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Tag Archives: reflect

Every Leader is Toxic

For years I heard the maxim: “Hire to your weaknesses.” A more important truism, however, might be: “Hire to minimize your toxicity.” I used to idealize gifted leaders who were “successful,” projecting on them a weight they could not bear. Getting close up to them always revealed their “dark” side, their limitations, and their toxicity. I found out they too were sinners, deeply impacted by the Fall just like me. What can we do then? None of us wants to unleash our toxicity into the organizations and communities we lead. Here are three suggestions: 1. Grow in Self-awareness. Ponder. Reflect. Invite feedback. Slow down to listen and ask questions.  My 22 year old recently commented on the way I took for granted the time of a young New Life staff person who was waiting to meet with me. After defending myself for a few minutes, the Holy Spirit quietly whispered, “Shut up and listen.”  I. Read more.

Lamenting Leadership

What might it mean for the leadership of a church or ministry to embrace the lamenting of loss as part of her life together?  What might it mean for your life or mine? I have spent the last two weeks absorbed in the book of Lamentations, reading, meditating, pondering, and praying the words of Jeremiah as my own. The exercise was transformative and, yes, quite painful. What is most interesting is that in I have written chapters on grief and loss in two different books. Yet I felt like I was approaching the theme for the first time. What did God show me anew? 1. Both the love of God and suffering are foundational paths to genuine transformation. Suffering opens us up uniquely to God, ourselves and others, forcing us to slow down and reflect. I have missed transforming moments from God, both personally and for New Life, because of my unwillingness to remain. Read more.

Contemplative Leadership — of Yourself and Others

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love (John 15:9). I  have just concluded an active season, more active than I would have liked. I am sobered how easily, through one or two new commitments, the pace of my life quickened. Rushing increased.  My anxiety level heightened. I struggled to remain thoughtful. Contemplative Leadership of ourselves, out of which we lead others, is challenging. I have to remind myself of the following four guidelines that are indispensable if I am “to remain in His love.”  1. Do One Thing At A Time— For me this means being present in every meeting, whether it is in worship, a one-on-one mentoring time, answering an e-mail, or watching my daughter’s track meet. This means limiting e-mail to fixed times during the day and not trying to squeeze more into the day than God intends. 2. Honor Transitions– Taking time between meetings at church is very difficult but key. Read more.