Welcome marathoners in and for Christ. (1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7) Exhausted, depleted from running the Godly, good, and being-a-blessing-to-others race? Welcome. Sit. Relax. Let’s feast.
Feast of the Heart exists to help bring about Christ-centered “reformation, revival, and constructive revolution” (Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City) so that God will be glorified and people blessed.
Reformation… we seek to abide by and serve up the true truth, pure doctrine of the Bible
Revival… we seek to model biblical Christians living in word and deed
Constructive Revolution… we seek to spread the true gospel right where God has planted us with urgency, compassion, and radical self-abandonment
Based upon the feasts of Part 1 and Part 2 at The Training Table, let’s pull some pieces together and lay down “the law of leadership” that cannot be escaped: The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart!
Step #1: Choose the Basis of What Hunormously Great… Or Simply Indispensable… Leadership Means to You
Here’s a fav of mine: “Effective, enduring and memorable leaders set a vision and use their authority to create an environment where people can contribute to the vision’s success and flourish doing so. Leaders are environmentalists.” (John Gardner) That’ll work just great! Now let’s work it…
Akin to [really] believing that a corporate, organizational Vision-Mission is crafted, stewarded, executed in order to succeed, every leader and leadership team MUST have a Vision of what LEADERSHIP really and truly consists of… and then pursue the living daylights out of it in word and in deed!
Beginning with: The #1 responsibility of leadership is to execute the Vision-Mission of the organization. That’s the goal; doing it well is extraordinarily rare. Be extraordinary! Please.
Step #2: Choose Just ONE Standard Which Provides a Valid Basis for What Makes People Tick, Flourish at Work
Here’s the example we used in Part 2:
Gallup Research Workplace Audit: The Most Important People Issues for Growing the Business [assuring success at any organization]
Top 11 verbatim related to the key satisfiers for people at work [any work], AND where each can fit in the Organizational Effectiveness Model—the “go-to” places for leaders:
- “At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” (OEM: Vision / Mission / Core Values / Alignment)
- “The vision/mission and values of the company makes me feel my job contributes.” (OEM: Vision / Mission / Core Values / Strategic Roadmap / Alignment)
- “I have a best friend at work.” (OEM: Core Values / Personal Responsibility)
- “At work, my opinions seem to count.” (OEM: Core Values)
- “My work associates are committed to doing quality work.” (OEM: Vision / Core Values / Personal Responsibility / Alignment / Job Performance Review Process)
- “In the last year I have been given opportunities to learn and grow.” (OEM: Mission / Core Values / Alignment / Personal Responsibility)
- “I have the resources I need to do my work right.” (OEM: Core Values / Strategic Roadmap)
- “In the past seven days, I have received recognition or praise for good work.” (OEM: Core Values / Alignment / Personal Responsibility)
- “The person I report to seems to care about me as a person.” (OEM: Core Values / Alignment / Personal Responsibility)
- “In the past six months, someone has talked to me about my progress.” (OEM: Core Values / Alignment / Personal Responsibility)
- “There is someone at work who encourages my development.” (OEM: Core Values / Alignment / Personal Responsibility)
There are many standards for what being a combination of human and divine amounts to, but none that compare to how God’s Bible explains it: Genesis 1:27, 2:7; Psalm 139; John 3:16. Devoid of this True Truth—no matter what any given leader says about the value of the worker or his or her “Human Resources”, the commoditization of human beings will always ensue, take over. And this is the antithesis of great leadership which inevitably leads to: “a) choosing the wrong mission-objective (or no objective, that is, just drifting), b) applying ineffective or immoral means to achieving it, and c) disengaging others (or attracting only unthinking-followers).” (on-line)
Not treating the most valuable asset of any organization as the most valuable asset always, eventually results in leadership treating the led as sort of a necessary evil. Mere overhead. Cogs that require oiling NOT developing, nurturing, flourishing… and NO further expenditure of a leader’s heart in his or her time, talent, or treasure than is absolutely necessary to maintain a pulse.
Step #3: Consider Slowing Down Long Enough to Really Grasp the GAP In Between…
a) The duty and beauty of LEADERSHIP to create an environment where PEOPLE FLOURISH in order to successfully execute the Vision/Mission and,
b) The recognition and data of how PEOPLE FLOURISH… THE GAP TO MAKE IT HAPPEN… must be bridged, filled by any given leader’s EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE factor, rating, strength, maturity, wisdom, etc…
Oh, yes… YOUR HEART!
The GAP between defining great leadership and carrying out the beauty and duty of executing the Vision-Mission according to what makes people flourish is the EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE factor of LEADERSHIP. That’s the heart of it.
- Self-Awareness: Definition: The ability to recognize and understand your most core beliefs, value system, emotions, and drives–as well as their effect on others. Hallmarks: Realistic self-assessment, Self-confidence, Self-deprecating sense of humor
- Self-Regulation: Definition: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, The propensity to suspend judgment – to think before acting. Hallmarks: Trustworthiness and integrity, Comfort with ambiguity, Openness to change
- Motivation: Definition: A passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status, A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. Hallmarks: Strong drive to achieve, Optimism–even in the face of failure, Organizational commitment
- Empathy: Definition: The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people, Skill in treating people according to their (heart) emotional reactions. Hallmarks: Expertise in building and retaining talent, Cross-cultural sensitivity, Service to clients and customers
- Social Skill: Definition: Proficiency in managing relationships and building networks, An ability to find common ground and build rapport. Hallmarks: Effectiveness in leading change, Persuasiveness, Expertise in building and leading teams
Please don’t forget where, how we started this journey in Part 1 by defining God’s creation of the human heart—glorious and lasting leaders get this way down deep: Leaders who are strangers to God and self cannot effectively, endearingly, enduringly lead others. (Mark 12:30-31)
Just look at the attribute of Self-Awareness alone: “The ability to recognize and understand your most core beliefs, value system, emotions, and drives–as well as their effect on others.” ‘Nuf said… If you are in the presence of a leader with a sense of self-awareness of this kind, consider yourself very blessed. Look around: You’ll note it’s quite rare.
Even leaders who [apparently] know GOD—in both sacred or secular organizations—and yet do not know SELF, cannot lead OTHERS. Why so? Honestly? Leaders who rank low in Emotional Intelligence (EI) cannot get out of their own way. He or she is the biggest barrier to organizational and/or individual greatness.
Mostly hidden within every decision—or indecision—lurks a mini- and/or major-maelstrom of ambivalence or warring emotions that the low-EI leader is controlled by. SO THAT the best solution, or “GO-TO” on/in the OEM/pyramid remains unseen, unused, uncommunicated, unfruitful, or “UNFLOURISHING!” to and for the led. The OEM is the default mechanism for all things… unless uncontrolled emotions cloud its presence, its principles, and its practice.
Step #4: Leaders Are Made, Not Just Born
The human heart is absolutely transformable. Every leader [and those who are led] needs to grow in some way, shape, or form. There are many good tools out there to get a leader “on track for transformation” and [usually massively] increased effectiveness. As a leadership coach, organizational effectiveness and strategic planning consultant, my “go-to” approach to serving in this regard was simple and yet very complicated: Internalize the OEM for your own life… FIRST!
“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” (Warren Bennis)
What is the Vision, Mission, Core Values, Strategic Roadmap, Alignment, Personal Responsibility, and Results FOR YOUR OWN LIFE? Of the dozens of leaders I personally have worked with, around 15-20% completed the journey of answering this question in all of its detail. The rest gave up in favor of “being too busy as a leader.” Hmmm? Yes indeed, “The Road Less Traveled” is operative in many realms of life, and leadership.
Believe me: Any leader who chooses to not fully, intentionally live life on the personal level should not be given the special and rare position to put things in place for others on a universal, organizational, corporate level. The GAP can’t be closed except from the inside-out: YASE! It’s a heart issue. As a leader, what would a grand, costly, transformational, and infectious change of heart look like to you?
This call-to-action perfectly complies to the likes of leadership experts Kouzes and Posner [The Leadership Challenge, 2+ million copies]:
- Model the Way
- Inspire a Shared Vision
- Challenge the Process
- Enable Others to Act
- Encourage the Heart
Know this: As the timely cartoon depiction [WSJ last week] below reminds us, if a leader’s “GO-TO” is not something in the OEM, it will be something else… and it’s usually way below what it could be, or even [E.g., usually] quite destructive.
I know this is a BIG feast to digest, but please do so in ways that costs, hurts, heals, reveals, utilizes a community of people, and transforms your heart,