A Catalyst For Learning & Equipping To Remember

Something common to most successful people I’ve encountered is that they are willing to share their success. In fact, some successful people actually look for people to coach. And, some with the desire to succeed seek out the successful to learn from them.

Having mentors could save you a lot of trouble and give you an ‘unfair advantage’. Having a mentor means you get to build into your future on the foundation of the failures and wisdom of others. Don’t waste your time and energy making mistakes someone else has already made.

Don’t waste another’s success and failures. Glean from them.

 

A mistake some young leaders make is seeking to be “self-made”. I’ve said it before and will say it again: no one is a “self made success”. If you are going to succeed as a (young) leader you must be willing to learn.

Successful people are learning people.

Learning means putting on humility. It takes humility to learn from someone.  It takes humility and courage to ask someone to mentor you. One of the few things that stand in the way of success is simply failure to ask for help and guidance. Your eyes are too riddled with blind spots and you need eyes that see and have seen more and better than yours.

A reason you and your team are stuck: You only know as much as each other! Get a mentor for a different, empowering and challenging perspective 

Consider mentors as catalysts for learning and equipping. Without them you will wallow in some phases of your progress you need not to. You will fall into pits you don’t need to.

A mentor can be the one that helps you get unstuck. A good mentor will constantly challenge you out of complacency. He will remind you that you haven’t arrived and ‘aren’t all that’. He will tell you what your friends are too scared to say.

A great mentor will tell you what you need to hear without fear of losing relationship with you. We look up to our mentors, but a great mentor will challenge you to not make them your ceiling…

[image by “i’ll never grow up”, flickr, cc]

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What do you look for in a mentor?

The Danger Of Your Eyes Only

Perspectives are not “one size fits all deal”. The lens with which we see determine our actions. In making decisions about the lives and gifting God has given us we must be careful we’re not doing what seems God in our eyes.

Then he went on down and spoke to the woman. In Samson’s eyes, she was the one – Judges 14:7 (MSG)

In Samson’s eyes Delilah was the one… In his eyes his source of demise was for him. He obviously didn’t see her as that. What better example of how flawed our own ‘eyes’ are! The danger of seeing things through our eyes and acting on it cannot be overemphasized. Samson disregarded his father’s “eyes” and worst of all God’s eyes! Our eyes own eyes will be more riddled with blind spots and we compensate by seeking counsel from godly men and in seeking God in prayer.

Acting out of what we see with our eyes will lead us to destruction. Seeking God’s wisdom and direction and the counsel of the wise around us is the best safe guard for our lives and destiny.  Our judgement alone is not sufficient to lead us into God’s purposes for us as individuals and ultimately for those around us! It is easy to go with what we see especially when it is what we want regardless! Are your desires wholly given to God? If not your eyes will lead you in a path that takes you further from your destiny and not closer.

Before you act, especially on significant things ensure that you’re not just acting on what seems right in your own eyes. Have you sought counsel from the wise? This doesn’t mean you must take and act on the counsel of many but that you at least consider that many perspectives they many bring. More importantly: have you sought God’s eyes and do you see through His eyes on your perspective and action? You can ignore everyone’s eyes but never make the mistake of ignoring God’s perspective? God’s vision is the only perfect one!

What experiences have you used your own eyes and landed you an undesired path?

In Samson’s Eyes

Perspectives are not “one size fits all deal”. The lens with which we see determine our actions. In making decisions about the lives and gifting God has given us we must be careful we’re not doing what seems God in our eyes.

Then he went on down and spoke to the woman. In Samson’s eyes, she was the one – Judges 14:7 (MSG)

In Samson’s eyes Delilah was the one… In his eyes his source of demise was for him. He obviously didn’t see her as that. What better example of how flawed our own ‘eyes’ are! The danger of seeing things through our eyes and acting on it cannot be overemphasized. Samson disregarded his father’s “eyes” and worst of all God’s eyes! Our eyes own eyes are riddled with blind spots and we can compensate by seeking counsel from godly men and in seeking God in prayer.

Acting out of what we see with our eyes will lead us to destruction. Seeking God’s wisdom and direction and the counsel of the wise around us is the best safe guard for our lives and destiny.  Our judgement alone is not sufficient to lead us into God’s purposes for us as individuals and for those around us! It is easy to go with what we see, especially when it is what we want regardless! Are your desires wholly given to God? If not your eyes will lead you in a path that takes you further from your destiny and not closer.

Before you act, especially on significant things ensure that you’re not just acting on what seems right in your own eyes. Have you sought counsel from the wise? This doesn’t mean you must take and act on the counsel of many but that you at least consider the diverse perspectives they many bring. More importantly: have you sought God’s eyes and do you see through His eyes on your perspective and action? You can ignore everyone’s eyes but never make the mistake of ignoring God’s perspective? God’s vision is the only perfect one!

What experiences have you used your own eyes and landed you an undesired path?

Confronting For A Change

At some point every leader has to address something that they or their team may find uncomfortable. There are issues that can never be let alone and must be addressed. It is always the leader’s responsibility to address the elephant in the team or organization. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

things are not just going to change on their own. be proactive; confront for a change!

When confronting your team:

  • But Why?: Validate the importance of what you’re about to say, say it and validate it again. I’m not suggesting you make your ‘address’ long and boring. Be succinct when you’ve made points. Build up to making your point but don’t be long winded.
  • The Way It Should Be: When you’re challenging how things should not be, make sure you clearly communicate how they should be! Don’t make the mistake of tearing down what should be torn down without building what should be built up.
  • Getting ‘There’: Your team must know the steps that they need to take to get to what should be.  You can either give the way forward or engage your team in charting the way forward. Whatever you do don’t leave the team hanging!
  • The Core: Put measures in place to ensure you don’t end up in the same place again. Addressing the issue is not enough; dealing with the roots guarantees death of the fruits. If you often end up dealing with the same drama it is because you haven’t curbed the root!
  • 180°: Keeping the confrontation one sided is a common mistake leaders make. Don’t get so worked up about the issues you address and forget that there are two sides to a coin. In your confrontation give room to your team to give input. In this way it is less likely to seem you were talking at them but resolving issues with them.
illustration by clagnut, flickr (cc)
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What do you recommend in engaging your team in the context above?

Learning Effective Communication From Jesus

When I think of some of the greatest communicators, I’d never leave out Jesus. He was so captivating he could get crowds of 5,000 plus (no social media!).

I guess the miracles also helped but that wasn’t the sum of why people desired to be in His audience. It’s every communicator’s dream to have a captive audience. When I observe how He communicated there are some communication ‘must dos’.

Continue reading “Learning Effective Communication From Jesus”