• Leadership,  Living as a Leader

    “You Need to Feed Them and Love Them Before You can Lead Them”

    2013-06-21 11.57.45I recently heard again a pastor’s old maxim – “you need to feed them and love them before you can lead them”. This got me thinking, this isn’t just a helpful maxim for pastors but for every leader.

    So I asked myself, “how does this old maxim apply to other kinds of leaders, ones who are not pastors?”

    So here’s my take on it.

    First, “Feed them” implies giving people the tools, time, encouragement, and clarity of expectations, training, and coaching they need to successfully do their work now and into the future. It means providing both challenging and meaningful work while assuring people have what they need to meet every challenge and, at the end of the day, be successful. Feeding people is building into them professionally and personally.

    Then the second requirement of leadership is to “Love them“. How can we love those entrust to our leadership? We start with treating them as people created in the image of God. We can do this simply by knowing and using people’s names. People love and need to be known. We make sure we understand what people do in their work and the contributions they make to the team. Then we should never stop thanking them. We get to know people on a personal level so we can lead them in a way that brings out their best. We also show an interest in them beyond what they can do for the team. This means being committed to well-being of their professional lives (goals, fears, desires, calling, development, etc.) as well as their personal lives (family, hobbies, spiritual).

    If, as leaders, we can effectively feed and love people, then, and only then, will we earn the right to lead them, to be granted the privilege to be their leaders. Without earning this right, by definition, we’re not leaders because we simply will have no lasting followers, just people stuck till they can find another leaders and team.

    So challenge yourself by answering the following questions about the people entrusted to you. Then earn the right to lead by actually do what you’ve said you will do in each answer.

    1. What will I do this week to feed them?
    2. How will I tangibly express my love for them this week?
  • Leadership,  Organizational Leadership

    Creating Memorable Learning Experiences – Part 1

    064Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been involved with educational opportunities both as a participant and as an educator, including giving a seminar at the Christian Camping and Conference Association (3CA) national conference. As I prepared for this seminar I often referred to four very simple things I learned back when I did corporate training, four factors that help participants remember what they’ve learned.

    1. Participant Centered – This is the foundational factor. The participants are always more important than content. Without their motivation to learn it doesn’t matter how good the material is. So it’s a must that the both the content and the delivery be built around what works best for the participants.
    2. Hearing – People remember more when they hear it spoken, whether it’s through another participant, the teacher, a video. It’s essential that participants hear the most important content.
    3. Seeing – Memory goes up significantly if participants can also see the content. This is why training so often uses such tools as PowerPoint and Keynote. When people both hear and see the key content, the likelihood of retention jumps up.
    4. Doing – But the one factor that can make training unforgettable is assuring participants can do something with the content they’re learning. It can be as simple as providing handouts with blanks to be filled in off the visual presentation, to creating actual exercises that show and teach the key content to be learned. The more participants do the more they’ll remember.

    By assuring these four factors are a part of any training experience will make it better, more interesting and, most importantly, more memorable.

    This is part one of two posts about making the most out of training and education.

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