Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

God’s Use of Isolation

DAVID – GOD’S USE OF ISOLATION
1 Samuel 20-31

Isolation: when God sets a leader aside from their destiny process to develop deeper, heart issues dealing with their inner spirit; our “doing” for God ceases and we are forced to focus on our “being” with God.

“God develops our character in community and tests it in isolation.”
Bill Thrall

God develops our spirit in isolation and tests it in community.

Spirit: relating to and loving God, rather than doing something for God; knowledge and understanding of God, confidence in God, surrender to God

During isolation periods, God develops a leader into a channel for His power to be displayed. We learn to boast in weakness for we know God will work through our weakness for His glory.

2 Cor. 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Examples of Isolation:

Jesus – 40 days in the wilderness Luke 4:1-14

Luke 4:1,14
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert…. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

Moses – 40 years in desert tending sheep Acts 7:23,30

Paul – time in Arabia after conversion; years in Tarsus Gal. 1:17, 2:1

David – running from Saul in the desert ( +10 years ) 1 Sam.20-31

Leaders can anticipate times of isolation when God sets them aside from the activities of leadership in order to develop them in deeper ways.  Don’t be surprised by this, in fact, know that God is using this to develop you as a better leader.  Lean into it and don’t rush back to the action.  Let God have His way and His timing in your development.

A Leader’s Calling

Below is a bible study on the call of God. I used it myself when trying to discern whether God was leading me/us out of a vocational career in veterinary medicine and into a ministry with The Navigators. This was one source of input that the Lord used to guide us in that decision.

Key Attitudes for Following God’s Calling
1. Trust God – Proverbs 3:5-6
2. Living sacrifice – Romans 12:1-2
3. Willingness to obey – John 7:17

Leaders God Called
Abraham – Genesis 12:1-5

Moses – Exodus 3:1 – 4:20

Samuel – 1 Samuel 3:1-13

Isaiah – Isaiah 6

Jeremiah – Jeremiah 1:1-19

Ezekiel – Ezekiel 1-3

Jonah – Jonah 1 – 3:3

Peter and Andrew – Mark 1:16-18; Luke 5:1-11; John 1:35-42; Matthew 4:18-20

James and John – Mark 1:19-20; Luke 5:1-11; Matthew 4:21-22

Matthew – Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32; Matthew 9:9-15

Paul – Acts 9:1-20

Principles of God’s Calling
1. Makes sure it is God calling and not your idea – Galatians 1:1

2. God takes volunteers – Isaiah 6:8

3. The call is often a call to “go” with no geographical limitations – Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1-2; Hebrews 11:8

4. God clarifies His call as we walk in obedience – Genesis 12:1-4; 17:1-8; Hebrews 11:8

5. Failure to respond can bring chastening or loss of opportunity – example of Jonah, rich young ruler

6. Responding to God’s call may mean a change in lifestyle – Exodus 3:1,10

7. The call of God is a call to serve – Mark 1:16-18

Without a clear calling from God the pressures and challenges faced by leaders will cause one to want to give up.  Sustainability in leadership can be helped by knowing that one is called to lead.  It is out of obedience to Him that we stay and serve.

Are you sure that the Lord has called you to serve others by leading?

Making Your Contribution

Dr. RJ (Bobby) Clinton shared the following with me some time ago regarding living a focused life. Note that these suggestions are best suited for those in their late 30s and 40s who are moving into mid-career contributions. His thoughts are numbered, my additions follow.

1. Do a thorough Ultimate Contribution Analysis. What is it that you want on your tombstone? What will be said about you at your funeral? What difference will your life have meant when you are gone?

2. Identify the priority Ultimate Contributions you want to focus on the next 5 years. This includes assessing your major role and adjusting it to fit the priorities or changing that major role altogether to enhance your priority legacies. Just how serious are you about this ‘focusing for impact’ idea anyway? What do you need to stop doing in order to begin to develop depth and focus so that God can use you in a greater way?

3. Choose your top ultimate contribution and lay out a strategy for focusing on it. Plans can help turn good intentions into reality. But just because you have a good plan does not ensure execution of it. Create some accountability to turn those plans into progress!

4. Repeat for your other prior ultimate contributions. You will have more than one ultimate contribution, but not dozens. These few contributions will revolve around your giftedness and will require you to concentrate in these areas to develop your life messages in them.

5. Identify your effective methodologies that are needed to be released in order to accomplish these priority legacies. Make sure you are using your effective methodologies to the utmost. Strategize to change your activities (major role adjustment) in order to use your effective methodologies. You effective methodologies are means by which you can platform and communicate your life messages. Will it be through direct or indirect leadership? Will your influence be written or oral? Will you concentrate on a few or seek to influence broadly? ‘

Focus for impact’ is the mantra of a life that will help to change the world for Christ! Are you becoming more and more a generalist or are you developing and honing your life messages for greater impact? How’s your focus?

Don’t Chase Leadership Fads

General Colin Powell [Chairman (Ret.), Joint Chiefs of Staff] in his work, “A Leadership Primer” describes the following principle:

“Fit no stereotypes.  Don’t chase the latest management fads.  The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”

When one begins to focus on the subject of leadership you will notice that many are talking about the latest leadership book that they have read.  Through these conversations certain leadership phrases become part of our everyday vocabulary – “get the right people on the bus,” “you have to think systems,” “change management,”EQ,” “be proactive, instead of reactive” – the list is endless.

Now books and their contents are not necessarily bad (I write them myself), but it’s what we do with them that can make them helpful or harmful.  We leaders can get very excited about a new idea or concept from a recent book.  That quote or concept now becomes part of our everyday conversations and we spread that influence among those we lead or interact with indiscriminately.  But often we do so without any sense of context or without thinking carefully  about our audience.  It has been said, “When all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.”

A good leader stewards their influence wisely.  While we may be helped by some thought from a recent read, we should ask ourselves, “Will this truly help this person?  Is it appropriate for them or their leadership context?”  If not, then keep quiet!  Put yourself in their situation and ask yourself what do they need to hear from me that fits them and where they are in their context or stage of development.

Books come and go in their popularity.  Few stand the test of time.  Be careful not to be always chasing the latest leadership fads or what’s trendy.  You will miss the timeless truths and wisdom that comes from the Lord.  Yes, read leadership books and think about what you read.  Don’t just accept it because it’s in print.  Yes, read critically and compare what you read with the Bible.  The Bible is a kingdom leader’s primary textbook on leadership.

The Bible contains ageless leadership principles and wisdom.  The Bible is cross-cultural and cross-generational.  Always share thoughts and insights from God’s Word as the Holy Spirit helps you discern the need of those you are influencing.  Listen carefully to Him and He will guide you.

What have you been talking about recently.  Is it a recent fad or what’s popular?  Or have you been sharing with others God’s truths and His wisdom for leaders?

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