Upon reflection … 2021 was a tough year.
I say this not only because it was my experience.
I say this because of how frequently most conversations toward the end of the year, with clients and non-clients alike, inevitably wended their way to the topic of margins…
Or more specifically, the issue of not having enough margin in the most important areas of life.
But, it turns out that the solution is actually found in a pretty simple equation.
energy – load = margin
This is how it works.
Howard McClusky wrote, “Margin is created when you gain more power (through sources of positive energy) than you expend (load).”
In other words, if the amount of energy you’re receiving from various sources is greater than the load you’re carrying, then you have margin, which gives you the capacity to handle the stresses of life, work, and ministry.
Of course, there’s a flip side…
If the load you’re carrying is greater than the energy you’re receiving, then the stress you’re experiencing becomes bad stress, which affects your health (physical and mental), your relationships, your walk with God, your ministry effectiveness… everything.
This is why this simple equation holds the key to sustained success for the Christian leader (and, indeed, the rest of us as well). It is the difference between thriving as a leader and, well, burning out altogether.
So where does your energy – your power – come from? What are you doing to intentionally increase the amount of energy that you receive each day/week/month?
I have a friend who goes to the movies by himself every week (or, at least, did prior to Covid). For others, it might be exercise, coffee with a friend, or regular time with a coach or mentor.
And what about the ultimate source of energy – our relationship with Jesus? As a leader, what are you doing to ensure that you are “companioning” with Him?
Just as importantly… what are you trying to carry that maybe should be hand-balled to someone else, or reframed, or dropped altogether (perhaps even left at the foot of the Cross)?
Being a Christian leader is a tough enough calling as it is, without trying to be a superhero at the same time. In fact, being a superhero in our leadership is the absolute opposite of what Jesus had in mind when he said, “my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt 11:30 NLT)