Creating a culture of life..

To create is something beautiful. I love artists when they are creating art, or when architects are drawing houses creating a future dream. Or when people come together and create something together.

Life is too short to be bored.
Creating is one of my favourite things. I love looking for open areas to create something. In my garden I love creating raised beds, heat compost, but in my working life the most important thing I can do is to create a culture of life.

When people leave the room inspired, lifted up and I can see the people’s endorphin flooding in, I know we are onto something good. Creating a culture of life is not done overnight, its not something that just happens, its something we make steps towards, and build stone by stone.

I have said it before here on, leadership is about protecting the borders, and this applies to nations, but as well to churches and organisations. We protect not by control or manipulation, but by setting the culture, setting the culture up for being full of life. When there is life, people want to be a part of it, when there is life and excitement, it’s like a happy tribe that you are part of. That is a leader’s role.

At the same time, a leader’s role is to expand the borders. That happens when you embrace others’ initiatives, when you say “yes, let’s do it” to your people, and you are not afraid of differences and other views or opinions, but you see them as a great resource for all to get a bigger picture.

Leaders creating this culture of encouragement, life, expectations and fun know that leadership is not a title or a role. They know its not practical or spiritual, but it’s visionary and culture creating leadership. We, as leaders, create the culture within our teams and organisations, we set the standards.

In my domain I hear people speak about spiritual leadership. I am well aware of what this is, as I have lead a mission ministry for many years, but I think Peter Halldorf (Swedish theologian) is right when he says that whenever people hear this term we need to be alert. A lot of bad and manipulative leadership has come out of this term. I am more practical in my approach and think holistically. Is anyone backing you up? Are people following you and do you create an atmosphere of excitement around you? Such as vision, dreams and so on.. well, leadership cannot be more spiritual than this.

When we create a culture of life, we are looking for celebration. There is too little celebration in most churches and organisations. Some just abide to the rules and regulations, others just don’t make it a point in celebrating! But please do, and when you do so, you will notice that people being cheered on, loved and cared for will bring visible results in your church and organisation .

Not long ago I told the leadership I am part of in church that we need more celebration and vision and less politics, negativity and focus on problems. If we don’t set the standard someone else will, and their agenda could be very different from ours. We need to set a standard for celebration.

I know when I am being inspired and when I am just present in the room, pretending I am listening to someone preaching their message, and this can be in church, but also at seminars or other organisations. I know when my mind is focused or when it simply wonders around. I know when I see a culture of life and when I don’t. Life is full of joy and passion which you hear of in stories and see the life in peoples’ eyes. But at the same time where there is not such culture you hear dead words, no significant action is taken and people just perish, because without vision people do perish.

You and I are called to create a culture of life around us, so we cannot let circumstances put us down and buy into to cheap politics and other peoples’ dead mentality! Life springs out from the bottom of our hearts, we love people, we love stories and we love creating beauty around us! This is what leadership is about, holistic and profound.

Till next time, create beauty around you!

Rune Saether

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