Projects? Chaos? Process? Growth…

by | Apr 24, 2024 | CEO/Executive Directors | 0 comments

2024 has been a season of creation and discovery. I’ve had some amazing wins and some confusing misses. Using Tetris to describe the year, I’ve made some really incredible fits, but the simple blocks haven’t lined up in the way I expected.

Not “lost,” just not fitting

Nothing has been lost or wasted, it just hasn’t fit in the predictable way I thought it might or should. I have lots or words and ideas set on the shelf to cure – not quite ready for firing, and they probably need some more glazes and texture before they get sent to the kiln.

The Quadrant 3 Leadership Model celebrates that transition from ‘doing it the way you’re told’ to discovering the way that you are uniquely equipped and empowered to lead. From that forest of discovering your magic powers (and maybe where you need a partner), you lead from a place of authentic, wonderful, beautiful you. Just writing that sentence makes me imagine finally making it to the top of a mountain and mercifully finding a bench to sit on and view the panorama ahead of me. My breath is taken when I think about this kind of life leadership not only for myself but for you.

This journey is worth it.

Why don’t we trust our unique powers? Because process is messy.

Why then, when I am faced with a project, am I so quick to look for someone else’s template?

I’ll tell you what I think. When I look within myself to complete a project, it gets messy. No, not messy emotionally. My office, the house, my computer folders…a mess must be made. And I am a very tidy, put things away person.

A few weeks ago I was trying so hard to be tidy that my brain looked like the tornado in Wizard of Oz. In a fit of looking for peace, I grabbed all the post-it pads I could find in my desk and began writing.

And Writing.

And Writing.

Each note was stuck on the wall beside my desk in – no order, no plan – other than purging the whirlwind.

The same thing happens when I creating a quilt or planning a knitting project. Yarn and fabric everywhere. And when I have an idea about making the kitchen more efficient or the living room more comfortable – I’m surprised Marc hasn’t bought me yellow caution tape for when these bursts happen.

When I stand in the place of Quadrant 3 leadership and observe myself, I invoke what I have learned about myself. As a 9 on the enneagram, I build webs between others and myself. My top five strengths (Gallup) describe me as someone wanting more information, looking for connection, going with the flow, and looking for patterns and problems. My top values include creativity and independence.

When I hold these things that I know and cherish about myself as the lens that I look through my creative process, it makes perfect sense to me.

When I hold these things that I know and cherish about myself as the lens that I look through my creative process, it makes perfect sense to me. Of course I need to see and hold every piece of fabric that has blue in it when I’m building a quilt.

Of course I need to see the whirlwind of words and tasks that are in my brain. Of course I need empty every cupboard (Yes I DO!) when looking for a better system. My leading and creating is rooted in a place of looking for connections and making sure all the possibilities have been considered.

There comes a time when instinct, intuition, or a deadline decides that the project must move on.

My challenge, my movement to maturity in leadership, is moving forward to action and decision even when I don’t know EVERYTHING. (Note to self, you will never know everything.) There comes a time when instinct, intuition, or a deadline (how unromantic, but true) decides that the project must move on. I am most happy when all three of those things are aligned, but am learning to move forward with only one or two in place. Some projects are worthy waiting for all three, but in reality (not romantically) stuff just needs to get done.

The post-it storm on my wall has been edited. I purged the doubles. (Do you repeat yourself when you are making lists under stress?) I put the three most important ones on my desk next to they keyboard. And the rest have gone into a three ring binder until there is space for them where the most important three are.

What is your process? And do you trust it?

When you are working on a project, what does your process look like? Do you remember to invite your strengths and values to your work table? What would it be like if you did?


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