Frustration and Failure in Leadership

Welcome to the first post of my blog! In this inaugural post, I will share some of my desires and hopes for this blog, as well as some stories that lead me to place that I though I needed to start a blog, hopefully for the benefit of others, if only for myself.

A little of my story. I have been in and around church and other communities since my collage years. I was part of a great youth group, very much enjoying the times we had together. For my 20’s and early 30’s, work and my career certainly were my focus, and I also remember helping out as a leader in children’s camps. I say as a leader, but in reality, I was a helper. You see the area coordinator in those days, Wendy, was a very compassionate strong leader and it was nothing less than a joy to be able to help out. And being out on camp with children, what better place than to enjoy life.

Sometime in my 30’s, I started my own business, and while I was very good at my own tasks, as far as caring for others that was a terrible idea. I was good at telling my staff what to do, but I was leading them where I had not gone myself. I knew how to produce results, I had lots of skills, but not how to develop people?

Since those days, I have become more interested in social change, travelling and studying. With this, I’ve had many more experiences leading others with increasing success. I remember looking to some leaders who were stuck, just like I was. They had a great cause, lots of purpose, maybe even with lots of training, but having lots of passion and instruction does not transform. We could lead as long as we were the only one talking, as soon as another got a chance to contribute, all hell breaks loose.

So how are we actually formed into a leader, or formed into the likeness of Christ?

I also worked with others especially downtown Vancouver, working with homeless, who had such amazing leadership insights and skills. It was not until I started studying more developmental psychology that I found words to that wisdom many of these amazing leaders had, practices that facilitate the development of people. When I started to intentionally invest into others, then I started to be transformed.

Often our current approach is to tell others to go out and lead. Perhaps we promote the lead technician to a manager’s job, which is a totally different set of skills and everyone hates that manager. Or in church we come to realise “hey, it turns out that the church is meant to live on mission, so, great news, your released, you can go live on mission” and so you have set your members up for failure. Or if you are a new parent you will be sent home to figure it out, and without some maturation or a place and support to grow, you will parent just as you were raised. As it turns out we can’t actually just go out and learn leadership, our own growth needs to be incubated. Our cultures used to facilitate the passing on of these learnt experiences, but with the individualization of our cultures we now need awareness to what this wisdom entails.

  • It is a little of this awareness that I hope to share with you, so you may be able to look at what it is to lead, and know what makes it successful or not.
  • We will look at building an attachment village, what some call living on mission and how that works. I will share about the historical accounts of the life of Jesus, to make more sense of the way He led, to learn from this example. This is so much more than service projects or evangelizing.
  • And we will look at the processes of growth, and explore how we are transformed, what is it to raise children, or make disciples, or develop those you lead.

I have found these insights apply to all situations in all contexts; for parents, teachers, leaders, a manager at work, elders or disciple makers in all contexts and all situations, even in marriage. I think a theme that will come out is if your leadership isn’t working, stop pretending it does.

If you are in a place of questioning, a place of failure, then I think this blog, and the associated community I trust will develop, will be a good place to push through that. You will certainly, as I have, stop trying harder, stop doing the same things over and over, and instead look at leadership in a whole new light. You will stop avoiding failure, stop moving from place to place, and new ideas will come to you right where you are at.

My heart is to come alongside others, and help others to avoid some of the pitfalls I just named in my own journey. I want stand with you and walk beside you. I have found parenting and leadership and ministry can be good, with right relationships it is meant to be easy.

The community I trust will develop is that of people on the same journey. We need hope in the wilderness, in this post-Christian frontier we find ourselves in, leaving us without a village, or a tribe. Not just to deconstruct what are all the ways were doing things wrong, but to construct how we do this together.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line at [email protected] let me know who you are, if this is your first time hearing us, and what you like to talk about.

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