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  • Writer's pictureApril Johnson

Empower others to dazzle you.

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

If you are anything like me, you like to do things yourself to ensure it gets done right. It pains you to have to show someone else how to do the task. It pains you to give up the control because you know they won’t do it as good or the way you prefer it to be done. I struggled with this both personally and professionally until a few years ago.

I had been invited to a John Maxwell mastermind group with some local community leaders. These leaders were a mix of business owners, government workers, employees, and inspirational speakers. We appeared to have almost nothing in common accept our willingness to try this process of growth. The mastermind group is supposed to be a collective of people who want to learn from each other in a low-pressure situation. It is a way for the group to bounce ideas off each other and dig deeper into oneself with the goal of learning from your peers. Our group facilitator, we will call her the “muse” chose a John Maxwell book for us to read and discuss each week. Each chapter was a conversation starter.  Boy did the conversations ebb and flow.  It was clear after the first few weeks that our little group was made up of some pretty special people. We were a diverse group. It was a mix of men and women, all from different backgrounds. Strong personalities like mine and some a little meeker. We laughed, cried, got frustrated with each other, and ultimately found a love for one another.  This group gave us the opportunity to get vulnerable with each other. We were able to open up about our insecurities and our accomplishments. The group dynamic allowed our peers to really get to know the real us. They learned to take you at face value because of the honest conversations.  On occasion you would be called out by a group member if they recognized you hiding your true feelings. It kept you authentic. These people started to know you better then you knew yourself. In fact, they helped you learn so much about yourself and it was inevitable you were comfortable with who you were deep inside. Although I would never discuss details of other group members experiences and stories, I can share a bit about mine.  I had been complaining to the group about my internal struggle regarding a coworker’s lack of effort. There had been a great event that I started and built to a huge success. After the most successful year for the event, I was asked by management to let someone else take over the event to give them a chance to shine. This event was my baby, it meant the world to me. It was my inspiration and I was effective at managing it and making it successful. I couldn’t fathom this other person doing it any justice. In fact, I knew based on previous history with that person that they were going to run it into the ground. They never fully completed projects, they lacked luster and passion for most things. And honestly their personality just bothered me. We would butt heads often on many things the entire time we worked together.  I wore those frustrations on my sleeve and in group my frustrations reared their ugly head in every comment I made. I couldn’t look past it. This was eating me up inside. My group members could see it and hear it in my voice. I went into detail about how I was feeling and how I was showing up to the world negatively because of it.  We agreed I needed help to get past this. The group rallied around me with ideas and solutions. They validated my feelings and help me look inside myself to get to the bottom of why I had such strong convictions about this situation. We discovered, well they discovered, that I am a control freak.  It really wasn’t so much about the person I didn’t like or trust, instead it was about me.  I am so self-confident in my own abilities that it takes a lot for me to trust in other people’s abilities. I never think they will do it as good as I can, as efficient as I can, the way I can. I wasn’t trusting other people to show up as their best self. Or their best self wasn’t good enough for me. As a fixer I want to always make things better. Instead of meeting people at their level, I concentrated so much on their potential. I wouldn’t believe they could start off at my level and instead made them the underdog from the get go. I believe this stems from me always wanting to do better. I am rarely stagnant, and I love to blow personal and professional goals out of the water. I learned that the outcomes of a job well done fuels me. It is my happy place.   Thanks to the members of the group and especially the “Artist” of the group, he came up with a brilliant slogan for me to work towards. “Empower others to dazzle you”. In a nut shell this means give others a chance to do it as good or better than I would.  Help them along the way, encourage them, pray for them and cheer them on. Teach them and let them teach you. It isn’t always about the outcomes meeting my expectations, instead it is also about the journey.  I was able to consider a personal experience when my children started walking.  I was so excited when they took their first steps and even though they fell before they really got good at walking I was so pleased every step along the way. Every step closer to not falling made me so proud. A task I find so easy in life, because I don’t remember what it was like to not be able to walk, seemed so magical for them. Why couldn’t I take this experience and project it onto my work situation? So, I did.  My new slogan was going to change the way I looked at these types of things.  I shared my feelings with management and explained my revelation.  The event moved forward without me and although it was heartbreaking to see it fail, I didn’t say “I told you so”. I didn’t bask in the glory of the failed event.  The outcomes weren’t mine to have as a burden.  I let it go. It was one of the hardest moments in my professional career, but in hind sight it was one of the most inspiring also.  So “empower others to dazzle you” because we can't be the only ones dazzling and we all need a little empowerment sometimes. 

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