Posts Tagged ‘situational leadership’

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From one of our readers

February 3, 2009

I have the pleasure of being able to interact with the readers.  One such reader, Dante Bishop, took the time to write about his personal struggles as a Christian Man and Warrior, so I thought I would let his words be this week’s posting.

Trent,

God Bless you for your strength and leadership to highlight, not only the role of Christian men as it pertains to our wives and children, but also the role as Warrior!

This is my first ‘official’ post/comment, and it comes admidst great spiritual meditation and absorption in the Word, seeking God’s guidance. Forgive me if I violate etiquette… or type too much (my 1st response I omitted the email and it was lost.

This Site was to me a Blessing from the Lord!! I have felt as David, in a cave, a just hooked up with the 1st of the Mighty Men (no gender exclusion, though, Tara).

Quick Summary of Need: Gideon, Joshua and David are the three people in the Bible whose lives are most similar to mine (I always ask this question, it is great to ask Believers).

Gideon: because God always gives me challenges MUCH MUCH greater than I – I’ve learned to give them right back to the Lord, follow, obey, and Praise Him.

Joshua: As a leader especially in my ministry for children. 1:1-9 Has been my guiding verse since Jan 2008. Joshua 1:6-8 (NLT)
“Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. [7] Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. [8] Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.

David: I have faced ‘Goliaths’ all of my life, and never feared, wondering why. Then, I read The Word, and found out why – My love of The Lord, and the Faith that He is with me.

My Need: How to NOT drop the slingshot. How to NOT put my sword down. How to NOT continue to, as my best friend says “come up with a Bible verse to do nothing, or ’show mercy to those who don’t deserve it – enemies’. I’ve felt okay with the ‘deficiency’ of letting evil, or enemies off the hook – I can’t possible GIVE more than God, nor show more MERCY.

This worked for a while. It is now being used against me. I’ll provide my witness later. Praise The Lord, and Thank You for your article!!

*And below is his witness*

The Bible gives us multiple references to warriors and battle, both in the Old Testament and New. In ALL circumstances, God’s anointed warriors (David, Joshua, Gideon…) understood that it was God’s battle (1 Samuel 17:47 (NLT) And everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours. The Lord will give you to us!” ), but were ALSO called to ACT (David’s slingshot did not shoot itself…)

Jesus pointed out: John 15:18-19 (NLT) “When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. [19] The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you.

OH DEAR, WHAT TO DO??

Ephesians 6 calls us to put on the Whole Armor of God..Ephes. 6:12-14 (NLT) For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. [14] Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.

As a man of Faith, I can attest that I remain Spirit led. The Spirit has moved me to, 99% of time, to ACTIVELY take a ‘passive’ role (what a dichotomy) such that I am more apt to follow the tenets of: The employer of the shrewd manager in Luke 16 (Luke 16:9 (NLT) I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven).

I also choose ACTIVELY follow the teachings of Jesus is MTH 5:38-48 regarding revenge and Loving our enemies.

I can tell you: I’ve taken ‘worldly’ BEATINGS!! My business is spiritually on Mount Moriah – and I am literally waiting on the ram in the bush (Gen 22:8). Praise the Lord, I have God’s peace, love, joy, mercy, and grace – and stand firm in Faith understanding Mark 8:35 (NLT) If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.

So, What to Do, as a Leader, and a Warrior? Rev. 17:14 (NLT) Together they will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord over all lords and King over all kings, and his people are the called and chosen and faithful ones.” I know that the battle is won. What do I do today? As for me, I will Praise the Lord (Josh 24:15).

**Thank you Dante for sharing your thoughts on the passage.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

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Leading Against the Current

January 26, 2009

Against the current…

Alewife and Blueback herring, Ticonic FallsWhen you first read the subtitle, what did you visualize? If your first visualization was of a river, you are in good company. Many of those I introduced the subtitle to thought of the same thing. I must confess that I too though of a river the first time I discerned this was to be the title. Over time, however, I began to see what Christ was truly meaning by this theme. Against the current… you fill in the gap.

Perhaps “the current” for you is a particularly hard financial circumstance that seems to crush your will to lead. Maybe your “current” is a troubled relationship whether it be with a spouse, friend, co-worker, or family member. Maybe your “current” is an internal battle with a beginning reaching back early into your childhood that still affects every day of your life. Whatever your “current” is, we are calling for a Rebellion.

One of the “current” situations I would like readers to walk away with is that of spiritual warfare. Sometimes, just saying these words will elicit a strong and often nonchalant response out of today’s Christians. It seems as if we have forgotten that we are not to be of this world, merely in it. With all of the references to spiritual warfare and the war craft of our adversary in Scripture, it seems today’s Christian goes to the battlefield not only unknowingly, but unprepared. So what is the “current” that I am alluding to?

Using our example of the Spartan army, one could definitely say they went against the current of their day. When their neighbors were engrossed in theology and the arts, the Spartans held true to their traditions of daily training and the development of a regimented society centered around the call to be a warrior. Even during times of peace, the Spartan nation trained for war. Unlike their neighbors, they were aware of the propensity for nations to sit quietly and then suddenly erupt in war. So against the “current” of their day, Spartans were aware that ware was not a matter of an “if” as much as it was “when.” Regardless of the “when”, the Spartan nation would be ready. In fact, when Persia mounted her army to invade the Greek nations, it was not long before Athens and the other Greek states eagerly sought out Sparta to lead the charge to defend their nations.

Currently, most Christians do not actively believe there is a battlefield out there. Some preachers in the mainstream media have shied away from this controversial topic. As a church, we have become so active in evangelizing; we have forgotten the importance of equipping our new Christians for the battle they will encounter. As with the Spartans, we are to know it is not a matter of “if” as much as it is a matter of “when.”

For some Christians who are struggling with the battle of mounting debt and financial troubles, they are not aware there is a demon actively working to use financial disparity to separate them not only from God, but also from their spouse, family, or friends. For the Christian fighting a past of abuse, whether it be when they were a child or when they were older, they are fighting a demon whose intent is to devalue them in their own minds enough to not even have the reality of God’s perfect love register with them or seem attainable. Regardless of your “current” status, there is an adversary actively working on your circumstances to separate you from Christ. For Judas, he used greed for money and power to lure him away from Christ. For Peter, he used that of fear. For Samson, he used pride. Even today, we have unfortunately seen the fall of many Christians who were lured away by the “current” battle of their day.

Part of Satan’s victory begins with us not acknowledging he exists. Read that sentence again. If you are going to fight against the “current” in your life, you must admit there is someone working against you. Look at your “current”, what in life causes you to challenge Christ? Do you feel that Christ could not possibly forgive you because you are such a sinner? If you believe that, then you need also believe the enemy is active in your “current” battle. Satan wants you to feel that Christ’s love is unattainable and that you are just not worth it. Do you feel like simply giving up with your “current” battles of life? Then you’d best believe that Satan is actively seeking to destroy you. He knows that your strength is in your thoughts of yourself and by defeating that, he can defeat you. The enemy is “current” in the world.

Our call in Scripture is the rebel. We are to rebel against the fleshly desires we have and to want that pleasing to God. Scripture calls us to rebel against the notion that we can simply do good works only and get to heaven that way. Scripture calls us to rebel against legalism of faith and seek intimacy over routine. Scripture not only calls for us to rebel against our “current”, it provides us the ability to do it.

In the following chapters, we will discuss the weapons Christ not only used, but passed down to us. He’s provided the training, but it is up to us to wield them effectively against the enemy. The enemy of your “current”.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

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300 Men can make a difference Part II

January 14, 2009

300 Men can make a difference Part II

Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities of the Spartan soldiers in the movie 300 and the plight of today’s Christian Leaders.  After watching the movie, I spent the next couple of days reading and researching more on these 300 men who willingly took the “Road Less Traveled.”  What was their motivation?  Why did that seem like the only option?  Why does their story remind me so much of the Christian journey?

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One of the most notable aspects of the Spartans was their fighting style. Since birth, the Spartan culture raised its young men to be warriors. In fact, beginning at age 7, they entered their training, a training curriculum that would make today’s Navy Seals or other elite military training programs pale in comparison. Day and night, they were taught to survive, fight, and win. With no more than a mere cloth around their waist, they were to endure the heat of the day and the cold of the night.

In their training, Spartans were taught to fight on their own, but the true strength of this army was in their ability to fight as a group. Shoulder to shoulder, the Spartans would use their shields collectively to form a fierce outer shell and would push forward, using their shields for protection and then their spears or swords to execute the decisive blows that crushed enemies. It is said that Xerses could not understand just how this group of Spartans was able to obliterate a major portion of their elite fighting force. It seemed like every force that was thrown against this group of 300 men were slaughtered against all reasoning.

Another interesting note about the fighting style and training of your average Spartan soldier was their emphasis on team fighting. From some historical accounts, you hear of the Spartans fighting shoulder to shoulder and back to back. One defended the other as well as themselves, it was a team effort to fight and defend. What could we as Christians learn from this?

As Christians, we should surround each other and, as the Spartan soldiers, fight and defend each other. One of the key strengths the Spartan armies had was their unity and we have to be able to find that in our daily walk. We have come under the enemy in thinking that our faith is something “private” to us and not worthy or interest of others. In other cases, we know if we share our faith with others, we will be held to more accountability. Regardless of the reason, part of the “rebellion” plan needs to be to partner with other Christians in the battle against “the current”.

One great way to do this is by joining a small group within your church or forming one yourself. If you are a father, join a group with other Christian dads who are in the same battle as you. This is one battlefield that needs more soldiers who are willing to dig their heels in and fight against the enemy. Personally, I have two or three Christian dads that I group with who are able to understand the trials and battles I endure daily not only as someone in the business world, but as a Christian father. When the enemy begins to attack, I know that they will cover me with prayer and support me in any other way I may need it. They also hold me accountable in daily things, especially my “training” routine.

Have you been offering time for daily devotion? Have you spent quality time with your wife? Have you spent quality time with your children? Is work becoming your idol? These are all questions that one of these men will ask me and I will ask of them. It’s strengthening my resolve as a rebel against the “current” of today’s fatherhood.

So what is it about today’s “current” view of fatherhood that needs so much resistance and rebellion? If you were to watch any prime time TV show, you’d see a major difference in how the men of the family are portrayed versus what Scripture has outlined our behaviors to be. According to Ephesians 5, we are to do the following for our wives:

Ø Love our wives as Christ loves the church” –

o That means we are not to lust silently or with our eyes for any other woman. We are to uphold them in the home, love them and respect them. Just as Christ would protect the church, we are to protect our wives not only physically, but spiritually. All too often, as Christian men, we do not claim victory in our homes against the enemy forces. We have to bond our efforts with Christ as our general and join the other Christian fathers in our community and rise up against the enemy. We are to present her clean and without blemish to Christ and to do so through the Word. Rebels, our greatest weapon often sits on our nightstand or end table with dust on it. The Word is our sword, it’s time we all pick it up and begin using it.

So what is the “rebellion” against? What is the “current” we are fighting as Christian men in today’s battle? We are to be Christian men and warriors, not cowards. Our society, through so many channels of the media as well as so many poor decisions made by men in our generation, has cast the father out as unimportant. We have let society warp our role and diminish our authority in the home. This is where our “rebellion” is to take place.

As a partner to other Christian men, I am strengthened by the resolve of my vocation as a Christian father as well as the men I stand shoulder to shoulder with. When I need prayer for help or wisdom in the battlefield I am in, my Christian partners help by raising their shield in my defense and fighting on my behalf while I strengthen through prayer and devotion. The same is true for when one of my Christian partners is in need. My call is to defend them in prayer and supplication, protect them with the shield until they are strengthened enough to fight their battle.

The enemy has brought the war to our camp and enslaved many of our men today. It is time we take the “rebellion” to his camp. How? We are to infiltrate our offices, our little league teams, our homes, and anywhere else we find ourselves spending time. We are to stand for Christian values and intimately discern what we are to do in all situations. When the enemy begins pushing against our families with his various weapons, we are to dust off that sword that is the Word and wage war back against him, defending our wives and our children against the lies and treachery the enemy brings.

It is time for us to take back the ground that we have lost over the last century. It is time for us to start acting like a Christian warrior who has undergone spiritual training comparable to the training received by the Spartan warriors. It’s time for a rebellion.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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Christian Leadership-Rebellion

January 8, 2009

Rebellion, it is a strong word in these modern times. I find it ironic, however, to know that most of the historical events that have received recognition have been the result of a rebellion. Some, like the American Revolution, were violent against a government or tyranny. Others were merely against an institution like that of Martin Luther. Rebellion, whether it is violent or nonviolent, evokes a strong conviction within most people today.

So what is “rebellion”? If you were to accurately define the word by looking online or in a dictionary, you would find multiple definitions. I came across two of them that I really liked:

Ø To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention.

Ø To feel or express strong unwillingness or revulsion.

Although these are great definitions, my absolute favorite definition was actually the inspiration for the logo for this book. It is from the Chinese language and consists of two characters and these are the characters we will refer to when discussing the Christian Leadership Rebellion.

策 反= to incite defection; to instigate rebellion within the enemy camp

If any Christian were to truly look at Scriptures, they would find Christianity itself was considered a rebellion. In fact, many of the Christian disciples and early believers were labeled as rebels. They were rebels to Rome for not bending their knee to Caesar as Lord. They were rebels to the Jewish authority, claiming that Christ was the Messiah. In fact, Celsus, a Greek Philosopher and known opponent of Christianity, labeled the early Christians as a rebel faction among the Jews-who once rebelled against their enslavers Egypt.

So why in this day in age is the word “rebellion” avoided in today’s Christian discussion circuit? Why does the word “rebellion” or “rebel” no longer associate itself with Christians today? If there were a time for Christians to be considered “rebels”, it would be now. The degree of spiritual warfare always seems strongest by the era it is attacking. I would have to say, however, as a Christian leader in the workplace, in my home, and in my church, I must say the enemy has recently upped his game with new tools. He is on the prowl using technology to help sink his claws into his prey. He has become a master at making Americans just too “busy” to successfully make time for their relationship with Christ. We have some of the core Christian values being attacked in our courtrooms with little or no resistance. As a father, I find myself defending our faith to our children against the things they see on channels like Nickelodeon (even when we monitor the shows they watch).

I love this quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” Today, we are fighting the same enemy of old. He uses the same lie he used in Genesis. As a Christian leader, whether it be in your office, in your community or in your home, you are in a battle. It is time for a rebellion! True Christian leadership in this modern era will be considered a rebellion. The tyranny we face is not from government, but from our enemy and his vices. During the course of this journey, we will discuss this definition of rebellion: rebellion within the enemy camp. This type of rebellion is the most applicable for our current state.

One of the most notable rebellions recently highlighted in 2006. Director Zack Synder made a movie that rocked the box office depicting some of the accounts of the Battle of Thermopyhlae in the hit movie 300. In case you do not know the story of this battle, I would urge you to do some research on it since we will be referencing this battle and the Spartan warriors throughout the book. The first section of this book will focus on the line in the sand the Spartans drew and how this decision changed history. We will focus on some of the characteristics, behaviors, and training that made them different from their enemy and discuss how we, as Christian leaders, can implement some tactics to use in our enemy’s camp.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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SERVANT Leadership- A is for Accessible

November 12, 2008

Of all the SERVANT Leadership traits, this has to be one of the most difficult to address.  Why?  Well, this is one of those traits that has to have an absolute balance, there’s no wiggle room.  First, let’s look at some of the characteristics of an Accessible Leader :

  • One word- COMMUNICATOR
  • Responds to every voice mail or email
  • As a leader, they have a passion and focus to recognize all attempts to communicate with them.
  • This is the leader who will respond to emails or send out emails late at night or early in the morning
  • Driven by the need felt for their advice on a subject-which is one of the reasons they are so addicted to responding to everyone.
  • Out of a crowd, this person will often be cornered for long periods of time by individuals wanting to speak with them.

42-17526725Accessible Leaders are most likely going to be your most visible; after all, they love people!  Chances are, your most Accessible Leader are considered Yellows on the Colorful Masterpiece scale.  (If you are unfamiliar with this, please refer to the Colorful Masterpiece series or click here.)  One of the great aspects or traits of an Accessible Leader is that they seem to have a pretty good idea of what is going on in their organization and more importantly, on their team. You know these types!  They have the blackberry in their hand typing a message while listening to a group conversation to be able to make a comment and all the while, making a note to themselves to follow up with someone else about that “thing” they were to discuss.  Whoa… did your head spin during all of that?

Granted, there are some people who are great at this and have it mastered.  Chances are, if you are reading this, you do not do so well in this area.  Perhaps you are one who is owned by your communication time lines and gadgets.  If you are unsure, let me ask you this question, does it kill you to know that there are emails you have not yet answered?  Or how about this.  If you were to lose your PDA or messaging device, would you lose your mind until you get back on track or would you simply take your time and be cool about it?  If the mere questions before this sent a chill up your spine or caused a spike in your heart rate, chances are, you are addicted to your communication.  This is the result of an Accessible Leader being “too accessible.”

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And for those of you laughing at the readers categorized above, now it is your turn.  If you are not bothered as much or at all when you are unable to return an email or answer someone’s question, this is not the best thing either. As a leader, you need to have a great communication avenue not only with your peers, but more importantly, with your staff.  One of the greatest causes of discontent in the workplace are employees who feel as if they work for the Wizard of Oz.  (you know, the man behind the curtain with the big voice)  It is always good to have a stable balance with honoring your position but also remembering who you are to serve as a leader.

If you were to grade yourself in this area and would declare this was your lowest score on a self assessment, I would consider implementing some of the following:

  • This is a tricky one because you want to be accessible and approachable to all, but not to the point that you strangle other needed qualities.
  • Set an attainable bar or expectations for follow up and interaction with your staff first, and then with everyone else.  This could be something as simply as a before 2pm = Sundown Rule.  Simply put, if someone leaves you a voice mail or sends and email, you will return it by sundown that same day.  Even if this means you simply call/say/email, “I will get back to you, today has been crazy.”
  • If group interaction intimidates or scares you, be sure to slowly expose yourself to more situations that will put you outside of your comfort zone.

If we were to ask your team to grade you in this area and this would be the lowest grade on your survey, this could mean a variety of things:

  • Your team does not approve of your follow up skills
  • Perhaps you are too busy or too “stuffy” or “lofty” in your presence that may discourage your team from speaking with you openly.
  • Chain of command is a great thing, especially for a large staff, but you still want to somehow convey that you are approachable.

In the beginning of this post, I mentioned this was the hardest topic of the SERVANT Leadership series.  Let me give you a reason in list form.  When I was sitting down to write a “top reasons list”, this is what I came up with:

1.  Be an Accessible Leader, but do not let your communication style, tactics, needs, etc overtake you.

2.  Accessible Leaders need to be approachable, yet they have to have boundries considering time, place, etc

3.  The team of an Accessible Leader should feel able to bring topics to the leader, yet still respect the chain of command

4.  Leaders cannot simple lead the battle from the hill, but also cannot spend the entire time on the front lines.  Learn how to and when to delegate.

5.  Being accessible to your team allows you to bond, coach, and observe them, however, it can also consume your day, break your concentration, and monopolize your schedule.

So, if you are truly wanting to be an Accessible Leader, I would stress this more in this topic than others, achieve BALANCE!!!!  Again, this is a great trait to have and I would argue, a necessary trait to have if you are to be an effective SERVANT Leader.  If we look to Jesus as the ultimate example of being an Accessible Leader, we would find several times where he would separate himself for prayer, but it was after mingling with his flock.  He met people on their level and like the woman with the hemorrhage, he gave everyone their moment.  For this reason, and for so many more, Jesus had a following.  People loved him because he was accessible, but even Jesus put necessary parameters in place.  If you are struggling either as or struggling to be more of an Accessible Leader, I would definitely look to Christ, the Perfecter of this and every other great trait.

If you are interested in learning more about the SERVANT Leadership series, please contact Christian Management Consulting. We offer a complete training on this and many more topics. Typically, we provide you with a test to measure your key signatures in each of the SERVANT Leadership areas. A survey would also be sent out to your team/direct reports to provide feedback on your performance and behaviors in all of the SERVANT Leadership areas as well. We will go over the key signatures as well as the positive and negative extremes of each in one-day training with you and other leaders in your area. Once we go over the signatures, from a high level, we will provide you with your results and spend some time going over how to read your personalized chart. We will also provide some time for you to personally review your results and reconvene to go over questions.

Once the training has been completed, Christian Management Consulting will meet with you regularly via phone to discuss your progress and to walk alongside you in this time of development. At the end of six months or one year, we will resend the test to you and your team to measure the changes in your behavior and make modifications to our plan.

This is a great program and a great way for any organization to implement succession strategies and train both their current and up and coming leaders.

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About the Writer:

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Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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SERVANT Leadership- V for Visionary

November 10, 2008

Continuing our series on Servant Leadership, we come to V which is for Visionary.  If there were one trait that was most likely one to jump into your head when you thought about Servant Leadership, it was most likely not Visionary.  If you were to truly sit down and think about Servant Leadership, it would make sense why someone would need to be considered a visionary.  Before we get into that discussion, let’s take a moment to look at some characteristics of a Visionary Leader:

lookingaheadCharacteristics of a Visionary Leader:

•One word- ENERGY •This person has a mind always focused on the future and what-if situations.

•Paired with a strategic thinker, this person can be the mouthpiece or cheerleader for an objective.

•As leaders, they also look for creative ways to connect their organizations to the world around them, exploring and imagining new forms of partnership and alliances that will support their missions and advance in their strategic plans

•Risk takers

•As leaders, they also have a deep appreciation of the strength of diversity, understanding that diversity helps to assure a higher level of responsiveness to clients and also promotes creativity, innovation and organizational learning

These leaders are characteristically those leaders most individuals enjoy following.  Of course, they have their faults, but visionaries bring energy and vibrance to the mission at hand.  They usually help others be able to look beyond just a simple problem and look more to the solution, all the while, sharing some excitement about how the team is going to get there.  This is not only am must have for most leadership positions, but it is a great trait to have when you are tackling particularly tough morale on a team.

Of course, as I eluded earlier, there are negative points to having a Visionary leader.  Let’s look at some of the drawbacks:

•These leaders usually run from one project to another without truly accomplishing anything.  Because of  this, they must have a strong support team to carry out completion and allow the leader to focus their energy elsewhere.  This may not be a luxury to be had for some teams, so again, balance is key.

•Most of the time, the Visionary leader can be accused of having their heads in the clouds all of the time… almost unrealistic.

•So much energy, so little focus.

Now, if you find yourself struggling to be a Visionary leader, there are some things you can work on to increase in this area:

•Dream more and share your passion

•Spend more time in the Word, studying visionary leaders

•Pray, have quiet time and ask for discernment on God’s vision for your organization.

•If your team has indicated this is an area for you to work on, your team is telling you that it wants to know what God has put on your heart for the organization.  Find it, Embrace it, and Communicate it.

Being a Visionary would put you in line with some of the greats from Scripture.  David, Moses, Joshua, Solomon, and the list goes on.  In one of our next blog posts, we will discuss the how being a Visionary and being a SERVANT Leader are synonymous.

Are you a Visionary Leader?  If you would like to learn more about Servant Leadership, please be sure to contact Christian Management Consulting.  We offer a 360 degree view of Servant Leadership.  Check us out so we can get started on your Christian Leadership Development today.

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About the Writer:

me21

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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Leading through Turbulence- Moses

November 7, 2008

untitledIf there were ever a sign that the Israelite nation should have seen after crossing the Red Sea, I would imagine it should have looked something like this sign!  Granted, they had just witnessed a miracle of miracles and been heroically saved from the grips of their enemy Pharaoh, but the days of true trial were ahead.

In many situations, as a leader, you may identify with Moses.  What would some of the similarities be?  As yourself these questions:

1.  Have you ever been forced to lead a group of people who constantly grumbled and complained about everything?

2. Have you ever led, convinced you were doing God’s will, but couldn’t help fighting the feeling that you were passing around the same mountain?

3.  Did you ever get tired of constantly having to prove your leadership and discernment to a group of people you were leading?  Only to have to do it again?  and again?  and yet again?

Well, if you answered yes to even one of the above, you can identify with Moses.  Let’s not forget that Moses was no spring chicken when God called him to this great task of freedom.  Most 80 year olds today enjoy peaceful retirement, but Moses was told to take off his sandals and put on his walking shoes.  If ever there were a leader who could identify with leading during a turbulent time, it would be Moses.

I could not help but to hear a hint of joy in President Bush’s voice the other night during his congratulatory speech to the new president elect.  If I were in W’s shoes, I cannot say that I would not also be overjoyed with the idea of no longer having to lead a country of grumbling people and constantly live in the state of “never doing anything right.”  In the span of 8 years, Bush has had to lead a country who has witnessed a horrific attack on New York, a Stock Market crash (after 9/11), the burst of mortgage growth and the housing market, the fall of the mortgage industry and housing market, national banks failing left and right, two wars on two different fronts, need I go on?  That list is enough to wear on any leader.  So what are we to do if we find ourselves leading during the most turbulent of times?

If we were to follow Moses, there are a couple of simple ideas to implement for success.

moses-holding-up-his-arms-during-the-battle1.  Quiet time with God–  If you were to read of the chronicles of Moses, you would find there are numerous references to Moses ascending to the mountain of God.  In fact, Moses is known as the “friend of God” because of his humility and his focus on God.  For Moses, I would imagine this was one of the habits that kept him on track and not wanting to simply violate one of the commandments and be done with the whole grumbling tribe.  Through his quiet time with God, Moses was able to discern his direction, receive blessing, and get his focus back onto God’s plan.  What a simple habit that most of us look over due to the business we call life.

2.  Persistence with the Plan–  Moses did not know where the Promise Land was exactly, but he did know that God would lead them there.  That is what Moses focused on.  When others were wanting to turn back and give up, Moses stuck to the plan-God’s Providence.

3.  Surround yourself with Godly Council–  Moses sought most of his direction from God, but there were those like Aaron and Joshua who built him up as well.  They were his council of sorts, those who protected him from being so worn by the day to day management of the group.  Surrounding yourself with Godly council will most of the time provide you the little boost you need on those days you feel you do not have any more to give.  Moses sought peace in their presence to just be Moses.  We all need that from time to time.  Also, one important trait of Godly council is that they can recognize when it is time for you to pray and will tell you so.  This is a great thing to have when you are facing battles on every front.  Not only should you have a group that prays for you and pushes you along, it’s good that they take the time to push you to honor the first principle we discussed.

With all of the news about the layoffs, the market crashing, international woes, or even just the fact that your car didn’t start today, it’s good to know that God gave us leaders to look to.  Although they were not perfect, they did seek his heart and were noted in His book.  I believe I am going to try to be more like Moses and honor the three principles above.  Maybe by focussing more on God, I will focus less on what’s going on around me!  That is true Christian Leadership!

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About the Writer:

me21

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.