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ON RAMP

The Journey of Everyday Leadership

In Review

This will be our final post as we head into the summer break. We’ll resume regular posting in August.

This past year, we explored a number of important themes for everyday leaders. Here’s a brief recap of some of the major ideas we covered.

Leadership Moments – David reminded us that great leaders aren’t debilitated by ‘crucible’ moments, but rather motivated to press forward and improve.

Leadership Postures – Dennis illustrated that harpooners aren’t the rowers, but set their sights from a steady and focused posture. Daniel suggested that leadership stems from incarnation and authenticity.

Learning Leaders – David challenged leaders to seek continual learning, highlighting the benefits of regular reading, networking, and self-improvement. Dennis noted the great lessons we can learn from kids!

Empowerment – Daniel observed that great leaders give up power, while Dennis showed that leadership presence, love and care for individuals brings significant transformation. David emphasized that true leadership arises when others follow without obligation.

Emotional Wholeness – Daniel shared the redemptive practices of acknowledging brokenness, while also pursuing emotional health and rhythms of Sabbath.

Communication – David outlined the importance of communication, stressing that the majority of our message comes not from what we say, but how we say it.

What themes would you find helpful in the coming months? Feel free to message us or post ideas in the comments below.

Thanks for engaging with us in these conversations. We are challenged and sharpened by interactions with you, whether virtual or face-to-face.

A prayer for you during these summer months:

Father, bless this community of leaders and servants. Allow them to see Your face in their everyday interactions. Let them represent You in all they say and do. May Your kingdom come and will be done through the work of their hands. Amen!

May God richly bless you.

 David, Daniel & Dennis

7-38-55

Chris Voss has negotiated with international terrorists and domestic criminals. His work has taken him to Cambodia, Haiti, and Brooklyn. And in his book Never Split the Difference ( HarperCollins, 2016) he systematically explores the art of successful negotiation. It’s a great read, with simple (and broadly applicable) principles.

Body LanguageI found myself intrigued by the 7-38-55 Principle. It validates what we know intuitively, and adds specific seasoned research to make the point.

UCLA psychology professor Albert Mehrabian created the 7-38-55 rule in 1981. That is, “only 7 percent of a message is based on the words while 38 percent comes from the tone of voice and 55 percent from the speaker’s body language and face.”

Struggling to communicate effectively as a leader? Many of us believe that the struggle is finding the right words. Not so. The far greater challenge is the right tone and body language.

Of course, this relates as much to marriage and parenting, as it does to marketplace and workplace. How we say something, constitutes 93% of the communication!

Voss urges his readers to have warm facial expressions. Smile. Make engaging (not intense and creepy) eye-contact. Unfold the arms. Turn the body towards those we are talking with. Guard against the tones of sarcasm or exasperation. Cut the angry tones and become conversational.

When our tone of voice and body language gets perceived as hostile or contemptuous, negotiations break down. Communication fails. And it’s not enough to assert that “I said such and such. What did you think I meant?” The words only carry weight and only derive real meaning because our voice-tones and bodies give full support.

So, this week, listen to your tones, watch your body, and see if perhaps some changes might enhance your leadership of others (your spouse, your children, and your colleagues).

7-38-55. Numbers worth learning, and practicing.

David Timms is Dean of the School of Christian Leadership at William Jessup University.

Friday Quote

“The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God … Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to allow, but we must guard against it.”

—Oswald Chambers

Prayer: Lord, allow me to find rest in You today, even amidst the tasks You put before me. Let me abide in You and the rest You make available. Amen!

Rhythms of Sabbath

(This is part 4 of 4 in a Leadership & Brokenness “mini-series.”)

We previously suggested that healthy leaders can engage in several practices to avoid and address burnout: acknowledging brokenness, managing emotions and creating rhythms of Sabbath.

A question has plagued my mind as I recently prepared for a course entitled Living Out Your Mission. Why did the God of the universe – the One who hung planets and stars in space, created land, sea, and sky – decide to take a “day off” after His handiwork?

He didn’t need rest, so why did He?

Tim Keller suggests, in different terms, that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…” God designed us to work, but labor without rest quickly becomes a recipe for burnout.

Tranquility without toil will not bring us satisfaction; neither will toil without tranquility. There will be both toil AND tranquility.

(Every Good Endeavor, Keller, p. 107)

So why is rest so difficult? Your time off accrues steadily, but you can’t peel yourself away from work. You crave down-time, yet feel guilty about sitting idle. You take on more than you should due to perfectionism or codependency.

If you tarry long enough, your body eventually screams “ENOUGH!”

It’s no wonder that the longest, most detailed of the Ten Commandments outlines the need for Sabbath rest. And in light of our struggles to stop, the rationale for God’s “cosmic nap” becomes clearer.

He demonstrated Sabbath because we fundamentally needed the example.

Perhaps, as an introvert, it’s easier to listen to my inner voice demanding Sabbath. In silence, nature, and blank space, I hear the voice of God most clearly. But many fear the silence.

In the quiet, one must face his/her true self.

Maybe this explains why we postpone it. Keller further suggests that God embodied rest to urge us not to make work an idol. He sought to remind us that we mustn’t deify our individual talents, or the accomplishments of our group.

Work has its limitations. Leaders who practice Sabbath choose a courageous humility that says “I’ll do my best, but I can’t do everything.”

What would it take for you to schedule rhythms of Sabbath and potentially avoid a future crisis? Take one small action step today!

Daniel Gluck serves as Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies at Jessup, and Lead Faculty for the B.A. in Christian Leadership program.

Friday Quote

“You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making . . . If you simply tell the truth you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”

C.S. Lewis (2001), Mere Christianity, p. 226

As a leader, how much time do you spend trying to be original or manage your reputation? How might you pursue living on mission today without this worry?

Jessup 3for3 – Pastor Lance Hahn

Happy Tuesday!

This is the 2nd in our “3for3” Series, where we simply ask leaders 3 leadership questions in 3 minutes – lending insight into practical, everyday leadership. Today’s interview is with our friend and brother, Pastor Lance Hahn.

Lance has been the senior pastor of Bridgeway Christian Church since 1997. A gifted Bible teacher, Lance is known for his ability to communicate God’s truth with accuracy and humor. In addition to pastoral ministry, Lance is an author, radio teacher, and conference speaker. He has been married to Suzi since 1995, and they have two daughters (Jillian and Andie) and one pooch, Bella. Lance holds a B.A. from Sacramento State University and an M.Div. from Western Seminary. When he’s not at church, Lance is an avid collector (sports cards, comic books, vinyl records, and other things), a major movie buff, and a big fan of the beach.

Enjoy these insights from a faithful leader!

Autopilot and Leadership

 

According to Wikipedia, autopilot is a system used to control the trajectory of an aircraft without constant ‘hands-on’ control by a human operator.

What would happen if a leader was on autopilot?

Dean and Linda Anderson, in their book, The Change Leader’s Roadmap: How to Navigate your Organization’s Transformation (2010), frame the concept this way:

“Your level of awareness impacts every aspect of your change leadership capacity, experience and outcome…This includes what you model, your emotional reactions, your willingness to change, and ultimately your outcomes…We call this expanded awareness mode the “conscious approach…. The limited awareness mode is called autopilot or the unconscious approach.”

When leaders go on autopilot, it is not a good thing. This happens when they begin to respond from a place of unconscious habits, and is further reinforced by their limited knowledge and dominant leadership style.

The autopilot leader begins to filter people and processes through these biases and assumptions and often this produces an unhealthy leadership culture

Breaking out of autopilot requires a waking up; a conscious awareness of what the leader is bringing to their leadership. For conscious leadership to occur, we should remember two things.

First, the leader must acknowledge that they, and those around them, possess a limited mindset. Mindsets are the beliefs, values, and worldview unique to every individual. Even Christians contain many individual beliefs and values (and theologies) that differ from person to person.

Second, this mindset is causative; it cause actions. How we perceive a situation influences our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The conscious leader realizes this and explores it. They also realize that their mindset is conditioned by their experience.

So, if your mindset gets you and your team moving forward, keep leaning into it! But if you are hitting the same road bumps, look for autopilot issues and address them for better results.

Where might you seek honest feedback about your autopilot tendencies?

Paul’s words to the Ephesians apply to anyone seeking to live and lead in Christ when he says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14)

‘Gracious Lord, shine your light on all that we are. Restore, renew and empower us for your glory.” Amen

 

Dennis Nichols is Lead Faculty for the Master of Arts in Leadership program at William Jessup University.

 

Friday Quote

“Christian spirituality, without an integration of emotional health, can be deadly – to yourself, your relationship with God, and the people around you.”

Peter Scazzero – Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (2006, p. 7)

Ask yourself today whether there is anyone who has been injured by emotionally unhealthy expressions in the past. How might you make amends?

Emotionally Healthy Leaders

This is part 3 of 4 in a Leadership & Brokenness “mini-series”.

Recall that there are 3 potential steps with which leaders can address/prevent burnout: acknowledging brokenness, managing emotions and creating rhythms of Sabbath.

I, like many leaders, struggle with managing emotions. Particularly, I subscribe to the “Stuffer’s Society,” an elite association of leaders who tend to ignore emotions, stuff them down, and later experience unexpected eruptions.

Around 2005-06, I was involved in a major change initiative at our university. The proposal spanned across departments and disciplines. A group of key stakeholders expressed significant displeasure. Although I wasn’t the chief initiator, I emerged as the scapegoat.

After a particularly heated meeting, my supervisor asked me how I felt and my volcano exploded, spewing ash and lava all over! Younger in my career, I hadn’t learned how to manage my emotions appropriately. Luckily, my boss was gracious, we eluded major collateral damage, and the initiative moved forward.

Leaders tend to have high IQ, but many need to increase their EQ (emotional intelligence).

EQ involves four primary dimensions:

  • Self-Awareness – knowing your strengths/weaknesses and how others perceive you
  • Mood Management – managing moods in stressful situations
  • Self-Motivation – positive personal motivation towards healthy productivity
  • Interpersonal Expertise – responding effectively to others’ emotions and reactions

Leaders need not attempt to avoid emotions, but find appropriate ways to express them. Consider these practical suggestions from our experience and scholarship:

Develop meaningful friendships outside your workplace. Seek places to “talk shop” without risking fallback from within your organization. Your spouse/best friend may not be able to handle all your frustration.

Use caution when sharing heated emotions within your organization. You’ll need a few safe people, but choose them carefully, and when in doubt – sleep on it before sharing!

Welcome self-awareness initiatives. I used to fear 360 evaluations, end-of-year reviews, etc. Now, I seek them out for the sake of growth.

Seek professional help! I am a big fan of professional counseling, spiritual direction, coaching, etc. Seek help for personal dysfunctions and roadblocks that merit specialized expertise.

What step can you take today to pursue emotionally healthy leadership?

Daniel Gluck serves as Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies at Jessup, and Lead Faculty for the B.A. in Christian Leadership program.

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