by Mason Rutledge, President
This week I watched an Eastlake High School Cross Country meet. One of our C3 Forum Chairs has a junior at Eastlake who is the number three runner.
As the boys warmed up, I asked about his son and the season. My friend said, “He’s improving.” I asked, “What’s the difference?” He pointed to a kid. “That guy,” he explained. “That kid is the number one runner and he is pulling everyone on the team to a new level of performance, including my son.”
That afternoon I watched the son of this C3 Forum Chair set a personal best.
Who surrounds you?
We need a community beyond our children, church, colleagues, clients, consultants, and counselors. They are the wonderful essential roles of life. We are not going to risk these relationships. They aren’t always an appropriate audience. Some may even have an “angle.” And sometimes, people this close can’t give you an honest, accurate assessment. Leaders need something different.
If this young runner asked his Dad for help, he may respond, “I love you regardless, son. Do the best you can.” Mom may say, “Just run harder, dear.” A classmate in 2nd period English may discuss their running experience, which ended during field day in fifth grade. This young runner needed a teammate that are willing to risk the relationship, understood the course, and pushed the level of performance.
Each of us need peers in our life. Peers that are willing to…
Risk the Relationship,
Know the “Course,” and
Push You to New Levels
God himself operated on a team of three, the Trinity. Jesus is baptized in Matthew 3 and the whole team is involved. The Holy Spirit descends as a dove and God Himself coaches, “This is My Son, who I love; with Him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
This concept of working together was at the beginning and at the end of Jesus’ work. In his High Holy Prayer, Jesus says that He will ask God and God will “give you another advocate to help you and be with you.” (John 14:16-17). And on top of it, Jesus invites us into that same relationship.
Between those two amazing scenes, Jesus built a team around Him. While He was the leader, He invited other to peer-level relationships. “Peter, we are going to build this organization upon you.” He served them by washing their feet. Jesus gave them the baskets so they could feed the hungry crowd of 5,000. Jesus’ model was for people to learn “the way” from peer to peer to peer.
So, if God had a team and Jesus built a team, how do we operate without a group surrounding us?
The Brand Promise of a C3 Forum includes “Peer-Learning.” It is in a C3 Forum that you are surrounded by contemporaries. This is a cohort of colleagues. There’s no official coach, but rather a volunteer C3 Forum Chair. That C3 Forum Chair is experienced, proven and trained, but they are simply there to facilitate and guide. The impact of the Brand Promise is found in the input from your tablemates.
It is not uncommon to meet with business leaders who claim they are “too busy” to be in this type of group. This isn’t about time but rather prioritization. God calls us to be in community, just as He did.
Legally, you may be a sole-proprietor, but no one should operate alone.
Questions for Reflection/Journaling:
- Obvious first question. Who is around you? Start with a thorough inventory of everyone who is speaking into your faith, family and “factory” today.
- Now let’s narrow it. Of that list, who are the peers that speak into your life? Who are those associates with whom you see yourself? Name them.
- “Look ahead of you.” Is there someone that is “ahead of you on the course?” Is there a person that you aspire to be? How may you draw close to them?
- Pray for God to bring people to your life. People that are able to risk the relationship, have an understanding of the course and are willing to push you to new levels. We should all pray for God to bring those people into our lives. Take note when they arrive. Engage.