amount of time away from the crowds, when you consider the urgency and importance of his mission. He frequently went to a desert place or mountaintop, where he’d spend the night in prayer while his disciples slept. He went apart to a desert place more often than President Obama took vacation or played golf. Not only does Jesus take time apart himself, but he often encourages his followers to come away from the comings and goings of daily life. He frequently offers rest to those who will come to him.

Our modern culture frowns upon rest despite the fact that science knows rest is beneficial for cognitive, physical, and emotional health and performance. Jesus sets an example of frequent rest, and encourages the same in his followers.

Rest” wasn’t just chilling in front of a screen for Jesus. It was spending time on intellectual (Moses – the lawgiver/teacher) and spiritual (Elijah – the prophet) pursuits, and in prayer and the presence of God.

Most of the times, I am busy even when I rest, exchanging one busyness for another. I often find myself returning from holiday more tired than rested. Where do I find rest? Am I willing to give up being busy to experience rest?

Expose people to higher ideas, but don’t drag them

Jesus took a subset of his followers up on the mountain to experience his transfiguration. He offered them the opportunity to experience something higher and greater than anything they’d encountered previously. He didn’t drag along the entire crew, and he didn’t browbeat those who came, but fell asleep. He simply presented the opportunity to experience the transcendent.

As leaders, we more often have the opportunity to think about the big picture, to find and savor the meaning in what we do. Some of those we lead are capable and interested in those things. Some are capable or interested, but not both. Some are neither.

I want to neither withhold these opportunities from my team, nor force them upon those uninterested or incapable of appreciating them. The fact that someone “doesn’t get it” doesn’t mean they aren’t good at their job, it just means their focus is different.

How can I help my team see and appreciate the broader context and value of what we do? How can I present opportunities without setting unfair expectations? What’s in it for them, if they invest enough of themselves to care about the big picture?

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