Dangerously Mediocre

What could be great becomes mediocre when we fail to plan.

I tweeted this statement yesterday scolding myself for not having prepared as well as I should have for last night’s Cultivate Her event.

It’s not that I just blew it off or didn’t care about preparation, my schedule has just been so full that I really couldn’t engage preparation for it until the night before.  This left me scrambling to figure out some last minute details.  When I finally sat down to prepare for the night, God gave me some really cool ideas.  But in order to pull them off I was going to transfer my crazy anxiety to others, which is simply not fair and certainly not good leadership.

This episode is just a small glimpse of how I’m approaching a lot of my commitments right now.

I feel like I’m in a dangerous season of life…

The season where I have just enough experience and confidence in my abilities that I don’t have to agonize over preparation in the same way that I might have 10 years ago…

The season where the opportunities are seemingly endless but time is even more scarce…

The season where others are amazing supportive and willing to partner with me…

Perhaps I have some reasonable excuses for having to fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants more than I have in the past, but I can’t shake the idea that I have a responsibility to steward this better.

Of course there will always be moments like yesterday, but when they become the norm rather than the exception, I think we have to pause and evaluate what needs to change in the order and structure of our lives.  When things become mediocre because we fail to plan, it doesn’t just affect us, it affects those we’re called to lead.  When we give them less than God’s best in us, we’re short-changing them and being poor leaders.

Busyness is not a good excuse.

When I start hearing myself explain my incompetence as “I’m just so busy”, it’s a warning sign to me that I’m not stewarding my life and responsibilities well.  What do I need to say “no” to?  What am I not being purposeful about?  What do I need to eliminate and change?

The life of a growing leader is constantly changing.  Growth = Change. As the definition of insanity says, “you can’t keep doing the same things expecting different results.”

Leaders, don’t let what could be great become mediocre because you’re not doing the self-evaluation necessary to continue to grow.

Is your life dangerously mediocre right now?  What can you do to change it?


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  • Heather McCance April 19, 2011  

    Thank you for a post I could have written and therefore, obviously, really needed to hear. You have given me much thought for prayer this Holy Week. Peace to you.

    • Jenni Catron April 19, 2011  

      Thank you, Heather. Praying for you!

  • Natasha Robinson April 19, 2011  

    Amazingly honest post, Jenni. I especially like the “I am in a dangerous season of life” section. I have been there many times myself, but have found that especially in those times, I need to trust in the Lord and not in my own strength and abilities. Trusting in the Lord does require an active work of our faith, which leads into your presentation of seeking the Lord about his best for this particular season in life. Sometimes we definitely need to say “no” so that we don’t surrender good for that which can be great, or give mediocre when we can give our best.

    • Jenni Catron April 19, 2011  

      Natasha, thanks for your encouragement and insight!

  • Ron Edmondson April 19, 2011  

    This is a good word. You are a wise leader to consistently evaluate yourself. I’d encourage you to consider letting a few people you trust to evaluate you also. They often see things you don’t see.

    You encourage me.

    • Jenni Catron April 19, 2011  

      Ron, so grateful for your leadership and influence in my life. Just so you know, your evaluation of my leadership is always welcome!

    • dsprtlydpndt April 19, 2011  

      As an “under scheduled” how do you say “not busy”?, mom, in school, I would learn to ask some other people to take some responsibility. I have time to follow a couple blogs and tweets, and pray but not much in opportunity to do right now. I could use someone asking me to help out. Jesus called people. It gives your assistants value too. Look around. Pray and keep being honest.

  • Karen Schultz April 19, 2011  

    thank you for your vulnerability and exhortation

  • paulaswift April 19, 2011  

    Interesting timing… I’ve recently entered into this phase as a result of business picking back up (gratefully so) and readjusting life to balance work, family, friends and service. Whereas the previous 2 years I was scrambling for things to do – now faced with having to say “no” to things…and prayerful considerations of where to do so. Can I tell you the guilt I felt in leaving a charitable board (that was not a good match anyway) and reducing flood relief commitments? But my family needed me…and my business was creating opportunities to better support them. God was offering new leads – time to walk new paths.

    I think it’s okay to be “too busy” – when it comes to the areas in our life that are not of purpose. For what is, we must make time.

    I’m reading this just after setting aside 2 projects that really need my attention… to go outside and enjoy the time playing ball with my family on this comfortable night. I’m okay with that. 🙂

  • Bill Kershner April 20, 2011  

    Thank you for being transparent about. There are some areas in my ministry and life where I haven’t given 100% because I know I can get by with less. This is neither glorifying to God nor blessing the people I work with. God forgive me!

  • Pete Wilson April 20, 2011  

    That’s good Jenni. I’ve been doing the same thing to some of my commitments lately. Thanks for the prompt.

  • Michelle Parker April 25, 2011  

    Thank you for your transparency. It’s great to hear you say these things and to know you’re asking these sorts of questions. These, my friend, are the things that make you such a great leader. Moments taken for retrospect, submission, and surrender are the ones that free His Spirit to actively move via ‘jenni.’