From the Director’s Desk – December 2012

The Father gave the Son
The Son gave the Spirit
The Spirit gives us life
So we can give the Gift of love
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on

I taught this song, recorded by Sandi Patti, to my children in the 80’s! They sang it as a duet at the ripe old ages of 4 and 8.  I haven’t heard the song in several years but the words came to my mind recently while I was thinking about this month’s MissionMover theme:  Relationships.  You will see this quote again if you read the book review this month on Steve Saccone’s Relational Intelligence:  the Trinity is community from eternity. (source unknown).   The season of Advent, while a season of waiting, is also a season of remembering and looking forward related to our relationship with the Savior.  We were created for relationship—first with Him and then with others.

Relationships are both the bane and blessing of our existence.  Not every relationship is healthy, to say the least!  Our inner quirks, deficiencies, and deficits meet those same things in another person and the chemistry is caustic and corrosive rather than compatible and caring.  Our need is to continually look at the life-giving, self-giving love of the Trinity in such a way that we are drawn more and more, higher and higher, deeper and deeper into the relationship offered to us with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, learning to live out our human relationships as modeled by the Trinity.  That’s the work of a lifetime and beyond!  We can, however, be intentional NOW about being a loving person in every way the Spirit prompts us.

Dr.Richard J. Krejcir is the author of our guest article this month entitled:  The Relational Church – Do you want your church healthy?  We invite you to also consider the articles written by Major Clarence Bradbury.  What’s Your Rate of Relationship Return (RORR) and Relational Leadership—A Lasting Investment.

Additionally, you will see a new post (blog), as we continue to travel through the Gospel of Mark. 

Please take time to review what we are offering from SLD for resources in developing your leaders under the Leader Training tab.

The team at SLD wish you a God-filled Advent season as you wait in hope for the new ways in which Jesus will come to you this season!

Grace and all good!

Joanne Holz, Major

Director of The Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development

From the Director’s Desk – January 2013

The Christian leader understands vision as ‘seeing as God sees.’  Does that sound arrogant to you?  Perhaps it sounds idealistic.  The witness of Scripture, however, teaches us that God speaks to those who would hear Him and invites them into a personal relationship and journey that allows for re-creation in person and in place.  As we participate with God, our heart is transformed and His vision for His Kingdom ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ is shared in part with us.  No one person has, or should have, God’s complete blueprint for this day.  We work with other Kingdom workers toward a better future based on the faithfulness and activity of God in the past and present and in concert with other believers.  We build on the work and faith of the saints throughout the ages, contributing toward the consummation of history when Jesus will be declared Lord by all to the glory of God the Father.

Martin Luther King caught the vision.  Liberation, equality, and healing — each characteristics of the Kingdom of God – became increasingly clear as part of the vision of God He was to embrace and work toward.  Forgiveness and reconciliation were the Kingdom characteristics Nelson Mandela worked toward.  Liberation from serving other gods to knowing the One True I AM became the life work of Moses with the people of God.

Vision is not ethereal.  It is deeply practical for the lives and living of God’s people.  The articles this month highlight what it means to be a leader with vision.  We welcome our guest author, Major Thomas McWilliams, currently serving as Area Commander of the West Palm Beach, FL command.  Thomas is a seasoned officer and a Christ-follower.

Major David Lyle has been interviewed and will be highlighted in the Leader Spotlight section.  David’s vision is to grow biblically strong leaders who will finish well.

Check out “I Have a Dream” free, downloadable leader series found under the Leader Training Tab and clicking on Leader Development Series.

It is the vision of SLD to partner with leaders all over the Southern Territory, developing leaders in the context of discipleship.  This would be a great month to consider using Growing Disciples~Growing Leaders as your discipleship and leadership “go-to” monthly lessons for this year.

If we can serve you in any other way, please let us know.  We have received a great deal of good feedback.  Please feel free to leave your comments.  We look at each one of them and value your input.

God help us all to grow in godly wisdom and leadership in this New Year!

From the Director’s Desk – February 2013

In his book The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge relates the story of Vivienne Cox, who was to be promoted to a senior manager position at BP.  At the same time as her promotion was coming, Cox had her first baby.  She went to one of the senior managers at BP and told him, “I just want you to know that BP is not the most important thing in my life.  My daughter is.  If you think this will be in conflict with these new responsibilities, then it would be better to not promote me.”  Later, Cox reflected:  “While my job is very demanding, being clear about my personal priorities has really helped me, and maybe others in the organization as well.”

The topic for this month’s MissionMover  is priorities.  Clearly one of the elements that informs our priorities is our values.  As much as Cox valued her work, she valued her family even more.  This self-knowledge enabled her to make an important and wise choice on the front end of two competing life opportunities:  management in a world-wide company and motherhood.  Cox was very clear about her priority at that particular season of her life.  And, ordering her priorities meant that she could engage both opportunities with personal, as well as organizational, clarity and understanding.

Priorities, personal and organizational, are best ordered out of our values.  It becomes clear more often what needs to be stripped away, what needs to move down the list and what needs to be accomplished first.

We invite you to move through the articles, not just for information but for transformation. You will enjoy Dr. David Church’s guest article on Leadership Priorities and the free online resources.  When you encounter a truth you know you need to consider for your life and/or organization right now, put a peg down!  Ask God for clarity and summon the courage to strip away the excesses in order to be and to do the most important right now.

This might be a wonderful season to focus or refocus your life and priorities.  If so, please consider joining our new group (cohort) in April.  The teaching and exercises conducted in Focused Life and Leadership will be immensely helpful in sorting out your own values and help you to determine how consistently you prioritize your life based on your values.  You can view the details for this under the Leadership Training Tab/Cohorts/SLD.  We invite you to join us!  It’s not too late to register.

God bless you as you choose daily to serve Him!

Grace and all good to you!

Joanne Holz, Major
Director of The Jack McDowell School for Leadership Development

From the Director’s Desk – March 2013

Strategic Planning

In the vernacular of the day, strategic planning is associated with Boards, fund raising, and programs.  Generally a needs assessment is conducted and becomes the basis for and underpinning of decisions that will be made by any team or organization.  Out of the assessment, a realistic strategic plan is formulated.

Truth be told, in today’s world we need to operate much more in the realm of strategic thinking.  Those on the front lines, who have the most current and accurate information about any situation, are being entrusted with decisions that will impact their sphere.  Whereas the military in days of yore fought and won battles from a command center, today’s warfare requires knowledgeable, loyal and capable thinkers who can and do make decisions right on the front lines.  Rather than one approach or the other as in strategic planning, strategic thinking offers the flexibility to pull from a cadre of possible implementations depending on the need at the moment.  This is not a ready, fire, aim approach.  Strategic thinking is done in context and with the values and mission understood.  With that in mind, the decisions are made ethically and consonant with the overarching vision and goals of any group.

Whether strategic planning or strategic thinking, the big idea is to be prepared and to create a future based on the present, honoring the past and impacting the future.

Organizations are not the only entities that must be strategic.  We must be strategic about our lives.  Where you plan to head in the future, what dreams and longings lay beneath the surface of your exterior person, what habits and character traits you want to be known for must be strategically thought out now.  Who or what do you need in terms of resources?  What accountability and evaluative tools will you put in place?  What will guide or inform your choices?

Jack McDowell is our leader spotlighted for this month.  I just returned from a two hour visit with him and can assure you that this man lives his life strategically.  He has also helped countless others do the same and successfully aided many communities raise monies in capital campaigns.  Be sure to read the first draft of an article entitled That Special Person found under the leader spotlight section of our website.  Additionally, we have updated our book reviews, leadership lessons and other various sections around the theme strategic planning.

Please feel free to give us your feedback.  We read it and take it to heart!

God be with you in this wonderful season of Lent.  We are reminded of God’s “strategic plan” for ending evil and establishing His Kingdom of righteousness, peace and love!