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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 Finish Lines in Mentoring:

In mentoring, there is a time to challenge the mentee towards development, and, there is a time to impart the feeling that they have crossed a minor or major finish line and accomplished something. Mentees need both.
    Leaders of all kinds tend to overdo the challenging part. They instruct, admonish, correct, critique, coach, inspire, and generally push for more and more development, sometimes losing conscientiousness that the human soul needs occasional finish lines. It needs to feel that it is hitting targets, making noticeable progress, and that developmental modules are really working. Finish lines, in turn, excite and inspire even more dedication to make even more progress and reach major life-changing or organization-changing finish lines.
    A mentor can balance developmental pushes and finish line celebrations in a few ways. The simplest, most immediate way is through comments and conversation--the culture-creators in every relationship. When fitting and timely, the mentor needs to make celebratory comments about any progress or finish lines crossed. And, for goodness sake, do not negate the celebration moment by snarking, "But you still need to do better in this or that." Celebratory comments, with zero critique, will make the mentee's soul glow with satisfaction, and almost always open a deeper conversation where you can further detail and harp on their progress. Jesus was masterful at celebrating, in commentary and conversation, finish lines crossed by His disciples. See Luke 10:17-24 for an example. Notice also, how often the Lord ordains celebrations throughout redemptive history. We forget, or fail to understand, the potency and leverage of custom-fitted celebrations in personal or organizational development. 
    The bigger the finish line, however, the bigger the celebration needs to be, beyond comments and conversation. The possibilities are endless here, so be thoughtful and celebrate every victory on the level it deserves. You can really crush the soul of a mentee by not going the extra mile to celebrate a finish line that is significant. On the other hand, a well-timed celebration can add to a person's or organization's momentum towards more and even greater finish lines.
    Resist the temptation to overcoach. Even the Lord does not overcoach. He said in Isaiah 57:16 (CEV): My people, I won't stay angry and keep on accusing you. After all, I am your Creator. I don't want you to give up in complete despair.
    
The ISV words it like this: For I won't accuse forever, nor will I always be angry; for then the human spirit would grow faint before me--even the souls that I have created.
    As a leader who probably has further, wider, and deeper vision than those you lead, you will be tempted to address all that you see, i.e., you will overcoach, leading to their despair and faintness. Triage your developmental pushes. Time your developmental pushes. This means you will need to be exceedingly listenful, thoughtful, and prayerful in every moment with your mentee(s). Stay out of your autopilot personality type responses. Patiently discern every moment. If you can administrate and balance developmental coaching and finish line celebrations well, you can see accelerated and sustained progress in the individuals or organizations you mentor.

10/17/22

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