UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

Leadership Development

Are We Just Filling Holes?

Are We Just Filling Holes?

During the summer that I turned 37, my mentor asked me, “Have you decided what you want to be when you grow up? And how can I help you get there?” His tone was gentle. His words were warm. But his question was serious. It seems like the kind of question you ask a 5-year old. Or of someone who just finished high school. But at 37, much of my adult professional life has already

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Privileged to Serve

Privileged to Serve

Last month Freedom to Lead International was in Ethiopia. This is a report from the President. Dear Friends, Thank you for praying as seven FTL team members from various locations travelled safely, and everyone stayed relatively healthy. Our indigenous ministry partners were very excited as they learned two modules of The Garden Project: Peacemaking  and Spiritual Leadership. They reported on the profound impact of former FTL modules both on themselves and on those they lead. Doug

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Reaching the Unengaged through the Leader on the Bridge

Reaching the Unengaged through the Leader on the Bridge

In order to reach many, invest in a few. How does a half dozen people reach 5000 unengaged Christian leaders in Africa? It’s simple, really, though certainly not simplistic. It is actually not t0o unlike the way our Lord Jesus did with The Twelve.  In order to engage the masses of Christian leaders who need the tools to grow as Christ-centered leaders in their churches and communities we invest in the one we call “The Leader

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Remain in Me

Remain in Me

On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus said to His disciples, “If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” These disciples did remain in Christ, and God used them beyond their wildest imagination. What is happening in this church?  This coming June, Tina and I look forward to visit her parents in the Florida town where Tina grew up. During our annual visits we typically attend a small church

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The Narrow Path to Peace (Song)

The Narrow Path to Peace (Song)

Teaching About Peacemaking Through Song Today we’d like to feature a song from Freedom to Lead International®‘s (FTL) most recent trip to Bamako, Mali. It is here where indigenous musicians developed culture specific songs to go along with FTL’s leadership development module on Peacemaking. The Lyrics “Avoid the Slippery Slopes,” says the lyrics of today’s song. And just what are the slippery slopes? The slippery slopes are two natural responses to conflict: “to fight” and “to

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Reaching the Unreached People in East Africa

Reaching the Unreached People in East Africa

Real People With Real Stories “Grace” is 30 years old. Every week she walks on rough roads through mountainous terrain for 25 miles in order to reach the community for Jesus. She is persecuted for her faith, but she persists in her ministry because her calling to the unreached is great. “Ian” worked among an unreached people group. He was one of the very few Christ followers that had made contact with these people. “Jerry”

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Christmas: A String Around My Finger

Christmas: A String Around My Finger

My grandmother used to help me to remember by saying, “Ricky, tie a string around your finger.” The logic, of course, was that when I saw the string, I would ask myself, “Why is the string there? Oh, I remember.” A string around my finger was kind of hard to forget. Christmas, too, is like a string around my finger. I have a way of forgetting, so each year the celebration of Jesus’ birth is

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Leading Through the Grief of Change

Leading Through the Grief of Change

Leading Change Through Grief A primary responsibility of leadership is to initiate and manage change. Like many of my peers, I have eagerly embraced this role of change agent during my career. In fact, I like change – that I initiate. On the other hand, I haven’t been so receptive of change when someone else is initiating it. My track record is pretty typical when another leader has initiated change that affects me. Getting in

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Wise Leaders Rarely Opine

Wise Leaders Rarely Opine

Retired Air Force General Jerry White shared a leadership principle that he practiced over the course of his decorated career: wise leaders seldom express their personal opinions. In light of the post-election unrest in America, our political leaders could have benefited everyone by heeding this advice. Dr. Jerry White is a retired Air Force general, President Emeritus of the Navigators, and a noted author. Once Jerry shared with me an essential lesson from his years

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Save the Founder’s Mentality

Save the Founder’s Mentality

Founder’s Syndrome If this musing by an organization’s founder on the value of organizational founders seems self-serving, indeed it is. But with the conventional avalanche of driveling complaints I hear and read about “founder’s syndrome,” it’s high time to speak up about the invaluable asset that many organizations forfeit when the founder walks out the door. Examples abound of founders who become a liability to the organizations they labored hard to birth and nurture. They hang

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A Vote For Virtuous Leadership

A Vote For Virtuous Leadership

The pending election for the leader of the free world has been hotly debated. The results will determine directions for our nation and planet in years to come. But this time around, millions of us are more deeply skeptical of our choices. Perhaps it’s because “virtuous leadership” needs more attention in our public discourse. The term “virtues” does not carry much credibility because it sounds like a throwback to the Victorian era. In generations past,

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Ordinary Leaders – Extraordinary Leadership

Ordinary Leaders – Extraordinary Leadership

Leadership Practices Inventory Assessment One of the requirements for my post-grad program in organizational leadership was to take an inventory to evaluate my own leadership practices. The results were predictable for an ordinary leader; I scored pretty well in some areas and not as well in others. But in one category my scores tanked! What do I do? I’ll try harder, but odds are not so high that I’ll ever excel in this area when

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