Have you ever heard of or read the book, Patterns of High Performance: Discovering the Ways People Work Best, by Jerry Fletcher? I first ran across it 8 years ago in a coaching course at Western Seminary in San Jose, CA. This book explores the premise that we each have seasons of our life where we are uniquely, optimally thriving and seeing a high rate of output from our personality, gifts and strengths. In Patterns, Fletcher asks, when in your life have you been most effective, alive, deepening, expanding or progressing in a way that aligns deeply with your life’s mission and values?
Right now I’m in one of those patterns, and for me, I’m realizing it’s due in part to a combination of a few key factors:
In our joint work through Voice of Courage, Jan and I have prayed and found greater clarity over time about the things we feel appointed to do as an organization. We’ve distilled that larger vision down to actionable steps and projects we’d most enjoy and feel compelled to be a part of in the months ahead. We’re discerning, praying over, discussing, journaling, and consulting with others in the field about the uniqueness we offer and how God wants to intersect the world, our community, and what we’ve been positioned to do as leaders and as an organization. I’ve seen in our journey that there’s a panning out to the broader mission and openness to where God is shifting or clarifying the path and then there’s also a zooming in on the details now that we’ve identified key goals and their missional connection. The micro scale is what we’re going to do about it: who is involved, when, for what purpose, and the messaging we will need to open these conversations to a dynamic collaboration with others.
I’m processing my ideas and dreams with people who strengthen my thinking—mentors, friends, our community–and I’m setting up coffee meetings with people who want to partner with us and our work and all of this is built on honoring, strengths based teamwork my mom and I have built over years of working, communicating, clarifying, and discovering what we’re each best and love doing at and celebrating that in the work we take on.
I’m paying attention to the specific groups and leaders who have wanted to work with me as a coach or with our organization for team development in leadership and spiritual formation. I’m making a note of when these individuals and groups have said they’d be available and interested to talk about what I offer as a coach or what we offer as an organization. I create reminders in my calendar to circle back so these amazing opportunities for connection and partnership don’t get lost over time. We’re setting up coffee dates, lunches and meetings to see how we can best support these teams and man, the ideas and conversations and plans that are flowing feel so organic and our future schedule is starting to fill up with the things we’ve dreamed of being able to do to serve our community and our community’s leaders since we began Voice of Courage nearly 5 years ago!
We’re revisiting podcasts, tools, webinars, classes, and books and drawing out the tiny slices and principles that hold the most value and relevance for our work. I’m a learner and an input lover, as my Strengths-Based Leadership assessment highlights, and so I can both leverage and keep this area of my growth attainable so I don’t take on goals for resource consumption that overwhelm or distract my work. Instead, I’m keeping it simple, keeping it small, taking in little chunks and revisiting particular books and topics that I know I need the most for the exact next things I’m working on as a coach and as a co-leader of Voice of Courage in our retreat, meet ups and team building resources.
In the day to day, I’m reviewing each of the above areas of engagement to set specific, actionable, time-specific goals for scheduling appointments, designing proposals, generating creative ideas, gathering needed information, planning events, and following up where we’ve promised to deliver a resource, a connection, our input, or our time.
I hope this quick recap of my current season’s ingredients for effective action will inspire you to think of your own list of essential elements and tune into the seasons of your life where you’ve been most productive in the ways that really matter to you and your kingdom position. As you do, note what made these time periods such powerful, deepening or expansive seasons and how you can capture some of those habits for your personal life and leadership today.
If you get a chance, we’d love to hear what you’re discovering about a past or present season of deepened, sustained, heart-driven transformation within and beyond you.
Here are some journal and reflection prompts to take you further in this journey:
When have you experienced a high performance pattern?
What kind of pattern are you in now?
If it feels like a stuck or more slow-paced pattern for you right now, what would help you get more freed up or inspired?
Where are you weary, scattered or distracted in this season?
What would help you revive or restore focus?
What people or experiences help you get back into an optimal health and flow that reflects who you really are, your lane, and your giftedness?
For more on the topic, see also Jerry Fletcher’s Patterns of High Performance: Discovering the Ways People Work Best and Strengths-Based Leadership, a book and assessment tool by Gallup with a comprehensive break down of how your top 5 strengths show up and can be honed in your leadership settings (a one-time assessment access code comes inside each brand-new copy of this book). Do you have other resource suggestions or topics you’d like us to cover in future posts or meetups? Let us know!
On that note, please join us for our upcoming events this August and September! If you’re able to travel or live in Northern California, save these upcoming dates to gather with us for a Voice of Courage live event:
A Cultivate Conversations Meetup on Women’s Voice in the Workplace: August 22nd 6:30-8:30 in Folsom, CA. RSVP now.
One-Day Soul and Leadership Retreats: September 20th OR September 21st in Folsom, CA. More info.