This month, Ryan Eaton welcomes Lee Smith to talk about managing expectations, dealing with family tensions, and being intentional.
The qualities of great leadership apply to all aspects of our lives: our business, our relationships, and our families. In his conversation with Lee Smith, Ryan discusses exactly that.
In addition to being a pastor, Lee founded Cornerstone Counseling in 2011 and is the Clinical Director. Working and balancing family is no easy feat, but he has some great advice on how to do it gracefully.
Lead Yourself First
Leaders are constantly asked to pour into others through work, relationships, and family. What can we do to keep our own buckets from drying up? Lead and develop yourself first through discovering who you are and what drive you. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow as an individual.
Understanding yourself is the first step in leading yourself. A great foundation is to know who you are, how you've been shaped, and how you've impacted others. The bottom line is that the smallest crowd you will ever lead is you—but it’s the most important one. Leadership also starts small with setting an example for your family. It’s important to lead yourself first because you cannot lead your family well if you’re giving from an empty bucket. As a leader, you will hold great influence and the first place to look is internally and then to the family.
To lead your family well, you must start by leading you well.
Expectations are the beliefs you hold about the outcome of events. Life is full of expectations no matter your job, family dynamics, or even how you are as an individual. Smith noted that while expectations can impact what happens, but they can lead to disappointment without strong expectation management.
Without managed expectations, the reality vs expectations trap can easily ensnare. It's important to understand how expectations compare to reality and affect reactions to situations, according to Lee.
Unmet expectations occur for many reasons and often sets us up for failure. To prevent misunderstandings, it’s important to have conversations and often set, assess, and reiterate expectations. This is important to maintain a good working environment and relationship foundation.
When expectations aren’t met, disappointment occurs.
Navigate Family Tensions
There is nothing more important than family, but the reality is that life is full of tension. Various situations, forms, and degrees of stress can be encountered by us all.
It is common for us to have tension in our relationships with spouses, children, or aging parents. Relational tension often originates from a lack of communication.
According to Lee, the best way to handle tension is to embrace it, walk through it, and learn how it fosters growth. Additionally, some tensions cannot be resolved but must be managed over time.
To help you navigate tension, here are a few tips:
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Listen if you expect to be heard
- Make time for meaningful, relaxing activities with your family
- Explore what you expect from each other
Tension is never fun, but it’s necessary for growth.
Managing work and family life is not an easy task. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. There are many ways to resolve issues depending on the preferences and needs of each individual or family.
In essence, a person can find a balance between work and family when he or she is able to meet family obligations while fulfilling his or her work responsibilities. The goal of getting ahead requires hard work, but don't forget the value of the things and people that matter most.
Be sure to tune into next month’s episode as we continue our discussion with Tripp Douglas, Creative Director of Crema Design Studio and Morgan White Group EVP and Chief Communications Officer.
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