August 2014 Director’s Desk

“To paraphrase an old parable about a fish:  Give me a leader for a generation and I will perpetuate the organization for a generation.  Help me to develop leaders in every generation, and I will perpetuate the organization forever.” (Lorin Woolfe, Leadership Secrets from the Bible). 

As we consider the idea of pursuing goals and excellence, we must consistently include the goal of developing leaders.  In every age at every stage we need to make it one of our goals to invest in the life of at least one person in such a way that godly character, competencies and consistency of mission is grown forward.

Noel Tichy has written:  “A person may have all the traits of a leader, but if he or she doesn’t personally see to the development of new leaders, the organization won’t be sustainable.” (ibid, 200).

Goals and the pursuit of excellence are not to benefit the individual, alone, but the community in which that individual is placed.  It may be a church community, a family, a vocation and it certainly ought to be the church.  Most likely it is a combination of several of these entities.

Consider or reconsider your personal and/or team goals again.  What end result are you pursuing?  Who are you hoping to impact and influence?  Are they God-glorifying?  Who needs to be brought in to your goals and goal planning?  Pray into your goals a centeredness in Jesus, the resources that will help you achieve them and patience for the goals that will take a while to see fulfilled.

The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Peruse the offerings this month.  Enjoy the articles and materials for your use.

We pray that the rest of your summer will be filled with His blessings!

Book Review

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Time Traps: Proven Strategies for Swamped Salespeople
By Todd Duncan

 

Todd Duncan’s “Time Traps” discusses common mistakes that people make that prevent them from best utilizing their time.  While the book bears the subtitle, “Proven strategies for swamped sales people,” just as time traps are interdisciplinary, the strategy could prove helpful to busy people of varying occupations.

Duncan asserts that true time conservation is unrealistic because time is a fixed resource. We can only seek to better utilize the time we have and beware of certain traps that cause us to waste time.  He illustrates this point by quoting Marcia Hancock’s Psalm 23 Antithesis.

The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.

It makes me lie down only when exhausted.

It leads me to deep depression, it hounds my soul.

It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.

Even though I run frantically from task to task,

I will never get it all done, for my “ideal” is with me.

Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.

They demand performance from me beyond the limits of my schedule.

They anoint my head with migraines, my in-basket overflows.

Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.

Duncan’s first warning was not to resign to the fact that you can never manage to have more time and retreat to living in chaos. He proposes that while we have no control over the amount we have, we do have control over how we allot that time.

According to Duncan most people tend to make the best use of their time when they have very little. When we are in a crunch we can seem to make every second count.  He uses the example of how productive we tend to be when we have an impending deadline or are trying to get a host of things accomplished prior to leaving for vacation. He also asserts when we have lots of time we tend to waste it doing things we wouldn’t have done, like spending extra time getting organized.

He organized tasks into three basic types: unnecessary, necessary and productive. Unnecessary tasks are time traps or things that normally waste time, like web-surfing, chatting, emailing friends. Necessary tasks are just that, things that have to get done in order for you to move forward. Productive tasks are normally the result of a necessary task but consist of strategic activities to help you move forward.

Duncan goes into great details of ways to minimize paperwork and time spent on administrative tasks. He also discusses ways that your failures shape your next moves and can in essence be transformed into productive tasks.  While the book does focus on how to better utilize these strategies to increase sales and grow a business the information is definitely useful for non-profits, because we are all bound by a common fixed resource, time.

Sands Of Time

Sands of Time

Sands of Time

Roger S. Jones writes, “Time is the medium of all experience.” [1]  He noted that nothing in human experience occurs outside of time.  Everything you experience occurs with the dimension of time being affixed to it at the moment you experience it.  I doubt this little guy enjoying ‘time’ in the water, both experiencing the embrace of the moment and exploring his surroundings, is aware of the passing of minutes that can never be reclaimed…at least not in its current form of time.  We reclaim time in memories.

People like Augustine have thought long and hard about this commodity that we have difficulty even defining.  The Scripture speaks phrases such as “at the appointed time,” “My time has not yet come,” “in the fullness of time,” and “it is not for you to know the times.”

Time is chronological, always moving forward. And seasonal, constructed of longer periods of moments around certain themes of life.  We know the words to be chronos and kairos.

Time is a common denominator.  We all have 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 52 weeks per year.  Time is a gift that orders our life and creates necessary boundaries.  We rail against what we consider the “lack of time,” and that “time runs out” when we need to complete a project or must stop pleasurable activities.  That said, time is a reminder of our finitude.  Time is offered as both gift and protection.  Awareness of the nature of time helps to protect against entitlement.  Best used, our interaction with and use of time means we choose wisely and receive gratefully.  Life offers a certain number of moments to each of us.  We are not entitled.  We are invited to explore our inner and outer world and participate in necessary development through normal and transformative processes of life.

Time is another way of seeing that God is God and we are not.

Henry David Thoreau once observed, “As if we could kill time without injuring eternity.” [2]  A follow-up article on time-management will be posted next month.  For now—in this time-frame—consider again the value of time.  Knowledge might be indicated in savvy ways to map out your days.  Wisdom will help you to know what to map out.  How we spend our time is important to God and to us.

How will you use the time allotted to you?

Credit for the photo:  http://www.picture-thoughts.com/People_pictures.html

[1] Jones, Roger S., Physics as a Metaphor, University of Minnesota Pr., 1982.

[2] Boa, Kenneth and Perkins, Bill Ed.; The Leadership Bible.  Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1998. pg 689.