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I was shocked with a revelation the other day.

Many of the things I do to my children, I would never dream of doing in my leadership.

Parenting and leadership have many similarities even though the tools are applied in radically different ways.

Most people would describe me as a gracious, releasing, and encouraging leader. I give people the freedom to make mistakes and do not micro manage.

If I look at my parenting, I can tend to be:
– Critical rather than gracious.
– Controlling rather than releasing.
– Speaking about areas of growth far more than encouraging.
– Attempting to prevent mistakes my children might make.
– Micro-manage their lives rather than allowing them to “make a mess.”

I know parenting is very different than leading adults, but I was shocked when I looked at my “leadership” through this lens.

by Patrik Goethe

by Patrik Goethe

Recently I heard a team leader of a communication team wanting to protect his first year staff from sitting under too many seasoned, veteran speakers so as not to feel a sense of insecurity. While I can appreciate the pastoral nature of this leadership, I disagree with it from a long-range perspective. If your young communicators or leaders are not exposed to experienced mentors, the bar will remain low. As the years roll by your product, will be reduced to a lower common denominator.

In other words, if young communicators cannot see someone to emulate and be challenged to advance, they will never reach their potential. There is a certain degree of insecurity in youth which shows us how much we need to grow.

In this lies the process of self-evaluation. Speakers must watch techniques of others to learn and grow. We all need to see ways in which we can improve.

“Leadership is not an event, it is a practice.”

It is the “daily little things where we practice putting the well-being of others before ourselves.”

Simon Sinek, speaking at a recent Leadercast event said this. He is the author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. I have not read these books, but they are being added to my list after hearing him at Leadercast.

Sinek shared the story of the Marine Corp, where it is well-known the officers always eat last. They put the needs of their troops ahead of their own. It was this story which became the basis for his recent book.

He shared other examples of how this is played out (and where it is not)

 “We are made to be dependent on one another.”

Desmond Tutu said this in a speech made during Leadercast. He spoke live from the Cape Town location and was beamed into 130 plus nations.

Tutu told stories of how Nelson Mandela had valued people on the way to becoming an extraordinary leader.

Nelson Mandela transitioned from an angry man to one who walked in forgiveness. His classroom for this development was 27 years in prison! The man who emerged to lead a nation, displaying no public bitterness or spite.

Mandela would do such things as have tea with the widow of the architect of apartheid. He was known for thanking the cooks in person in the kitchen following official functions. He even did this in Tutu’s home the night before he was “released” from prison officially. In the face of such a historic event, Mandela valued people and knew that we need each other.

Is America Broken?

October 27, 2011

On several recent trips to America, my wife and I have noticed the immense pessimism that is surrounding politics and the economy. People feel like America is going down the drain. They complain and lament about the excesses, greed, and injustice they see. Politics is no longer about the best idea, but who (and what party) proposed the idea.

Can this change? Where does change begin?

It starts with us. It starts with the church with the Word of God as our foundation.

I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s recent series called “Recovery Road”.

I found myself stunned. I have not heard a teaching series in a long, long time that I shouted “Amen” as much as I did this one.