Be Strong and Courageous!

Kelly Kannwischer
Kelly Kannwischer | March 25, 2020

Over the next 2 weeks, I am exploring principles of mental and spiritual strength. I will share characteristics that strong people exhibit and ways in which you can cultivate them in your own life.

Characteristic #7 – Strong People Collaborate

Pardis Sabeti gave a TED Talk in 2015 on the secret to halting the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa in 2014.  It was a harrowing time as the virus quickly spread.  The feature of her talk is the secret to ending the crisis – collaboration. She admits that she had to buck the status quo of scientific research by publishing it to the web and asking the world for help.  Instead of keeping the data to her team and lab, they recruited the world’s scientists to create a solution. 

This story is particularly poignant given the current reality of COVID-19.  We have to move past mistrust and division in order to ramp up the ability to test, treat, and produce a vaccine that can ebb this curve.  Success depends on being highly collaborative, not carrying about personal achievement or success but on the rather on building the capacity to save people from the ravages of the virus. 

You may not be a scientist on the front lines, but we can all learn something about the power of collaboration.  The primary reason we don’t share and seek the input of other is that we are jealous and intimidated by the success of others.  Envy is a common affliction of the human soul. 

In the third chapter of his letter, James talks about two kinds of wisdom.  The first is described as “earthly.”  This way of being in the world is characterized by selfish ambition that creates disorder.  Do you have moments in which you delight in the failure of others?  When you are glad that someone did not reach their goals?  While human, James is calling us to a higher stander.  James implores us to seek the wisdom that comes from above.  This wisdom is characterized by gentleness, full of mercy, and “willing to yield” which means to generously take into account the thoughts and contributions of others.  

Mentally and spiritually strong people enjoy and celebrate the success of others.  If you have not read Bob Goff’s book, Everybody Always, then I recommend it to you.  The cover features his signature love of party balloons that match his enthusiastic personality. The stories he tells are celebratory even in the face of challenge.  Bob Goff’s enthusiasm and positivity are contagious.  Bob has a vast network of leaders, friends, and collaborators because he is someone who exhibits the biblical characteristics of collaboration – gentleness and humility without partiality or hypocrisy. 

If you are like me, when adversity hits then you “hunker down” and try to get it done.  I am not proud of the fact that when stressed my independent streak rages.  Because I value movement and progress, I can see others only as obstacles that will slow me down.  Right now my husband and children are bringing their full selves to our new reality.  They don’t need me to tell them what to do, or worse for me to tell them how I have it all figured out.  We need each other. 

In your work life, how do you reach out to others near and far to share data and find better ways together?  How are you celebrating those around you when they experience a win?  Mentally and spiritually strong people don’t envy the success of others, but seek to collaborate. 

Join Younique’s Open National Staff Meeting.  Each Monday we are hosting a meeting for pastors leading in churches of every size and in every location. Share ideas, celebrate successes, find new ways to collaborate during this unprecedented disruption in gathering. 

I would love to hear how are collaborating for the win. How are you moving past the envy to lift up the success of others and collaborate? [email protected].  Be strong and courageous! 

Kelly Kannwischer

Kelly Kannwischer

Kelly Beckham Kannwischer is an executive, consultant and not-for-profit coach and leader. Kelly lives in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as Cofounder and CEO of the Future Church Company and CEO of Younique. Previously, Kelly lived and worked in Orange County, California where served Vanguard University as a Vice President and President of the Vanguard University Foundation. Kelly is an accredited Insights Discovery Client Practitioner and Certified Fundraising Executive. Kelly is married to Rev. Dr. Richard Kannwischer and is the proud mother of Danica (age 17) and Ashby (age 15). When she is not working or volunteering, Kelly enjoys playing golf, reading, and enjoying the outdoors.