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  • Gina Abbas

Carpooling Alone

"You didn't ask."

Something I've heard before. You didn't ask for coaching. For development. For a raise. For Paid maternity leave. For time on my calendar. 

Four words. Here are four words you need to remember. "Unspoken expectations go unmet," a former employer and female church leader made sure to remind me of (although I am pretty sure she picked this up from someone else maybe Brene Brown?)


So speak up! If you've ever felt the sting of unmet expectations and began to wonder if it's your fault... 

For not "leaning in" enough or having that moxie Jen Hatmaker talks about. Or if you've had second thoughts that maybe you are not the leader you thought you were, let me remind you, you can lead and it will be hard.

Especially if you were raised (or it's your personality type) to be the "sweet" and polite girl who never makes waves. It will be hard to ask for time. For access. For development. For a follow-up conversation because you have something to add to the discussion. Even more so if you happen to be a female in ministry and work in a culture of "I can't be alone with you because you are a girl." Let's be real here. If you are female & work in an environment where you can't hitch a ride to the airport w/ a male coworker (or even to grab a burger down the street) how do you cultivate a leadership culture? A leadership culture where it feels normative to raise your hand? To advocate for access & time w/ male senior leaders? It is difficult to communicate confidently when it takes 5 years to move from a high-five to a side hug with male colleagues (true story!) I was raised in a Hispanic family. We hug and kiss everyone. AND why aren't there more female senior church leaders? I will save that one for another time. I wrote about bad boundaries in my book A Woman in Youth Ministry, where I advocate breaking bad boundaries with a burger. When women are viewed as a potential threat because of their gender....it keeps us small. Isolated. Fenced in. It makes it SO much harder to raise our hand. Leaving women with unspoken and unrealized expectations. Let me leave you with this from Grey's (and a challenge to grab a burger w/ a church leader of the opposite gender)

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