Saturday, September 12, 2015


As I mentioned here I've been listening to Fathered by God by John Eldridge on my way into work lately.  As he was talking through the challenges of becoming a writer without formal training, the perceived skillset for such a profession, nor a mentor, I couldn't help but draw some similarities to my current work situation.  

Leadership is not something that comes naturally to me as an introvert who tends to lean towards harmony in any given situation, yet I find myself in a position where I'm managing a large group of people and a product line that requires constant interpolation and negotiation between marketing desires and the needs of a platform and its architects, rarely leaving all parties happy.   I've had a couple of good managers in my short 10yr tenure that I've been able to learn from but with a large gap between myself and the next level of management, I'm operating much on my own now from a worldview perspective as it sounds like Mr. Eldridge has for most of his writing career. 

I've received a great amount of encouragement and guidance from books like Michael Youssef's The Leadership Style of Jesus, John Ortberg's The Me I Want To Be, as well as from some great Training material from Ken Blanchard my company uses, but also the Biblical examples of David, Joshua, Nehemiah and Paul, the latter 2 being the most impactful as they were unlikely leaders like myself who made a profound impact on the world.  Nehemiah was a servant of the king that ended up leading the rebuilding of the entire city of Jerusalem, how cool is that??

I've also learned that I need and must fight for time in the morning to focus heart and mind, something that requires discipline when the alarm goes off at 5:45 as well as the night before in getting to bed, but pays infinite dividends in how my day goes regardless of the events it holds.  Apart from God, my decisions and interactions are rarely well thought out and fraught with anxiety, but in the sprit there's power to carry me through and provision for the words needed to work through anything I may encounter.

Thankfully, I've also been able to build a brain trust of advisors, a couple are solid men of faith that I do a lunchtime study with every week, pray for, and receive prayer from, but some are not, just guys who are passionate about growing leaders in the team and creating an awesome place to work.  This has proven to be immensely important as typically the rigors and requirements of operating within a publicly traded company don't always lend themselves to a dedicated focus on employee growth and culture, but having others to meet with and discuss these things on a regular basis keeps us honest and focused across all key stakeholders.

I've also been blessed with a church body that promotes and facilitates relational living as well as focuses on the tenets of Godly manhood, providing a path for growth as well as some really sold guys to lean on, have fun with, and pray for me.  Our weekly Friday lunch is a highlight of my week, a great time of fellowship as well as the beginning of my wind down towards the weekend.  I am also very blessed with a loving supportive wife and three fantastic kids. They are a lot of the reason I do this but also the reason why I can, through their support and love of me as a husband, father, and head of our household. (If that term is upsetting to you, study the life of Jesus and then read Ephesians 5:25-30)

In the end as a leader you have to be open to direction and correction but also convicted and confident in the decisions you make, relying on God for direction towards the right ones as well as provision through those that don't pan out.  Thinking through the multitude of solutions and outcomes for any given situation can be maddening and as Matthew 6:27 says:
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"

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