And whatever I myself can do, give me grace to begin.
One of the things leaders must consistently remind themselves of is to do the work that only they can do. This is not so much about delegation as it is the needs of the institution they serve. Whether it is by means of title and position or by means of giftedness and talent, leaders need to focus on the tasks that only they can - and should - do. As I look over my desk at this moment, I am amazed at (afraid of?) the number of tasks that lay before me, each calling my attention and time. When this feeling emerges within me, I need to step back and ask the question, "what is it that only I can do, and how might I delegate, distribute, or dismiss any of these other items?" Not always an easy task, as I (and many others in leadership roles) feel a responsibility to take on new projects and look for the kudos that come upon completion of those projects. And so I must consistently remind myself and pray the words and whatever I myself can do, give me grace to begin.
Amid the piles of tasks that lay in front of me, there are those items which loudly call out for my attention, those that lay dormant for weeks or months, and those that I would rather not see or act upon. Human nature tends to focus on those items that bring most pleasure, and so my tendency is to reach for that item which I enjoy doing. That item which perhaps needs the most attention is put to the bottom of the pile for "another day." And of course, as "another day" passes by, it soon becomes "another week," and the process of feeling guilt and remorse begins. It is at these moments in which I need to remind myself and pray the words and whatever I myself can do, give me grace to begin. It is when I finally begin that I find the energy to focus and complete the task before me...the task that only I can do.
The leader's prayer is many and varied, depending on the time, day, and circumstance that presents itself to the leader and the organization. Perhaps this is the prayer when deadlines loom (or better when those deadlines are farther out), when the piles get too high (or before they begin to grow), and when the amount or type of work to be done seems overwhelming (or when the work is still manageable). It is at these times that leaders can pray and whatever I myself can do, give me grace to begin, knowing that they have been called to this role to do the work that only they themselves can do...and that God's grace invites them to jump into the mess and begin the work that lay ahead.