The Care and Feeding of the Heart: “Leaders, Leaders Everywhere, But are the Led Being Fed?” Part 5 of 5
Welcome to the Training Table where you can depend on some spiritually-nourishing chow, carefully prepared, to help you run the Godly and good race! For what good is a good race, unless it’s a Godly race?
Before we get to today’s feast at The Training Table, , please remember the issues we’ve chewed on up until today:
Part 1—The heart of leadership; a leader’s fundamental principles and practices; the organizational culture is a reflection of an individual leader; and locating the heart of a leader by listening.
Part 2—The purpose, job #1 of leadership; a mode, model, and method for organizational effectiveness; the heart of the led: Why people come to work and how leadership can flourish the people and the business, any organization.
Part 3—It’s got to be “ME” down deep [way] before it’s “WE” at any depth; the freedom of leadership spiritual-emotional intelligence and development: “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36); the wellspring of knowing and loving self before leading and loving the led.
Part 4—Today’s leadership is faced with leading a fatherless generation; therefore, a leader must aim be: a) An Articulator of Inner Events; b) A Man [or woman] of Compassion; and, c) A Contemplative Critic.
Part 5—The menu at the Training Table today is, “What’s Most Urgent and Important: The One Thing—With Many Parts”
We have covered MANY, MANY issues related to leadership in this series. Honestly, some of the most True, important, and influential issues anyone can write about, learn, and/or aim to achieve have been served-up over the course of Parts 1-4.
As the over-arching title, theme, and rhetorical question for this series asks, “Leaders, Leaders Everywhere, But are the Led Being Fed?”, leadership is not an end in itself, but rather the means of “feeding”, inspiring, leading others to be all they can be. Great leadership leads to the led being inspired to do great things. Period.
Is it not true that if we allow ourselves more than a mere moment to think about most any issue, we will get to the point of admitting, “Ya know something? It’s really a leadership issue isn’t it?”
As I survey all of the content we have chewed on in Parts 1-4, an idea came to mind: Even though there are various other realms of leadership we could chew on to close this series, if someone were to ask me, John, what’s the one thing you would ask a leader or potential leader to embark on so that he or she could be the best possible leader?
Context: The View from 30,000′
A reminder of the UNIVERSAL HEART CONDITION: As we supped on earlier in this series, every single person—leaders and led—in our culture has been effected by what Ravi Zacharias has explained as rampant secularization [the here and now is all there is], rampant pluralization [relativism, True Truth no longer exists], and rampant privatization [what we do in private has no impact on our “public self”] of the culture.
It’s not a matter of “IF”, but a matter of degree: The state of all hearts, emotional well-being, and daily life in word and deed has been radically impacted by EACH of these three factors… and the COMBINATION of the three. Boiled down to one detrimental, complicated, yet solvable consequence? An identity crisis of cultural proportions… one heart at a time.
A reminder of the PERSONAL HEART MISSION: The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart: Culturally and/or personally, a heart devoid of its true identity and purpose is prone, compelled to two responses: To harden and to hide.
Both consequences are the antithesis of how humans were created; both are killer, a living hell; each has its own characteristics; combined [hardened and hiding] it’s a very complicated, deep dilemma; and is solvable… redeemable… and redeeming in all sorts of ways!
BUT, here’s the rub: Good to great, remarkable, lasting leadership gets this, he or she is wise, and embraces the reality / solution / journey… FIRST… within his or her own story, heart, emotions, and life / leadership lived-out!
What’s Most Urgent and Important?
The One Thing—With Many Parts
Soren Kierkegaard said, What is most personal is most universal.
Please Get This: If any leader—any human being—will take on the “universal heart condition issue” on a personal level, he or she will have a universal appeal and the servant-leader purpose, power, and process to have an immeasurable impact… on the led.
The one thing—with many parts—any leader or potential leader should utilize whatever time, talents, or treasure necessary to undertake… is what we talked about in Part 2 of this series on leadership: Getting after the identity crisis and opportunity within the heart.
Before any leader can be as great as he or she can be, an ORGANIZATIONAL effectiveness model must be treated as an INDIVIDUAL effectiveness model.
Recall the organizational effectiveness model [depicted in the inset graphic]:
ORGANIZATIONAL VISION: Why do we exist? What’s “The Big Idea?!”
ORGANIZATIONAL MISSION: How we will achieve the Vision/Mission? [topline]
ORGANIZATIONAL CORE VALUES: Who are we? Behavior: How must we conduct ourselves in order to achieve our Vision/Mission?
ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIC ROADMAP: How do we achieve our Vision/Mission? [Four-part series of steps.]
ORGANIZATIONAL ALIGNMENT: Has the Vision, Mission, Core Values and Strategic Roadmap been clearly [and continuously] communicated to all our stakeholders [each must be identified and qualified]?
ORGANIZATIONAL PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Are we unleashing the involvement and potential of the people in the organization?
ORGANIZATIONAL RESULTS: How are we measuring results to assure continuous improvement based upon reality?
To get the clearest and best idea of what we’re chewing on here, look over the qualifiers after each part of the organizational effectiveness model above.
The “universal-personal / personal-universal” challenge:
Leaders should replace the organizational “WE” [“OUR”] with the personal “I”.
PERSONAL VISION: Why do I exist? What’s “The Big Idea!” for me?
PERSONAL MISSION: How do I achieve my Vision/Mission? [topline]
PERSONAL CORE VALUES: Who am I? Behavior: How must I conduct myself in order to achieve my Vision/Mission?
PERSONAL STRATEGIC ROADMAP: How do we achieve our Vision/Mission? [Four-part series of steps.]
PERSONAL ALIGNMENT: Has my Vision, Mission, Core Values and Strategic Roadmap been clearly [and continuously] communicated to all the key stakeholders [each must be identified and qualified] in my life?
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Explicitly speaking, am I unleashing my full potential?
PERSONAL RESULTS: How am I measuring results in my life to in order to assure continuous improvement based upon reality? [Who am I accountable to as I aim to grow and change the world in which I live?]
Before any leader can be as great as he or she can be, the ORGANIZATIONAL effectiveness model [inset illustration] must FIRST be treated as an INDIVIDUAL effectiveness model.
Put a Halt to the Shallow Life and Leadership: Go Deep…
Or Risk Being a Surface, Ineffective, Even Destructive Leader!
If any person will seriously, deeply, “communally” [with the help of others], and continuously… take the journey of “this one thing—with many parts”, his or her existential, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical BEING and LEADERSHIP self and competencies will be significantly… radically enhanced!
What most authorities on the vitally important topic of leadership say is LACKING in anyone’s ability to LEAD [and anyone’s desire and ability to be LED] can be effected by means of “this one thing—with many parts” journey.
Taking this very challenging yet wildly rewarding journey could be described a “LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ON STEROIDS”: A heart, spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physically impactful transformer extraordinaire!
Lastly… of FIRST importance… The target audience for The Training Table [a ministry of Feast of the Heart, LLC] is the born-again Christian who is committed to running the good race for God’s glory and other’s blessing. It stands to reason that I would offer up a menu of sustenance for the heart, spirit, and life in biblical, Christian, Reformed worldview, reference, and terminology.
BUT, please understand, whether anyone who comes into contact with the fare at The Training Table is Christian or not, the worldview, tenants, and tactics of what we dine on at The Training Table is TRUE. And the triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit—of the universe made “real and relational” in the person of Jesus Christ would prefer you and I embrace biblical REALITY rather than destroy ourselves by slamming into it in rebellion and denial of it everyday. God’s reality is indeed real; but whether or not we will embrace it and cooperate to flourish within the bounds of His reality is another question.
God implores us, “…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
The journey and the manifold temporal and eternal blessings of returning to our true identity and purpose is what the God Who made and sustains the known and unknown universal most desires—for both the leader and the led. For sure, some people have been blessed and tasked with leadership positions of extraordinary concerns and influence; and men or women such as this have an extraordinary responsibility to take-up the sort of journey we’ve been chewing on for some time.
But please hear this: All human BEINGS will show up in their DOINGS with exponentially more identity, purpose, assurance, passion, joy, compassion, and continuous improvement when they get after the essentials of what the model above requests of any user.
Begin and/or continue it “Today…” (Psalm 95:7-8),
Identity: The Basis for Prayer
Principled-Centered Leadership, by Stephen Covey