What Does Your Vision Undo?

Effective leaders are known for their ability to inspire in others their vision for a preferred future. These leaders imagine how the changes inherent in their vision will benefit their employees, their target population, and their bottom line. But less often do leaders think carefully about what their vision will undo.

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Experience and Power Block Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is a leadership buzzword — and for good reason. Leaders who are self-aware build stronger relationships, communicate more effectively, and tend to make better decisions. Yet self-awareness among leaders – especially among more experienced, higher-level ones – is a rare quality.

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Effective Leadership Development – The Blind Men and the Elephant

Last week examined the categories for effective Christ-centered leadership development that make up its components. An organization or ministry may focus on one or more of these categories.

  1. character formation
  2. biblical literacy
  3. context-specific skills
  4. ministry development

By sizing up the task before us, knowing we are functioning in these categories, we think that all’s well that ends well, right? Yes, but here’s the caveat. Research shows that “while every emerging Christ-centered leader needs all four of these categories to be truly effective, no single school or service provider is proficient to develop leaders effectively in all four categories.

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Shipwreck Leadership

Recently I was reading the New Testament book of Acts. I wondered, Why would Luke the author devote such a long chapter of his book (27) to describe a voyage and shipwreck? Surely he could have spared us all the detail! But skilled as a writer and inspired by God, Luke presented important facts about Paul the courageous leader in a time of great crisis. Paul was prisoner aboard a ship bound for Rome. The ship had already encountered adverse winds, and November storms were looming. Speaking from experience – he had already been through three other shipwrecks – Paul warned the crew of impending danger. But as men in charge often do, they ignored him.

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Prudent Leadership

Prudence has been an essential leadership virtue historically, but the word has largely fallen out of use. Prudence was considered one of the greatest of virtues two thousand years ago. A hundred years ago it was part of moral philosophy, and today it is the punchline of a joke. For people of a certain generation it will forever conjure up the memory of Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush saying, “Wouldn’t be wise; wouldn’t be prudent.”

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Measuring Leadership Effectiveness

Leaders craft the cultures of their organizations – consciously or not – by what they consistently measure.  If leaders want something to become important – or remain important – in the minds and hearts of organizational stakeholders, they must figure out a way to measure it.  On the other hand, if leaders do not highlight a particular value or provide a means to measure it, that stated value will not likely be an actual value in the organization – especially in times of stress and pressure.

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Leading to Avoid Infectious Behavior

Grumpiness and Stupidity are Remarkably Contagious Old-timers will remember that the Osmonds topped the pop charts in 1971 when they sang, One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.” But when it comes to leading others to work together, this mantra just isn’t so. On the contrary, grumpiness and stupidity are remarkably contagious.

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Tell Stories – Build Trust

Uncommon Bond: What is your story? I was part of an extraordinary work team during the 90s. The members were smart and talented to be sure. But what really made this team special was an uncommon bond of trust that we built by telling stories.

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