Glue holds things together. There is craft glue, wood glue, spray glue, hot glue, super glue, and may other types. We were introduced to glue in Kindergarten with the simple instruction not to eat it! Later in life we learn to use it in arts and crafts projects, to build things, and fix things. I have even used super glue to keep the sole of my shoe on to get through a round of golf. True story.
As a leader in your local community, you are the glue that holds things together. As a coach, educator, public servant, entrepreneur, pastor, volunteer, or whatever role you serve in, what you do matters. You better others and the world you live in. You are a community leader.
So what can glue teach us about being better community leaders? Lets dive into four ways:
Glue Takes Time to Strengthen
All of us would love to burst onto the scene in our community day one and make a difference. Just like glue, it does not always work that way. Some glues set up quicker than others, but all take a period of time to reach their full strength. The ability for the glue to hold things together gets stronger with time.
We all are at different points in our journey. You may have just started to serve your community and your impact may not be fully set up yet or you may have served your community well for decades and you are well established.
Either way, the best way to strengthen your bond with the community is to invest in relationships. I like to use the example of bank accounts. I have to make a lot of small deposits before I can make a big withdrawal. If I do not regularly deposit my paycheck into my account and try to pay my mortgage, it bounces. Spend time meeting with people for no purpose other than to build a relationship. When the mortgage comes due later, you will have money in the bank. Strengthen your bonds with people.
Glue Builds Things
I like to build things out of wood. This requires using, you guessed it, glue. Leaders in local communities build things. They build physical things like Habitat for Humanity builds houses, but they also build people. You could sum up the word community by simply defining it as, “a group of people.” We are all given the opportunity to influence others. With people, you either build them up or tear them down. Use your influence to build others up.
Glue Fixes Broken Things
Back in January, we dissected the song Man in the Mirror byMichael Jacksonin the post The Mirror.A great song that I highly encourage you to add to your playlist! A perfect Monday morning drive in song. Turn it up!
In the post, we talked about how community leaders are burdened. We are burdened by things that need to be fixed in our communities. Maybe it is a student who gets their only meal at lunch, a player who is hanging around the wrong crowd, an employee who has a child with cancer, or a church member who has lost their job. What is on your list of burdens? There are a lot of broken things in our communities.
Here is the good news. No matter how heavy that burden feels, anything great that has ever been accomplished in this world starts with a burden. It takes one person saying enough is enough and being the glue that brings the people and the resources together that puts things back together. You cannot fix everything, but you can fix something. Start with that.
Glue Can Still Fail
No matter what the sales pitch is on the label, glue can fail. It can be improperly applied, not given the proper time to set up, or the bond can be weakened if overused. As community leaders, we are the bond that hold things together.
We are expected to hold our families, our organizations, our businesses, and our teams together. That pressure can test the strength of the glue that holds YOU together. Here is a little secret. Even Superman’s cape got tattered at some point during the movie. We fall short. It is okay. We all do.
For me, it usually happens when I do not give myself proper time to get strong. I can focus on others so much that I forget to invest in me. It is easy to leave the new leadership book that I ordered sitting on the nightstand, I do not press play on the Podcast, I do not take the time I need to recharge, I take a nap instead of heading to the gym. I could go on and on. If I do not have my things held together, it limits my ability to be a good husband, father, coach, or team member. Invest in yourself so you are not having to glue the pieces back together later.
Have you ever been around that person that is the glue to your team? They are constantly working to keep things together behind the scenes to make everyone else better. They are the adhesive that makes everything work. These are special people that make a big difference for a cause greater than oneself. Well, if no one has told you today, I will. You are the glue.
If you follow this blog, I know this. You want to be a better community leader. No doubt. One of the greatest gifts you have been given is the role you play in your community. You are a difference maker. If you disappeared tomorrow, people would notice. There would be a void in your community. I promise.
Do not take the gift you have been given to serve your community for granted. Be the glue that holds things together in your family, your organization, and your community. Be the adhesive that brings resources and people together to fix broken things. Go serve your community well. They are waiting.
Ordinary to Extraordinary Intersection
Are you strengthening your bond in the community by investing in relationships? Are you using your influence to build people up? What is something that burdens you that you want to fix in your world? Are you investing in yourself to help keep it together?