Over the past week I have been watching some of the Tour Down Under cycling and tennis action from the Australian Open. I have been amazed at the tenacity of these sports people to endure extreme conditions and push their bodies to the limit. They have been able to do this due to the intense training and preparation undertaken to physically and mentally condition themselves for their respective sporting pursuits.
This leads me to reflect on how I have prepared for 2018 to best position myself for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Firstly, I have been intentional in prioritising time to developing my relationship with God. This is something that I have set as a goal to maintain as a discipline throughout 2018. I also spent very special time relaxing with family over the holiday period which reinforced the importance of nurturing my relationships with Di, Evie and extended family. During the break I engaged in regular exercise to sustain my physical and mental wellbeing. I was also privileged to further my professional growth and development through participation in the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement in Singapore in early January. The learning and the sharing with others around system leadership I anticipate will continue to inform and shape leadership development approaches within the LESNW secretariat staff, LESNW membership and LEA.
In Proverbs 16, I found fitting advice to give me guidance and purpose as I start a new year; maybe you will also find its relevance?
Everything with a Place and a Purpose
1 Mortals make elaborate plans, but GOD has the last word.
2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good; GOD probes for what is good.
3 Put GOD in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.
4 GOD made everything with a place and purpose; even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
5 GOD can’t stomach arrogance or pretense; believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.
6 Guilt is banished through love and truth; Fear-of-GOD deflects evil.
7 When GOD approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.
8 Far better to be right and poor than to be wrong and rich.
9 We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it.
It Pays to Take Life Seriously
10 A good leader motivates, doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
11 GOD cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business.
12 Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation.
13 Good leaders cultivate honest speech; they love advisors who tell them the truth.
14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives; you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.
15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives; they’re like spring rain and sunshine.
16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money; choose insight over income every time.
17 The road of right living bypasses evil; watch your step and save your life.
18 First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor than to live it up among the rich and famous.
20 It pays to take life seriously; things work out when you trust in GOD.
21 A wise person gets known for insight; gracious words add to one’s reputation.
22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water, while fools sweat it out the hard way.
23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks; whenever they speak, their reputation increases…
24 Gracious speech is like clover honey— good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
27 Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn.
28 Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships…
32 Moderation is better than muscle, self-control better than political power.
33 Make your motions and cast your votes, but GOD has the final say.
May God guide and sustain you in your service to Him throughout 2018.