There are no words I can write to check in on you that feel sufficient right now. “How are you?” as a friend often asks, feels as if I’m borrowing a phrase.

But, that’s all I know to ask.

How are you? 

Once again, the events in our world reminded me of the crucial role leaders play in organizations, communities, and families. Last week, as we learned of the breach of the US Capitol attempting to disrupt the certification of the election, I was on a Zoom call with three colleagues. We were left speechless. And, trust me, four clergywomen on one Zoom call, we’re NEVER at a loss for words. 

What Are You Feeling?

As the day went on, I had to pause and remind myself to experience the emotions I was feeling…and not stop there. The emotions were not positive, healthy, or life-giving. 

I was feeling exhausted. That’s often what happens when you carry negative emotions.

But, if I’ve learned anything in the past 10 months, it’s this: ignoring the emotions I’m feeling doesn’t make them go away. If only we’d learn that in preschool, right? 

Sometimes, the negative emotions need space to breathe to get to the root of what’s going on in the depths of my soul.

I had a couple conversations with trusted friends and sat down and coached myself with this one question: How do I want to feel? Which led me to ask: What actions (or inaction) will help me get there? 

And now you may be wondering, “Why is Sara sharing this?”

Start with Why

Behind this blog and everything I say and do is my why. But it’s not just my why. My why interacts with the why of the church I am a part of, the organization I am a part of, and the people I relate to on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis.

And now you might be saying, I feel like I’m having a conversation with a curious toddler because the number of whys are out of control.

Hang with me.

While my why started as “raising up young heroes for Christ to transform the world” over 20 years ago, I’m now trying to find the best words to express this idea: I coach Christ-centered/purpose-driven leaders to cultivate insight and facilitate change in their corner of the world. 

Coaching, cultivating, and leading change are the surface motivations behind my why. But, I know I have more work to do to get to the heart of what’s motivating me.

Why Is Your Why Important?

I’ve come to recognize my why begins with me being coached, coachable, and using what I know to coach others. My why helps me navigate through pandemics, through irritating posts on social media, through odd family dynamics, through dilemmas, through decision making, through my place in the life of the church, and, yes, through events I never expected to see in our Capitol.

Knowing your why just might help you navigate the everyday, ordinary aspects of leadership as well as the gut-wrenching moments of life.

And if you’re still wondering, why did Sara tell me all that?

Here’s why: I want you to reflect on what you’re thinking and feeling and how you’re leading. Your why is central to how you lead in stable times. It is critical during times of instability and chaos. 

Here’s a podcast I produced this week that focuses on “Start with Why.”

But before you go there, “What is your why?” Let me know in the comments below.

Know that you are loved. Now go lead from your why!