The Leading Edge: Video Game Thanksgiving
Video Game Thanksgiving
“Success as a leader is about connecting with those who are with you on that journey.”
– Sherri McClurg, certified John Maxwell Team Coach, Speaker & Teacher
John Maxwell shares that, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” As a leader – a CEO, a parent, a friend, or any of the other roles I fill – my ability or lack of ability to influence others directly impacts my success as a leader. What is one key to being able to influence others in a positive way? As John shares in his book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, it is my ability to connect, relate and engage with those around me. Doesn’t that sound simple? It sure does, but it’s actually rather elusive for me. You see my personality style is to take charge and get it done. I can tackle pretty much any mountain, and before the dust settles from the latest victory, a bigger, taller, even more challenging mountain becomes the goal. I love the challenge, but success as a leader is not just about conquering the mountain. It is also about connecting with those who are with you on that journey.
This past year or two, as a leader, I’ve become more aware that this is a growth area for me. In my quest for conquering the mountain, I suspect (and know by those brave enough to share) that those around me were left feeling unsatisfied. I was doing a lot of communicating but not a lot of connecting. One of my favorite pieces of advice from John has been that I needed to learn to “walk slowly through the crowd.” Rather than putting all my focus forward on the goal, I needed to learn to walk slowly through the crowd – my crowd – my family, my friends, my employees, and those I meet. I was reminded of this just recently.
This past month, here in the States, we celebrated Thanksgiving. It’s the biggest travel weekend of the year as people scurry across the city or even the country for big family gatherings, parades, and Thanksgiving feasts. But our family of five stayed home. We cooked a turkey and spent the day playing video games and a few old-fashioned board games. We ate more than our fair share of snacks and sodas throughout the weekend and topped it off with a Sunday pizza delivery. At the close of the weekend, I was feeling a bit of guilt that my family didn’t get the big fanfare festivities. As I prepared for bed, my teen son came in to say goodnight. He told me, “I wish I didn’t have to go back to school tomorrow.” Assuming it was the back to school grind he was avoiding, but curious, I asked why. His response was not what I expected. He replied, “This was the best Thanksgiving ever, and probably one of the best weekends of my life, I don’t want it to end.” Even more intrigued, I asked, “What do you mean?” He replied, “We were here together, having fun, and just being with each other, I liked that.” There it was again. It’s not all about conquering the mountain; it is about valuing and being with those on the journey with you.
As you move through this holiday season with your friends, family, and co-workers, think about ways to “walk slowly through the crowd.” How can you change your pace so you have more time to connect? Where can you be intentional to get to know someone in a deeper way? Who needs you to listen and offer words of encouragement? Your success and influence as a leader aren’t going to be found at the top of the mountain. It’s going to be crafted in those shared moments and experiences with those on the journey with you.
-Sherri McClurg, John Maxwell Team certified coach, speaker, and teacher.
In addition to being a wife and mother, Dr. Sherri McClurg is the CEO of New Horizons for Children, an international orphan hosting program. She has her doctorate in clinical psychology and manages a private mental health practice for children and adolescents in Ohio. She is a certified coach, trainer, and speaker with the John Maxwell Team and has provided leadership growth and development training to young people and adults, domestically and internationally, in schools, churches, courts, and other organizations. Her passion is helping people grow and become a better version of themselves, living and thriving in relationship with others.