Leadership Lessons: How To Know If Your Work is Working

Before we dive into whether or not your work is working, let’s first remember the position you’re in – leadership. Whether at home, in the workplace, or in ministry, you’re a leader.

As a leader, the first person you lead is you. How are you doing?

Women like us are often found trying to put a title, role, or label on things to feel, better organized. No matter what we’ve got going on, “getting organized” is usually cracking the top 5 of any of our to-do lists.

Maybe its not a physical place for you for “getting organized,” but feeling like it’s more of an emotional one that you’ve been putting off. Well sis, to that I’d have to say, feelings are indicators…just sayin’. Not wanting to go that deep this early in the post? I get it, but in case you do, you can check out this post about the sticky truth about feeling stuck or visit chapter 5 of the book.

Okay, maybe it’s a virtual space, like your inbox!

Whatever “the place” is for you, you’ve got to understand two things. One, why the desire, and two, why the avoidance?

Whether it’s physical, emotional, or vitual, the answser is the same for our perceived disorganization. Prioritization. Yep, it’s just not a priority. Whatever that nagging thing is.

And this is where we get to today’s topic: How do you know if your work is working?

And by work, I mean that desire you say you’re pursuing and the things you’re doing (or not) to close the gap to get there.

So what is that for you today? I encourage to pick something and keep that in mind as I help you pull the thread on this.

If I were to ask you, “What are you working toward right now and is it working?” would you be able to articulate an answer?

Tell me if any of these responses just rolled around in that beautiful brain of yours:

  • “I want to be/do/have _____ just like so and so. . .
  • Depends, what area of my life are you referrring.”
  • “Well, I want to be/do/have _____, but ___, ____, and ____ have kept me from. . .”
  • “I know what I want, but I’m looking for the right [fill in the blank]”
    (what exactly? time, place, coach, person, pastor, course…)

All these example answers are the MESS that keeps us from defining, discovering, determining, and doing what actually works! And by MESS I mean: Messaging, Expectations, Self-Sabotage, and Searching.

  • “I want to be/do/have _____ just like so and so. . . This answer indicates your Messaging – who are you believing?
  • Depends, what area of my life are you referrring.” Ah, this exposes your fear of Expectations/measuring up…people pleasing.
  • “Well, I want to be/do/have _____, but ___, ____, and ____ have kept me from. . .” Self-Sabotage anyone?
  • “I know what I want, but I’m looking for the right [fill in the blank]”
    (what exactly? time, place, coach, person, pastor, course…) Searching, searching, searching is just gonna keep you lurking around the problem instead of working on solving it.

Since this is just a blog post, I’m going to cut right to the part where you can know whether or not if your work is working. For deeper insights, guidance, and support you’ll want to be sure to stay connected because I’ve got a lot to say and offer about all that MESSes us up and how to get out of it!

3 Evidences your work is working

Purposeful, impactful and fruitful. Told ya I was going to cut right to it. Now let’s look at each of these a little more closely.

Purposeful work just works.

First, what does purposeful even mean? Well, not to bring us back to your elementary school roots, but it’s an adjective. Refresher, an adjective is a word that describes something or someone. That something here is, purpose.

Our friends at Merriam Webster defines purpose as an object or end to be attained. So that would mean there is a goal in mind when it comes to your work and what you’re working toward.

In order for you work to be purposeful, it has to have an intention and meaning behind it. Do you know the intention and meaning behind your work? If you don’t, you’ll have a clue as to why “it’s” not working.

Working with an intention for impact will work for everyone’s benefit.

Next, work that is impactful is another evidence you’re on the path to making progress.

Impactful means to make a lasting or significant impression. How is your work working to make a lasting or significant impression.

Listen, not everything we do is going to be life-changing, but whatever we choose to do has the potential to leave us or others feeling some type of way.

Being purposeful in what we do gives us the power to choose what kind of mark we leave. What impact will others have to say about your work? That you were depressive, oppressive, or something else less than impressive OR that you impacted them in a positive way.

Either way, you get to put in the work to define, refine, and align that answer for yourself.

Lastly, let’s talk about the final indicator to know if our work is working on our list, and that’s being fruitful.

Before there’s any fruit, you first have to work at the root.

I’ll be the first to admit that I love seeing the fruit of my work. But I’d also have to admit in order to get to see that fruit, I have to begin with being purposeful. Then identifying where and why I’m seeking to have an impact.

At the end of Chapter 1 in my book I give a “little side lesson on fruit” and in a nutshell, it’s this: A fruit’s purpose is to protect the seed until its is mature enough to be shared.

Ponder that for a moment. Especially if you’ve got your eye on getting to the fruit of your work.

How’s the soil for the seed you’ve planted? What are you doing to nurture and mature that seed so that it becomes a fruit to be shared?

Whew! Tough questions, I know! I have to answer them for myself every day too. Especially if I want to know if my work is working!

Here’s a scripture I hang onto when I think, this is just too hard…

Keep working on what works.

I know it’s not always easy, but with God all things are possible. Especially the things people tell you are absolutely impossible!

You have to remember, He is the originator of purpose, knows how to impact to the point of extreme transformation, and has given us the blueprint for what’s truly fruitful.

Purposeful, impactful, and fruitful are all evidences God gives us everyday to show that His work is working!

working on what’s working right there with ya,

name signature Deana

There’s also podcast version of this post!

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