In recent years Junior has been increasingly sought for leadership development. While many of these are ministerial or church-related, he has also helped communicators, sports coaches, developing business leaders, even teachers and doctoral candidates, in some of the most nuanced and often overlooked ways. Similarly, a growing number of leaders have expressed interest in a regular devotional, mini-teaching, or commentary from Junior on leadership. In response, the bit below is for you. (All content here and sitewide is the intellectual and copyright property of JDM. All rights reserved.)
When doing multiperson leadership equipping, Junior loves to use small "Mount of Olives" home meetings. These relaxed, candid environments compel leaders to ask questions, share freely, dialogue in-depth, nourish interleader intimacy, and practice their gifted craft in a nurturant, but guided, setting. Individual follow-up spins off naturally and supernaturally from these unusually productive meetings.
As a leader, you are the genes of your group or organization. Your unique helix of personality, instincts, abilities, experience, and maturity level will determine the visible nature and quality of your group. Not only does this impose a stern mandate of personal growth and leadership development, it cautions us to wisely discern the epigenetics of leadership also: who we agree to lead, under what conditions, and for how long.
A favorite JDM scripture on leadership captures "the heart" and "the brain" of leadership, or said another way, inner health and leadership skill. It is Psalm 78:72 (NKJV): So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
Below is Junior's most recent devotional, mini-teaching, or commentary on leadership. Sometimes these are ministerial, sometimes ubiquitous or some other specialization.
On Proactive & Reactive Realms of Leadership
Leadership is both a proactive and reactive endeavor, and a skilled leader will move gracefully and creatively between both realms. Leaders are often lectured (and rightly so) to lead with vision and deliberate activity, and yet, the reality on the ground is that life and people occasionally present threats and opportunities that demand attention. Some threats are simply too big or too defining to ignore or intentionally postpone, and similarly, some unexpected opportunities are simply too promising. With deep and creative wisdom the skilled leader can repurpose the threat or opportunity and reinsert it back into the proactive vision. The threat does not have to be a frustrating distraction; the opportunity does not have to mean a new overall direction.
A leader who is entrenched at the goal-oriented extreme will undermine or sabotage his/her own influence by failing to account for real life's vicissitudes and idiosyncrasies. Granted, this type of end-product tunnel vision is easy to narrow into. It is easier to fossilize oneself in routines and processes that require less and less improvisation and creative critical thinking. Skilled leadership will always be a controlled vacillation between working aggressively on a purpose and working adaptively to repurpose threats and opportunities. To use a traffic metaphor, we could say one realm is linear and one realm is a detour, with the destination remaining the same.
Staying flexible means self-awareness and being present in every moment. Resist drifting off into goal-oriented lala land, such that you miss shifting variables in front of you that could have strategic consequences.
Do not overschedule and overbusy yourself. It is almost impossible to be creatively strategic if your mind and body are waterboarded with to-do's.
Set aside time everyday, sometimes more than once, to be alone for deep prayer mixed with deep contemplation. 2Timothy 2:7 (NIV): Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. Upper-tier faculties like surgical discernment, truly unique creativity, and winning moves most often illuminate in quiet, unrushed, spiritual solitude.