Total Pageviews

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who is your BFF?

This article was posted by one of my friends on Facebook.  It was on a page called "Micheal Hyatt Intentional Leadership".  I've decided to use it as my post today.  Enjoy!

"What does marriage have to do with leadership? If you are married, everything. Nothing will undermine your effectiveness as a leader faster than a bad marriage. Your marriage is a living example of what it is like to be in a close relationship with you. This is why it is so important that leaders get this right if they want to influence others.

A Couple, Riding Bikes and Hoding Hands Photo courtesy of ©, Image #10291317
Photo courtesy of ©
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is very me-centered. Gail and I often talk to people who are frustrated with their spouses. Most of this stems from the fact that they are not getting what they think they need or what they think they should be getting.

I am not saying that it is wrong to give voice to your needs. I am saying that it is often an ineffective way to get them met, unless you first sow the seeds of giving and servanthood. (This is also good practice for being a leader in any sphere of life.)

Gail and I have been married for 33 years next month. We can both honestly say that we are one another’s best friends. We talk constantly, go on long walks together, and eat almost every meal together. We just love being in each other’s company.

But what if you don’t have this kind of relationship with your spouse? We work with enough couples to know that this kind of intimacy and friendship is rare.

But, honestly, we are not special. I don’t want to be naive, but I don’t think it is that difficult—if you are willing to make the investment.

If you are, then I would recommend three steps:
  1. Make a list of what you would want in a best-friend. If you were going to advertise on Craig’s List for a best friend, what would the ad look like? Perhaps it might look like this:
    Wanted: Best Friend
    Prospective candidates will:
    • Make me feel good about being me.
    • Affirm my best qualities (especially when I am feeling insecure)
    • Call out the best in me, and hold me accountable to the best version of myself.
    • Listen without judging or trying to fix me.
    • Give me the benefit of the doubt.
    • Extend grace to me when I am grumpy or having a bad day.
    • Remember my birthday, favorite foods, music, and art.
    • Know my story and love me regardless.
    • Spend time with me, just because they enjoy my company.
    • Speak well of me when I am not present.
    • Serve me with a joyful spirit and without complaining.
    • Speak the truth to me when no one else will.
    • Never shame me, diminish me, or make me feel small.
    • Become excited about what I am excited about.
    • Celebrate my wins!
  2. Now become that person for your spouse. That’s right. Turn the table. Make this a list of the kind of friend you will become. I can promise you this: anyone who does half of these kinds of things will have more friends than he or she knows what to do with. But what if you focused this effort on your spouse? Think of the possibilities.
  3. Keep sowing the seeds, until the relationship blossoms. How long will it take to create this kind of relationship? It all depends on where you are starting. For some, it might be several months. For others, it might take years. Friendships are like gardens; they must be cultivated. The key is to be consistent and persistent—without expectations.
This is really nothing more than the application of the Golden Rule to marriage: “Do to others what you would want them to do to you” (Luke 6:31).

If couples would invest in one another like I am suggesting, the divorce rate would plummet. Romance is important. Sex is too. But a solid friendship is the foundation of everything else.

1 comment:

  1. To My BFF
    I had occasion to read the same information, and I have to say that this is “spot on”. I am saddened that far too many of us get caught up in the “Me” zone. There is nothing good that comes from kind of thought process. I realize that this article was centered on marriage and couples but let’s be honest here, if we subscribe to the Me concept it makes no difference whether we are married, dating or single, it is never appropriate nor does it ever really work.
    As I reviewed the three “3” steps, I whole heartedly support them, but I think that they fall a little short in providing a complete formula for success. Let me explain. From my perspective there needs to be at least one more step in this equation.

    That being said let me say that I am not a writer but will attempt to put my thoughts down and hopefully, in the end, they will make sense, at least to me. As I start this undertaking know that I am entering uncharted waters on a personal level.

    4. Once you get it down, never let it go. All to often and specialty when we are trying something new, working to improve or make significant change we get caught up and focused on the task at hand, which in and of itself is not bad. This gives us the chance to realize success sooner than later. And before you know it, we are new improved and better than ever.

    Now for the “never let it go” thoughts. It has been my experience that often times as we find success in our new life, we tend to become complacent and forget all the effort and hard work that it took to become the new us. And over time we gradually slip back into our old habits and ways. Before you know, the new us is gone and has been replaced with the old us. Finally in frustration we say, dang that sure didn’t work, that was a waste of time and effort .

    The trick is “Don’t Look Back” move forward and focuses on the future. We each need to consider what will work for us so that we can maintain and retain the success we have achieved. This is and individual process, we are all different and what works for me may not work for you.

    I now realize that I will add one additional step. Before I do, let me say that as far as I am concerned this list of steps is very likely incomplete, and should be looked at as a living list.
    It should be reviewed, evaluated, and revised as needed in the future.

    5. Invite divine intervention and guidance through daily prayer. Remember if you want and are looking specific help/results, you must pray in specifics.

    Isn’t it interesting that the shortest step is the most important. So as we go through life and from time to time feel the need to revisit these steps, the default answer will always be; go to step # 5.

    I Love You and cherish the knowledge that we will always be together.
    Always and Forever