New Book Note just posted-check it out

I just posted a new book note, "Leadershift."  Written by Don Cousins one of the orginal handful that started Willow Creek. It will challenge your thinking on leadership...,guaranteed!


Picking the Right People

Selecting future leaders in whom to invest  is one of the primary responsibilities of current leaders. In Acts 1:24 we see the new band of leaders agonizing over who should take the place of Judas.  They are praying and asking for wisdom on who the right one is.

One thing I have learned in over 40 years of ministry is not to select a person for leadership on the basis of personality, potential or promise, but on "proven performance." Has the person demonstrated he can do what is being expected?

Another area to keep a close eye on is "the heart."  What's underneath is often times more determanitive than what's observable. Samuel was warned in I Samual 16:7 to not be overly infatuated by the outward appearance, but to pay attention to the heart. It is tempting  to focus too much on competence (what you can see) and not enough on matters of the heart (character) which you cannot see; and especially don't see on a resume or during an interview.

Here are some of the qualities I am looking for:

  • Character: Integrity, dependability, wholeheartedness

  • Caring: A genuine love for other people

  • Capacity: Calendar, intellect and emotion

  • Chemistry: A team player who fits in well with the current team

  • Contribution: Someone who brings something unique to the table

  • Christ: Their walk with Jesus.  Is it real and from the heart

  • Gifts that fit the role

  • Passion that is contageous

  • Competence that has been honed to a high skill level

I love what Jim Collins says in "Good to Great." Get the right people on the bus and in the right seats.

As a leader, what has Jesus been teaching you as you seek to build the next generation of leaders within your church or organization?




Some Old But Good Advice

From a leadership perspective, one of my favoriate passages of Scripture is Exodus 18: 13-27.  It is as old as the hills and as relevant as a course at Harvard Graduate School. 

It is no secret that many, if not most, leaders are weary and borderline burnouts. Here in this passage, Jethro offers timeless advice to Moses and those he led. The key verse in the passage is verse 21, where Moses is instructed to not do it all alone but select other leaders described as men who:

  • Are competent-"Able"
  • Are God motivated and centered-"Fear God"
  • Are filled with Character-"Trustworthy, hate a bribe"
  • Are gifted with  capacity for their specific role-"Chiefs of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens"

As I am on the hunt for the next generation of leaders, here are four qualities that I want to be thinking and praying about. There are, of course other essentials, but this is a good start.



Spurgeon on Holiness

Here is a quote from "CH Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership." by Steve Miller; a great look into the heart behind the incredible and far-reaching ministry of the prince of preachers.

An additional benefit observed by Spurgeon is that holiness, because it is so supremely important, can make up for certain deficiencies we might have: You must have holiness; and, dear brethren, if you should fail in mental qualifications (though I hope you will not), and if you should have a slender measure of the oratorical faculty (though I trust you will not), yet, depend upon it, a holy life is, in itself, a wonderful power, and will make up for many deficiencies; it is, in fact, the best sermon the best man can ever deliver.

Find the rest of  my excerpts from the book under "Book Notes."


Obama and Leadership

In the December 29 issue of TIME magazine,  there are articles about President elect Barrack Obama.  Here are three comments he made that gave me food for thought:

  1. "I think I have a good nose for talent, so I hire really good people"

  2. "I've got a pretty healthy ego, so I'm not scared of hiring the smartest people, even when they're smarter than me"

  3. "I have a low tolerence of nonsense and turf battles and game-playing and I send that message very clearly. And so over time, I think people start trusting each other and they stay focused on mission as opposed to personal ambition or grievance"

 I see:

  • The essentiality of genuine humiity as opposed to hubris

  • The essentiality of picking good people to be on my team

  • The essentiality of keeping the team focused on mission

  • The essentiality of building a culture of trust in the team and organization

I would love to hear your thoughts as you read these observations!