Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Modeling Balance & Margin 2

Yes, I’m still on a break….when was the last time you took one?

This blog will begin again on 2 September 2013.

A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
Theodore Roosevelt

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
Theodore Roosevelt

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

Modeling Balance and Margin

I am taking a break…perhaps you should too!

This blog will continue again on 2 September 2013.

“When you come to the edge of all the light you have known, and are about to step out into darkness, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen-there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”       

Author unknown

Leaders and Assessment

Is assessment a Kingdom principle?  Does God want His leadership to assess others?  What’s the difference between assessment and judgment?  How can we give assessment to those we lead in a positive, developmental way?

Jesus sent out the Twelve and then upon their return they reported what they had done (Mark 6:30-31).  The parables of the Talents (Matthew 25) and the 10 Minas (Luke 19) teach that we will give an account to God for our stewardship.  Hebrews 13:17 reminds us that leaders will give an account for their leadership.  Paul gave feedback to the churches through his letters.  Assessment is a Kingdom principle.

But we must not cross over from assessment to judgment.  Jesus commands us not to judge others (Matthew 7) and Paul reminds us of the same (1 Corinthians 4).  Judgment is passing a final, negative opinion on another.  It focuses on final results and motives.  It often involves assessing someone’s motives or matters of the heart that we cannot know for certain.  It implies making personal standards normative for others.  Only God can judge!

But as leaders who must give an account to God for our leadership, we are told to know well the condition of our flock.  We must evaluate our flock to know if they are doing well or not.  Assessment of those we lead focuses on their faithfulness to labor, not the results which are determined by God.  Assessment is given to encourage growth and help measure progress and development.  It has a desired positive impact on another with a willingness to be involved in helping to correct any shortcomings.

Assessment is more formal than feedback.  It relates to mutually agreed upon standards or desired outcomes, deals with a process, involves a commitment to help, and provides accountability.  Feedback in informal, does not need mutual goals, deals with an event, does not necessarily involve a commitment to help, and provides perspective.  Leaders assess; facilitators give feedback.

For assessment to be positive, we must begin with agreed upon measuring marks.  The one being assessed must know from the outset what will be evaluated at the end of the process.  The leader bringing the assessment should seek to point out the positive outcomes initially.  Negative assessment should be limited to one or two items at the most, focusing on those areas that are most important.  As a leader you should offer to help them correct these in the future.  Ask how you as a leader can help them succeed in their efforts.  Get involved!  Bring resources to help them become a success.

Remember to assess, not judge.  Seek to apply the Golden Rule of Leadership in your assessment of others, “Lead others the way you want to be led” (Luke 6:31).

Leaders and Hard Work

God is a God who works.  In the very first verse of the Bible, we find God at work—creating.  Jesus, being God in the flesh, also modeled a life of work and had a lot to say about it.  He said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34).  He added, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17) and “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).

Work is part of our God-given design.  Because we are created in the image of God, and because God is a God of work, we too will work.  Adam was given work to do while in the Garden, even before the Fall (Genesis 2:15).  Only after the Fall did work become difficult (Genesis 3:17-19).

Leaders work hard and put in long hours.  A leader’s work is never done.  Expect it.  Count on the fact that the easy work is done by others; it’s only the hard work that ends up on your desk or in your inbox.  And because leaders work hard, that sense of calling is so important.  I must know that God has asked me to assume this leadership in order to embrace the increased demands.

I find the example of Wesley very challenging:  “John Wesley averaged three sermons a day for fifty-four years preaching all told more than 44,000 times.  In doing this he traveled by horseback and carriage more than 200,000 miles or about 5,000 miles a year.

His published words include a four-volume commentary on the whole bible, a dictionary of the English language, a five-volume work on natural philosophy, a four-volume work on church history; histories of England and Rome; grammars on the Hebrew, Latin, Greek, French and English languages; three works on medicine, six volumes of church music; and seven volumes of sermons and controversial papers.  He also edited a library of fifty volumes know as “The Christian Library.”

His daily schedule was as follows.  He arose at 4:00 am and worked solidly through to 10:00 pm, allowing brief periods for meals.  In the midst of all this work he declared, “I have more hours of private retirement than any man in England.”

At age 83, he was piqued to discover that he could not write more than 15 hours a day without hurting his eyes; and at the age of 86 he was ashamed to admit that he could not preach more than twice a day.  In his 86th year, he preached to almost every shire in England and Wales and often rode thirty to fifty miles a day” (Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations by Paul Lee Tan).

Let’s work hard so that at the end of our lives we can say, along with Jesus, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).

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