Leadership In The SUN

medium_6045855541I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was worried, thoughts ravaged my mind, I pondered over many scenarios. Then fear put a cold, solid grip on my heart. What would the future be for my family and I?

Like many a man, not having a solid feeling of control can leave me in a mental vortex.

In the sleepiness that plagued me that early morning, I remembered the following passage from Jeff Goins’ book, The In-Between.

“In frustration, I’m confronted with an old lesson of letting go, of looking beyond personal ambition and replacing it with something better. The slow growth that happens when I surrender to what life — and maybe God — is trying to teach me. So it seems, despite a penchant for travel, that the antidote to my restlessness is not another trip or adventure, but a deep abiding in where I am really matters. I don’t like it, but I’m starting to see the value of the times in between the big moments in life.”

My in-between is to activate the Suspend, Understand and Nurture model [TweetMe]. I needed to step into the SUN now to take control of my fears. As I wait for the next phase of my life to kick in, I can maximize on the present. The now becomes my launch pad.

SUSPEND my fear and embrace the possibilities by focusing on the vision [TweetMe]. I don’t live just for myself but to bring forth leadership that brings meaningful change to others. Succumbing to fear of failure reduces my chances to advance and possibilities to learn. I am robbing others of an opportunity to be led. When I progressively overcome my fear, I increase my chances of growing leaders, not just gaining followers. As Seth Godin puts it, “Fear the fear, feel the fear”.

UNDERSTAND the right tools required for leadership to thrive within me [TweetMe]. I must invest in the right attitude to engage with others, leaders and followers alike. However, these tools will not be available to me at the same time. I need to capture the moment and use what is at hand to gain what I can’t reach. Joseph Lalode shares the secret sauce for testing the waters and getting something done, pulling a ready, fire, aim on life. That attitude will be guided by the knowledge that there is always space to learn. It is only a fool who doesn’t change his mind!

NURTURE is paramount for any meaningful growth as a leader [TweetMe]. A frequent detox is required to get rid of the dirt/baggage for best results to emerge and leadership to shine. I need to learn and sit at the feet of great men and women who have gone before me. This includes a desire to be more accountable to myself and significant others. Learning to be humble will nurture my leadership and ability to mend fences and build bridges, especially with those I have wronged.

For any leader, those in-between moments can be make-it-or-break-it scenarios. I now have a deeper appreciation for what Steve Jobs once said, “Believe that things will work out… Trust your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path. Trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”


How can you apply the SUN model to grow your leadership?

photo credit: Kevin_Morris via photopin cc


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  1. #1 by Nyawira on November 2, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    This post is so on point! Word Deep!

  2. #3 by Brian Rensing on November 2, 2013 - 4:14 pm

    Great post, +Kimunya Mugo – I’ve had some challenges in recent days that make your post a great bit of therapy. What are your thoughts/suggestions when you see others driving an agenda rather than exerting leadership?

    • #4 by Kimunya Mugo on November 2, 2013 - 5:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment Brian. It’s a tough place to be, and you could feel the urge to give up. What has kept me going is having a very solid vision of what I set out to do. It is very uncomfortable in the interim, but in the long run you’ll find yourself not only getting your work done, but also gaining respect from your colleagues. Maybe this article by Michael Hyatt could be of help “What If You Work for a Bad Leader?” http://bit.ly/mUBDQh

  3. #5 by Chery Gegelman on November 2, 2013 - 7:36 am

    Kimunya, Thank you for sharing this post!

    This line hooked me instantly – “Like many a man, not having a solid feeling of control can leave me in a mental vortex.” (It hooked me because that is a struggle for me, but it is clearly a bigger struggle for most men.)

    The rest of your post resonated loudly as my journey and posts right now are also focused on facing fears and navigating the in-between. It is so encouraging to be reminded that we are not alone!

    • #6 by Kimunya Mugo on November 2, 2013 - 2:38 pm

      I am so glad it spoke to you Chery. We are one, navigating the river of fear. Overcoming it though, requires that we walk together and support each other. Thank you for your awesome comment.

  4. #7 by LaRae Quy (@LaRaeQuy) on November 1, 2013 - 8:23 pm

    What a beautiful post! And I just love that Jeff Goins quote…as they say, we have mountaintop experiences and we need to hold them dear, but we don’t live on mountaintops…we live in the valleys. Wisdom is learning how to live in those smaller, yet fertile areas of life.

    • #8 by Kimunya Mugo on November 1, 2013 - 8:27 pm

      Thank you LaRae and for helping keep the fire burning. Your comment is spot on. Concentrate on the “smaller, yet fertile areas of life”. I will definitely hold onto that one 🙂

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