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Showing posts from April 6, 2008

Exemplary Leadership

Acts 1:8 provides Jesus’ last words to his followers. He exemplified promotion of vision.Kouzes and Posner suggest “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 13), we see in Christ also. They are (1) model the way, (2) inspire a shared vision, (3) challenge the process, (4) enable others to act, and (5) encourage the heart. (Kouzes & Posner, p. 13).Leaders must model the way since “People first follow the person, then the plan” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 15). Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6, Today’s New International Version). Jesus modeled the way. Jesus is the way.
Leaders inspire a shared vision by, “…gaz[ing] across the horizon of time, imagining the attractive opportunities … when they and their constituents arrive at a distant destination” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 15). Jesus prayed, “That they may be one as we are one…so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me…

Promoting Vision

The first step to promoting vision is to align personal values. According to Leading Coherently, “…leadership performance was markedly aligned to values and purpose, both in character and behavior” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, p. 53). One can only lead out of who he or she is. Hesselbein states, “…leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do it … in the end we know that it is the quality and character of the leader that determines performance and results” (Levesque, 2003).
Step two is listening to your followers. “To attract people from divergent backgrounds and interests, you must discover what aspirations, goals, needs, and dreams they have in common” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 161). This can be accomplished in any number of ways: eating lunch with employees, being more visible, and “hanging out” (Kouzes & Posner, p. 168).
Step three is aligning visions which is “…the process of bringing individual visions into agreement with each other so they support and comple…

Social Justice Integral To the Gospel

An interesting series is taking place at Jim Wallis' blog. I just read part two of five on social justice. The author is a Vineyard pastor, a group which rightly or wrongly I always associated with typically conservative, charismatic, evangelical convictions. This may be the case generally, but this pastor is well aware of the bigger picture: what the kingdom of God is about. Take a look.

Vision Without Sight

My husband Ray, “used adversity to sharpen … vision for how … to invest in … life.” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, pp. 34-35). Ray is blind. Born prematurely, concerned for lung development, pure oxygen use caused blindness, though he retained sight until 26 years old.Ray “seized and created leadership opportunities” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, p. 35), leading a productive life, making Eagle Scout, serving on student council, and when blind, was assistant scoutmaster. Following college, Ray taught until deteriorating eyesight hindered him. Ray “used early work experiences to refine and clarify [his] leadership purpose” (Stanford-Blair & Dickman, 2005, p. 35). Having completed rehab, Ray started work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for Rhode Island. Retiring after 28 years, Ray wrote:
I hoped … individuals… could use me as a role model; since being blind, I could demonstrate … with training, the necessary accommodations, and …understanding … of an employer… i…

Grace Upon Grace-reflecting on Ezekiel 20:1-32

Several things are striking about Ezekiel 20:1-32. The first is God’s response via Ezekiel when the elders of the people came to “inquire of the Lord” (Ezek 20:1). It sounds like a good thing that they would want to seek God’s will. We are not told what they wanted to ask and “guesswork is pointless in view of Yahweh’s total repudiation of any right or privilege … to inquire of him about his designs.”[1]He responds with a detailed, painful history of disobedience despite God’s mercy and blessing. Things are not always, as they seem because “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). Personally, to discern and not take things at face value is something perhaps we all need to work on.Repeatedly God blesses his ancient people and bestows grace upon grace, yet they spurn his overtures and rebel against him. He does not let go, however. This is even hinted at after the litany of disobedience and rebellion. “You say, ‘We want to be like the nations, …