I believe God gave me a special light. It’s the thing that no one can put their finger on, the spark that draws people. I began noticing this light at a young age. Early on it showed up when my friends looked to me to make decisions, stopping to listen when I would speak. As I grew older, the light turned into employers asking me for business advice, adults sharing their troubles and being given more responsibility.
How I Chose to Use My Light
I didn’t always use this light for good. When I was younger, partying was at the forefront of my life and I wanted others to be rebellious with me.
At twenty-three, I decided it was time to stop traveling, return home and go back to school. But traveling put me in debt, so I started cleaning houses for a vacation rental company. It was great – beautiful homes, no people and easy money.
And then fate stepped in. During my third week, I arrived at work to discover the property manager had walked out. I quickly volunteered to take her place, and it was given to me on a temporary basis. It was a chance for me to step up and shine.
On the first day, I did a walk-thru after the lead housekeeper only to find the home in disarray. Lightbulbs hasn’t been replaced, hair on the bathroom floors and amenities weren’t stocked. I was furious. I called her to meet me at the office. But as I was driving, God blessed me with the wisdom to see this situation differently by putting myself in her shoes.
Wisdom Changes Perspective
I was half the age of the lead housekeeper and she had many years with the company. She was a single mom and had been working for the former property manager who didn’t care how she performed. Did she leave the house in disarray on purpose or out of laziness? It didn’t matter. But what did matter was how I handled the situation.
She entered my office and I came out from my desk and sat down next to her. I explained that my position as a manager was new for me and that I needed her help to do better than the manager before me. I asked her how we could make the housecleaning job easier and where management could help with the growth.
Her hard shoulders and masked face began to relax as I spoke and we ended up talking for almost an hour. After that day she became my greatest ally and stepped in many times when I needed it.
This all took place on my first day.
How My Light Can Be Used
Being a property manager changed my life. Over the course of a year, I reorganized the department from the bottom up and made incredible improvements in how it functioned. I managed 30+ employees, vendors, 120+ home owners and answered to the company’s owners. Management made me see all the wonderful ways my light could be used, but also the great respect it deserves.
I believe everyone has a light, but allowing that light to shine through can be tough. I believe real leadership is serving those around us and being willing to walk a mile in their shoes. I pray that whatever road God guides me on, it would allow me to help others find their light and use it to help one another.