Weekly Thought – October 10, 2017
Fred answered these mentoring questions as a website exercise. He didn’t spend days or months preparing and crafting answers. He demonstrated his own principle: “speak from the overflow.” His disciplined thought life enabled him to engage in this activity because his life was preparation.
BWFLI will be initiating our Mentoring Roundtables in 2018. These questions will be foundational to a curriculum consisting additionally of articles, Fred Saids, You and Your Network, and conversation starters. Continue praying for us as we firm up our schedule, team members, and materials.
What Are You Thinking?
(The AM/PM group asked Fred to capture some of the mentoring questions they discussed monthly. Later on, the BWF Project asked him to give his thumbnail answers to them. Fred had no preparation – these are his top of mind responses while lying in his hospital bed.)
1) Do I put people in my life who personify desirable traits? I have found personifying desirable traits a valuable tool. Early in my business life I picked out six traits I thought would be helpful. I found six individuals who personified each of them. I hung a picture of these six on my office wall. I hung a picture of Christ at the top with a mirror for me to reflect my own image at the bottom. You should be looking for people who exemplify positive traits. For example, I had one picture of a man who personified graciousness; and another intellectual integrity. I found I could sit in front of these pictures and evaluate my growth in these areas. I think it was helpful for these men to know what their picture meant to me.
2) What are bad habits that may be building into reflexes? I have made a list of bad habits that I should try and eliminate. Some are temper, financial irresponsibility, cynicism, untruthfulness among others. I have to remember that unless it is prominent enough to be destructive, I don’t make it a primary concern. One that needs to be monitored and managed is the desire to be liked by my peers.
3) Do I have a friendly critic and what are their qualifications and responsibilities? I am more concerned that a critic is truthful than their being friendly. I imagine I used the word “friendly” to mean objective and interested in my development. Anytime I am criticized I should ask if the criticism is true. This is difficult since we tend to demean our critics. I like the old adage: “My critics are the guardians of my soul.” Be sure that any critic is skilled in the area of their criticism. I believe Proverbs indicates that a genuine, skilled critic will be more helpful than one who flatters you. One of my most successful friends says “I will accept no criticism from anyone who does not have something to gain from my success.”
4) How do I promote constructive criticism? Appreciation of valid criticism and changing as a result of it is generally enough to create another’s freedom to offer constructive observations.
5) To whom am I really accountable? I am only accountable to those who are expert enough to be helpful. Generally, we should be accountable to an outside source rather than ourselves. If we declare ourselves to be the only authority we have a great tendency to make exceptions favoring our behavior.
This week consider these: 1) What analysis have I done to identify my strengths and weaknesses? 2) Who are the people who personify the traits I consider important to my personal development? 3) If I chose six characteristics, what would they be?
Words of Wisdom: “Be sure that any critic is skilled in their area of criticism.”
Wisdom from the Word: “With God are wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” (Job 12:13 NET Bible)