With teams coming and going this time of year, I've been trying to figure out how I can do my jobs in two places in a way that is most effective and reflects best on the One I serve.
Though I had clearly forgotten about it, I was reminded tonight of a very similar situation when I was working in Taiwan. Cleaning out old e-mails from an account I rarely use, I found one message about the challenges of managing two very different departments. I remember the challenge of spending some hours at my desk on the 6th floor, working with a team of Web designers and programmers, Chinese and Filipino girls. And then heading down to my desk on 3rd floor, working with writers, editors, and print designers, some Chinese, some Canadian, most of them American. And just as different personalities warranted different ways of leading, so did culture play a role.
Here I am, five years later, doing a similar juggle. In Kipkaren, I work mostly with Nandi people, and my responsibilities revolve around leadership development and staff encouragement. In Ilula, I work with a mix of Tugen and Keiyos as well as some Nandis and a smattering of other tribes. And my role here is completely different from my role in Kipkaren. It's a mental switch I have to make, trying to constantly keep in mind the different boundaries and freedom that comes with working in different places. But as in Taiwan, there's also the switch in style depending on the personalities and cultures I'm working with.
It's almost like a dance. And some days, you step on toes. Or you get your toes stepped on.
Today was not one of those days. But in between connecting with our American and Russian interns and working with my Kalenjin coworkers, I had to smile.
Grant me wisdom, Lord, to speak to each person's heart in a way they can understand. And guide me in the dance so I may glorify You.