5 for Leadership (9/20/14)

medium_6208433197Here is a new 5 for Leadership. We have posts on mentoring, storytelling, collegiate ministry, credibility and of course Apple. There has to be something here for you. Read one or more posts and be encouraged in your leadership.

The Top 4 Qualities of Great Mentors  Dan Rockwell opens this post with this line, “Mentoring ignites boldness by answering doubt with relational learning.” That should be enough to force you to click on this one.

What Apple Gets Right With Its Smart Watch  “When people say Apple has built things people didn’t know they need, it’s not really true. Apple has built things that meet the needs people have always had. More than any other consumer company, Apple gets what people really, fundamentally need.” There are some strong leadership principles here-take a look.

Credibility Is The Foundation of Leadership  This is a guest post from Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner on Tanveer Naseer’s blog. Here is a quote to whet your appetite: “People are exceedingly clear about the qualities they expect leaders to demonstrate before they will enlist in a common cause and freely commit to action.”

The Power of Storytelling  “Stories are an integral part to communicating effectively with your employees. A great story goes a long way, because it’s memorable and helps create an emotional connection with the listener.  What we feel impacts what we do, so stories can be a great way to move employees to action.” David Grossman does a good job of showing the power of story and some practical ways to tell a good one.

7 Questions for Two College Pastors  “Why college ministry? What’s there to be excited about when it comes to college ministry in the local church? How does a church actually get after this kind of ministry, given all of the challenges? Two college pastors—from two very different ministry contexts—weigh in on these questions and more.” I lived and breathed collegiate ministry for over 25 years–so forgive me for pointing you towards some quality leadership advice in this arena. This comes from the Gospel Coalition Blog and contains some great insights.

There are the 5 for this week. Enjoy!

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5 for Leadership (8/30/14)

small__168206195Here is fresh 5 for your Labor Day weekend. We have posts on intolerance, leading above the line, how to keep moving forward, the inner leadership circle of Jesus, and words that can change lives. Take a few minutes and click your way through. And have a great Labor Day!

The Jesus Inner Leadership Circle  “Jesus had an inner circle of leadership. It sounds exclusive. And it was. But you should have one too.” Ron Edmondson points us to several reasons why we should have a inner leadership circle and principles for developing one.

Coaching Conscious Leadership  “The first mark of conscious leaders is self-awareness and the ability to tell themselves the truth.  It matters far more that leaders can accurately determine whether they are above or below the line in any moment than where they actually are.  Distortion and denial are cornerstone traits of unconscious leaders.” John Agno defines above the line and below the line leadership and why it matters.

How To Change Lives With Two Words  “Tell people they’re inadequate long enough and they’ll believe it. Undermine their confidence with constant correction, tweaking, and complaints and they’ll pull back.” Dan Rockwell tells us how to instill belief and confidence in others. Take a look!

Be A Pioneer: Five Power Tips For Moving Onward  “Somewhere around the junior high school years, our U.S. history classes cover the compelling stories of trailblazing people venturing west—crossing the plains ISO (In Search Of) new country and treasures. As I remember studying those narratives, I marveled at how these explorers relied on their smarts, determined to know more and go beyond the boundaries.” Deborah Parker share some great principles for resilient leadership from a historical context. 

Spiritual Leaders Fight Against Intolerance  “We live in a world that is increasingly intolerant, one in which violence, untruthfulness, hate, mutual criticism abound, and people constantly and deliberately do hurtful things to others.” Dr. Leonard Doohan helps us spot intolerance in others and ourselves and provides us with ways to reject intolerant behavior.

There are the 5 for this Labor Day weekend. I hope you have a refreshing one and that something in this post actually adds to your leadership refreshment.

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5 for Leadership (8/2/14)

small__4284694062Here is a new 5 for the first weekend of August. We have posts on the importance of story telling, inner city leadership, leaders and social media, top leadership advice, and the best posts from July. There is something here for you to inspire your leadership.

We Asked Top Leaders To Share Their Number One Advice, and Here’s What They Said . . .  “When I learned about the LDC (Leadership Development Consultation) Conference I was intrigued. I was excited by it’s vision statement: ‘Be inspired to pursue God’s highest in leader development in the nations.’” Paul Sohn has posted some outstanding insights to leadership. 

Leadership Now 140: July 2014 Compilation  Here is a treasure trove of posts from this past month on the topic of leadership from some of the best leadership development minds–all captured in one place on the Leading Blog.

How To Tell A Great Story  “We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. It’s an essential skill, but what makes a compelling story in a business context? And how can you improve your ability to tell stories that persuade?” This is one of the most popular reads on the HBR Blog. 

7 Keys To Becoming A Leader People Like And Want To Hear From On Social Media  “Any idea what other people think of you when they see you online? I promise you, they have a reaction. They really do. And most of us have no idea what it is.” Carey Nieuwhof gives us some great insight on how to think about our online presence as a leader.

Historic Inner City Conference Stirs Change  “More than 300 people associated with the Inner City ministry of Cru gathered July 22-24, 2014 for Creating Options Together. Cru staff members and representatives from partner ministries shared ideas and listened to each other to find effective ways to disciple inner city residents.” Check out some of the recorded responses. This is an important effort and there are some profound truths shared. 

There are the 5 for this week-enjoy.

Lead Like A King

small__149688248The biblical book of Deuteronomy is a retelling of the Law of Moses to a new generation of Israelites. The first generation who should have inherited the Promised Land failed to do so because of disobedience. Moses recounts much of what is contained in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers to this second generation. Deuteronomy is a sobering call to love and obey God.

In chapter 17 we find a section that gives instruction about Israel’s kings. Moses is anticipating what Israel will desire years into the future as she looks around at the other nations. There are five prerequisites for any would be king over God’s chosen people. These requirements help define the kind of king Israel should desire.

1. This king must be God’s choice.  God knew that the Israelites could ultimately fall prey to asking for a king for all of the wrong reasons, and therefore choose poorly. As a general rule, people do not have a great track record in choosing their leaders. God desired that the people seek Him for His choice of someone to rule over them.

2. This king must be an Israelite.  God also knew that the Israelites might be tempted by the pagan people who were already residing in the Promised Land to choose a leader from among them. But that would surely be a leader who would not follow God heart and soul. It would end up being a leader who would lead God’s people astray.

3. This king must not amass great personal wealth and military might.  God understood that a king would always be tempted to use his great power to surround himself with more power and great wealth. Leaders today are tempted to do the same. Moses goes on to further warn this king to certainly not lean on other nations for a military alliance, such as Egypt. The king was to find his security in God alone.

4. This king must not take many wives.  This is not simply a prohibition against polygamy. D.A. Carson states that in the Ancient Near East kings showed off their greatness by the number of wives they possessed. Therefore this was a limitation on the kings power and a preventative measure to keep his heart from being led astray. It is not because these women might be inherently bad, it is that the king would be tempted to acquire wives from surrounding nations that worshiped lesser gods.

5. This king, once he ascends to the throne, must write out a personal copy of God’s Law and read it every day for the rest of his life.  This was a tall task to help insure that the king would revere God, follow God’s commands as he led, and to not place himself above the common Israelite.

Summary: God chooses God’s person who will rule not from power and might, but whole heartedly towards God’s purposes for God’s glory and the well being of God’s people.

How do these precepts inform your own leadership?

In the day of Moses there was another king coming who would defy cultural connotations by eschewing worldly power and passions. He would carefully follow all of God’s words. He was intent on building an alternative kingdom, a spiritual kingdom. He would sacrifice himself for us. This is the Servant King we wait for again. King Jesus.

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Keeping Idols At Bay

small__9756724403You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. Leviticus 26:1-2. (emphasis mine)

If you want to understand the sixteen prophetic books of the Bible, you must also come to terms with Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26. These two chapters in the Old Testament spell out the blessings of covenant obedience and curses of covenant disobedience. Chief among the warnings is the danger of idolatry. God warns his people that to give allegiance to anything other than himself is idolatry. Ultimately the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah fall prey to covenant disobedience and are taken captive and exiled by foreign nations. And leaders led them there.

These are not just Old Testament realities. We too can fall prey to idolatry in this day and age. Anything we give allegiance to over and above God himself places us in the category of idolaters. As leaders this can be things as subtle as power, status, and gain. I have argued before that leadership is always a leveraged proposition. Our choices as leaders always affect a greater number of people. Our decisions, no matter how personal, ripple with consequences towards others. When we are seduced by the idols of our age we run the risk of leading others down the same path.

The writer in Leviticus offers us a double edged solution, sabbath and sanctuary.

Sabbath is about rest.

Sanctuary is about worship.

Both are grounded in trust.

When we maintain a sabbath rest on a weekly basis we are declaring that we are not omnipotent. We require rest and refreshment. The passage tells us that we must guard, keep, and protect our sabbath rest. There is only one who is omnipotent, and he can lead just fine during our down time. He can supply what we need through sabbath that we might lead again with fresh perspective and power.

When we engage in daily personal worship and weekly corporate worship we are bending the knee to declare that we too stand under authority. We must lead from a posture of surrender and submission. Worship is royal imagery that portrays a subject kissing the hand of a supreme ruler. It is giving adoration to one who is worthy.

Rightly choosing to maintain regular sabbath will keep us from making tired, self centered decisions that might lead to self promotion and self protection.

Rightly worshipping the King of Kings will keep us from worshipping something less.

Instead of falling prey to leadership idolatry, and to leading our people toward the same, we can enjoy the holy intimacy that flows from sabbath and sanctuary. And that will keep our idols at bay.

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