... continued ...
In sorting through some boxes from my previous life (finally!) I came across some scruffy notes containing some reflections on leadership. With it coming up to the one year anniversary of moving on from a senior leadership role as Principal of Carey Baptist College, I thought to myself ... why not?
Drawing on all that I have learned and loved and lost and laboured with in the leadership life - and in no particular order - here would be the rest of the imperatives that come to mind:
11. GRATITUDE: say it
It is the first principle of leadership to say 'thank-you' - as often, as authentically, and as creatively as possible.
12. TEAM: build it
Acknowledging God as the Project Manager and everyone else as sub-contractors is where it starts - and thinking deeply about the Trinity is where it continues.
13. VALUES: live them
They are called 'core' for a reason...
14. CALLING: do it
It is an act of obedience before it is a recognition of gifting - in fact, the gifting, or grace-ing, enables the obedience.
15. PEOPLE: believe in them
It is about seeing all that a person could become at 50, at 60, at 80 - and then starting to make plans with them now as if all of it will come to pass.
16. AMBITION: delegate it
Give this one to God to handle on your behalf.
17. CHARACTER: deepen it
Make space for the Spirit to let this happen without watching it happen.
18. MARKETING: grapevine it
Choose to get all the basic elements of a functioning community as right as possible - and then entrust yourself to the grapevine under God's good hand.
19. METAPHORS: model them
Sure, other imagery may be added, but we will never move beyond biblical imagery like servant, shepherd, sage, seer, steward - and parent.
20. OBSTACLES: climb them
The best way to climb a mountain is to keep walking towards it one step at a time - don't stop, don't run ... and don't panic.
The imperatives I found most satisfying (under God's gracious hand)? #2, #12 and #15
I loved creating processes which drew vision out of others and then giving my best energies into help making it happen. I cannot think of any one of the great ideas that surfaced in those years which originated with me. Such was the quality of the team that the college functioned so well during any of my extended absences. I will always love watching people grow, unfurling like a koru to an extent that they never knew was possible.
The imperatives I found most challenging (still under God's gracious hand)? #3, #11 and #7
Dealing with peoples' out-of-date perceptions of Carey was the most persistently challenging issue. And even among those whom I led the gap between what I intended and what they perceived could be alarming - and sometimes it wasn't my fault. While I loved being oriented towards others and saying 'thank-you' often and well, like many senior leaders, I was surprised at how much thanklessness and isolation surrounded the role of a leader. In those middle years this broke me as I discovered I was not emotionally suited for this level of leadership. But by God's grace he enabled me to fulfill that calling until he lifted it from me...
Maybe this will help give you some perception into your leadership!