I have been thinking and writing about the qualities of emotionally healthy leadership since 1996. Each book (e.g. The Emotionally Healthy Leader) and theme in The EH Discipleship Courses touches a different facet of emotionally healthy leadership. Yet, as I continue on my own growth journey and interact with leaders, my nuancing of these challenges continues to sharpen. The following are the first 5 of my 10 challenges to being an emotionally healthy leader: Deep Loving Union and Surrender. Behind the pressure and demands that seek to cut us off from abiding in Jesus are powers and principalities of evil. To follow Jesus’ voice and will, regardless of where He leads, requires a deep trust developed through a long, slow history of being with Him in secret. This kind of depth cannot be learned in a class or book. Antidote: Faithfulness to spiritual practices. Obedience in the small things. Initiative to position yourself in. Read more.
According to a Pew Research study, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. Millennials, whom we now define as those ages 20-36, number over 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 53-71). Businesses such as Goldman Sachs are studying this trend, recognizing they will “change the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.” I too have been thinking about this new culture of Millennials as they increasingly become the dominant culture in many of our churches. What are the critical issues we must address to make mature disciples, build sustainable communities, and reach the world effectively? The following are my top 5: Practice Presence in a Digitally Connected World. Millennials are the first generation where social media and smart phones are the air they breathe. But screens can’t teach empathy or face-to-face conversation. We have an amazing opportunity. Read more.
Few things highlight our unresolved immaturities than the size and number of elephants in the room among those we lead (i.e. those inappropriate behaviors that remain unacknowledged). For this reason, God so often uses them as gifts to grow us out of our childishness into becoming godly, adult (telios) leaders. That is why we must become experts at dealing with elephants in the room. In Part 1, I explored the roots of why this is so pervasive in our lives. In Part 2, I explored five elements on how to deal with elephants. And now, in this podcast, I summarize and expand on this multilayered reality that each of us faces as we lead for Christ. Enjoy! LISTEN HERE Once again, let me invite you to our Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference on May 3-4. This unique equipping experience will equip you with the essential inner and outer life skills needed to create a truly. Read more.
We often see elephants in the room as interruptions when, in reality, they are gifts and opportunities. Elephants, as I explained in last week’s blog, are those inappropriate or immature behaviors that remain unacknowledged and unaddressed on our teams. Dealing with elephants is a central part of what it means to be a leader. Of course, elephants show up on our teams. The higher up, or deeper in, people progress as leaders, the more their immaturities and gaps reveal themselves. Simply think of Jesus and his team of disciples. These are God’s gifts for us to invest in our team members and shape the culture of the ministry or organization we lead. I have 30 years of wrestling with elephants and have made innumerable mistakes, many of which are recounted in The Emotionally Healthy Leader. Nonetheless, out of these failures, and some successes, 5 elements on how to deal with elephants have emerged for. Read more.
My life passion is the glory of Jesus and that the world might know Him. A high quality, loving, vibrant church is His primary means for that to happen (cf. Eph.4:11-16; John 13:34-35). So, like many of you, my life work is to offer leadership to the church for this to become a reality. That is why we must become experts at dealing with elephants in the room. Elephants in the room refer to obviously inappropriate or immature behaviors that remain unacknowledged and unaddressed. Such elephants commonly roam wild and free among our teams, limiting our witness for Christ. Why is this so pervasive? The influence of our family of origin. Many of us grew up in families where multiple elephants lived. We are accustomed to elephants, large and small, freely roaming among us. We hate mess. We fear that if we address the elephants on our teams, things may actually worsen. They will. Read more.
Geri and I were in Alexandria, Virginia a couple of years ago when I walked past the memorial statue below that read: “Erected to the Memory of the Confederate Dead of Alexandria, VA by their surviving comrades. May 24, 1889.” All I could think of was how bad leadership, going back decades, led to a Civil War (1861-1865) that killed 529,000 men in a country of 32 million. Bad leadership continues to kill people today. Bad leadership kills individuals. When sheep enter our churches, they come with a variety of motivations. They need mature shepherds to offer clear direction on how to connect with Jesus and reach their God-given potential in Christ. What happens when they don’t? Many shipwreck, and a few even die, in the difficult journey we call life. Bad leadership kills singles and marrieds. Offering discipleship in churches for our singles and marrieds is difficult. It is time-consuming and messy. The. Read more.