This morning in church Pastor Kerry referred to, beautiful brokenness. I though, what a great title for a blog! On many occasions I have considered volunteering for one thing or another or attempting to perform a task that I believed needed doing…only to be sidelined by my belief that someone else was more up to the job or skilled for the mission. The Pastor went on to illuminate the positive productivity of mistakes. As Jonathon and I sat trough training for church elders and deacons, we learned of the significance of making mistakes as we learn how to serve God’s church. Servant leadership has been a hallmark of my definition and vision of an effective leader. When I was a manager at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, I was often counseled and advised and extolled as to my deficits in the understanding and effective performance of my leadership responsibilities. Once a member of the campus community recited her many grievances with the lack of my managerial expertise and how she could make it better for upwards of one hour. Finally, she concluded by informing me that, ‘Mr. Brooks…you could be better.’ Seeing my opportunity I replied that I could not argue with her assertion and that I was going to hang up the phone and get busy on becoming better.
Humility is a rare virtue. I am captivated by a humble leader. Someone who understands that they do not have all of the answers…and does not know all of the questions. I have never been associated with a success that was not a group effort.
‘Great leaders take responsibility when things don’t work and share success when things go well. No matter why the team failed, he or she is the one to blame. This is how they create the conditions that allow the team to make mistakes, speak honestly and find fulfillment.’
‘In other words, they use ‘We’ instead of ‘I’ and – ALWAYS – put the interest of the organization ahead of their own self-interest.’
‘Great leaders create more leaders by empowering others and allowing them to make mistakes. Everyone has permission to fail, as long as they fail fast and passionately!’ Lifehack
Moses was a reluctant leader.
‘Then Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’
‘So the Lord said to him, ‘Who made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.’ Exodus 4: 10-11. KJV
Another timely subject, Kerry discussed today with we trainees. was an openness in regarding committees that elders should be members of.
It is easy to be pigeonholed into areas that you have worked in. I had this discussion with SIUC chancellors and presidents, on many occasions, during my university career. I advised university leadership that they had a vast untapped reservoir of talent contained within the civil service community… that if they would just think outside the box, they would find eager and educated staff that would donate their time to help. I am convinced that if university chancellors and vice chancellors would seek the advice of the longest serving group of employees at the campus…they could go a long way in ameliorating the recruitment and retention problems that beset the organization. So often we see a carpenter…because she or he work as a carpenter…there is much more to the person than their vocation. The carpenter…could be an intellectual.
All to often when a person is working in the physical services…we see someone who would be talented to work with the churches physical plant. Or a person who works in marketing…church membership. When in fact there is no way to distinguish a church leader’s strengths without reading their mind. Saul of Tarsus persecuted the churches…until the road to Damascus.
‘Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ Mark 6:3