In 2 Chronicles 23, King Jehoida was giving instructions to his army, the priests, and the Levites about protecting about the temple of the Lord, who was allowed to enter it and who was not. And verse 6 says: “… all the other men are to guard what the Lord has assigned to them.”

When I get asked, “How are things with Converge Coaching going?” I’m so inclined to say “Busy!” I don’t like that inclination. Something about that response bugs me. Maybe it would be better to respond, “I’m guarding what the Lord’s assigned to me.”

Assignment is a critical word for a leader. A recurring challenge of leadership is staying focused on our God-given assignment. Our God-ordained mission and vision. Much of the work that screams for a leader’s attention pulls him or her away from these pursuits. The daily firefighting inherent in directing any organization can be distracting. Even worse, it can also be intoxicating.

Solving people problems, knocking out the items on your to do list—whether they move the ball down the field toward your vision or not—running on adrenaline . . . these can bring a short-term sense of accomplishment. But they often interfere with assignment. Busy-ness doesn’t guarantee productivity. In fact, busy can fool us into thinking we’re achieving when we’re really not.

Good leadership outcomes require asking ourselves a lot of self-reflective questions: “Why did God put me on planet Earth?” “What is my unique contribution to the organization I’m leading?” “Am I doing what really matters?” Asking and answering these questions periodically helps us stay laser-focused.

So . . . how can we avoid being faked out by busy? By guarding what the Lord has assigned to us.

Guarding our assignment includes:

1. Devoting the best part our day, time, and energy to our God-given purpose

I do my best to work first thing on the most demanding tasks, especially those that are destination-specific. I’m a morning person . . . so my most productive work hours are from 6:00 in the morning until about noon. It’s when I do my best dreaming, thinking, strategizing, writing, etc. So, after my morning time of worship, prayer, and bible study, I get to work first on the highest value (and often most difficult) tasks.

2. Developing an approach to work that tracks with our mission and vision

Our job isn’t to stay busy. It’s to do the things that add the most value—even when they’re more difficult. I use a simple 2-step process that includes a whiteboard and a weekly work plan. There’s not enough room in today’s post to fully outline this for you, so if you’d like more detail, reach out to us here. But let me give you the highlights:

I divide the whiteboard hanging on my office wall into four quadrants:

  • Upper right quadrant – This is the dream quadrant. Our year-end 2025 vision lives here. Our long-term goals reside in this quadrant. If you’re not dreaming a bit, you’re missing out on part of what it means to lead.
  • Upper left quadrant – This is our core value quadrant. Converge Coaching’s four core values are listed here. Core values are the behavioral rumble-strips of an organization. I look at this quadrant daily, because I need to be reminded how to behave as we make our way toward our dreams.
  • Lower left quadrant – This is the quadrant where our current quarter goals/projects live. Five-to-six goals or projects (that map to our dream quadrant) are outlined here.
  • Lower right quadrant – This quadrant contains the next quarter’s goals/projects

On Saturday mornings I take the contents of the whiteboard, along with the appointments on my calendar, and plan out the upcoming work week. So, when I get to the office on Monday morning, I hit the ground running. There is no confusion over what I should work on.

Having a solid game-plan for how you approach work helps you guard your assignment.

3. Deal ruthlessly with distractions

Notice I didn’t say deal ruthlessly with people, even though sometimes, they can be really distracting. Ask yourself: “Am I only doing what only I can do?” I know the answer to that question for me is currently “no.” But every year I work at getting closer to that gold standard. “Am I only doing what only I can do?”

Committing to this standard not only increases our organization’s chances of getting to the end zone. It also forces delegation, shared leadership responsibility, and will allow the work to continue even if I get run over by a gravel-hauler tomorrow. Obviously, if that terrible event ever happened, I’d like the team to pause for a few days to mourn my passing, but then be able to pick up the ball and keep moving it toward Converge Coaching’s God-given destination.

Leader . . .  what is your God-given assignment? If you don’t know, figure that out first, and then build your work life around it. Work on the most important stuff when you have the most energy. Every week (except when you’re on vacation) you should have 2-3 major items you’re focused on that move you closer to the dream God has put in your heart.

Are you giving your God-given purpose the time, energy, and focus it deserves? Of course, you’ll have to tend to other tasks that aren’t assignment-centric. But don’t allow those pursuits to keep you from prioritizing the good works God has specifically prepared in advance for you to do.

Guard what the Lord has assigned to you.

Rooting and praying for you,

John

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