After I retired from the military, I found myself wondering what was I going to do with the rest of my life…
I found myself asking questions like, what’s next for me? Where do I go from here? Have you ever asked yourself those types of questions…
My fourth post in this series based on the 7 Day Intentional Living Experiment, leading a life of significance, is “Partner with a Friend to Make a Difference.” So let me tell you how my friends made a difference…
I was commissioned as an officer the day before graduation and spent the next 20 years leading soldiers. It was a great career and I enjoyed my time in military.
Unlike many other career fields, the military has a mandatory retirement system. So after 20 years, one month and one day, I retired. It was a difficult transition for me because I had spent my entire adult life up to that point in a military uniform. For the first time, I didn’t have a “work” purpose for getting up in the morning.
I needed help! I had never interviewed for a job. I didn’t have a resume and I wasn’t sure what skills I could transfer to a civilian job. I am blessed to have wonderful husband, who understood what I was going through. He helped me mentally transition and embrace the new season of my life.
When I would doubt myself, he would come along aside me to encourage and support. He connected me with like-minded people, who partnered with me. Through our partnership, they nurtured my gifts and talents. They helped me realize I could add value to others and live a life of significance.
Could I have transitioned on my own? Maybe, but my ability to impact others would be limited. In his book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, Maxwell identified The Law of Significance, which states that “one is too small a number to achieve greatness”. So how do we as leaders connect with like-minded people to add value to others?
Start by partnering with like-valued people.
When partnering with people, don’t choose based on what they say they can do, or based on what they did once. Choose based on their regular behaviors”
– John Maxwell
Our natural inclination is work with people like us, however our goal is to find partners who compliment us.
What qualities should we look for in a like-value partner? In his book Intentional Living, Maxwell offers the following 12 qualities for us to recognize like-valued people:
- Think of others first
- Think bigger than self
- Passion that’s contagious
- Complementary gifts
- Great at support
- Can-do creative spirit
- Expand influence
- Activists mindset
- Ladder builders
- Stands out from the crowd
- Synergy creator
- Difference maker
Mother Teresa said, “I cannot do what you can do. You cannot do what I can do. Together we can do great things.” To live a life of significance, we must be intentional in our relationships.
A strong partnership divides the effort and multiplies the effect.”
– John Maxwell
What friend will you partner with to make a difference?
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