Archives For Leadership

The world has changed dramatically in the past decade. You know this. You’ve felt it. You live with the stress of it every day.

Your leadership needs to change with it.

The human race is rapidly becoming a more tightly knit global community. A dip in one country’s economy can prompt falls across world markets before the next day’s trading cycle. A technological explosion of mobile devices, social networking, and cloud computing has made the world seem smaller.

These shifts have changed the way we live, work, think, learn, and relate to family and friends. And our expectations have changed. Increasingly, we believe that information and people should be available on demand. A global economy with shrinking boundaries allows buyers and sellers to conduct business non-stop, 24/7/365.

Companies, institutions, nonprofits, churches, and mission agencies are all struggling to keep up with this pace of change. Many are rightly questioning whether the practices that made yesterday’s leaders successful will still be helpful tomorrow….

Want more? Download this free chapter of my book CLOSE: Leading Well Across Distance and Cultures.

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Yesterday our Digital Strategies team met for our monthly Strategy Day.

Strategy days allow us to devote longer sessions of up to two to three hours on a single issue or cluster of problems. We seek to dive deep and pray for wisdom to make one or two decisive calls that ensure we stay on track. We mine for conflict: opposing points of view, subsurface issues that tend to fester, places where someone hasn’t truly bought in at the heart level.

Yesterday while mining we struck gold.

How did I know? Emotions began to rise along with a few people’s tone of voice. While this could have derailed a typical meeting, two team members noticed the escalation and invited us to pause, pray, and take a few moments to dig even deeper. Once we ensured that relationships were ok and forgiveness was asked for where needed, we moved on the even more fruitful discovery and decision-making.

It took courage and Spirit-filled self-awareness for my two teammates to lead in the moment. I’m thankful they did. Their actions saved a meeting and allowed us to commit to a game-changing decision that will radically affect the way we operate in the next 12-36 months.

Where have you led (or failed to lead) in the moment?











It seems appropriate in this the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth that we look at a tale not of two cities but of two leaders.

In our leader-obsessed culture perhaps we should focus not on the leader but their leadership.

These two pictures portray leaders in action.

The leader in the left hand picture is serving the other person by enabling them to get to their level. The leader in the right hand picture is serving the other person by enabling them to go beyond him.

These pictures take us to the very heart of the issue, which is an issue of the heart. Where does a leader find his or her sense of identity? Is the leader secure enough in who they are and therefore willing to enable others to press on to higher things?

In the life of Jesus we see this second picture of leadership. John 13:3-5 informs us:

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Unless we as leaders are secure in our position and in our identity, we will be unable to resist the temptation to solve other people’s problems (because it makes us feel good and massages our ego) instead of coaching our people and teams to solve their own problems. This is true empowerment. This is multi-generational servant leadership.

What do you think?

My friend and personal coach Paul Duncan lives in the UK and has been on staff of Agape (CCCi) since 1985. He currently is an executive agent for the European LDHR Director. He holds a Masters in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes University; he is married with two daughters.


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