From the Director’s Desk – September 2012

From the Director’s Desk:

This month the School for Leadership Development will focus attention on Emotional Maturity in Leadership.  Maturity is not just an important component.  It is a necessary element in our leadership.

There are many definitions of maturity but one that I heard verbalized in a classroom captured my attention and has given me much to think about since that time:  “maturity is the result of ongoing individuation and the ability to behave in appropriate ways at appropriate times.”  In other words, every individual becomes his or her own person, not given over to satisfying the whims of or denying the legitimate needs of other people, but cultivating the ability to do the right thing at the right time for others and self.

I have thought about that definition in relationship to Jesus.  Does it hold water?  Yes, I believe it does.  Jesus, though integrally a part of community, knew Who He was, and that security became the foundation for making behavioral choices appropriate with every person He encountered whether or not others understood Him.  Surely Jesus knew that accepting the dinner invitation of Simon the Leper would cause more than angst from the Jewish leaders.  Imagine the undercurrent of remarks when Jesus stopped by that tree that Zaccheus climbed to get a view of Jesus, calling to him to come down for conversation.  No respectable Jewish man would go through Samaria, much less talk to a (Samaritan) woman alone!  Some might have called Jesus a rebel in His own faith family.  I believe He walked in emotional and spiritual maturity, making His decisions based in truth about Who He was, Whom He belonged to and the best interest of those He encountered.

Conversely, Jesus knew when to pull back, even knowing that there were many who wanted to talk to Him, touch Him, be near Him, hear from Him, or just be with Him.  As a human being, His energy levels would have been depleted from constant interaction with people or from the need for the next meal or from His thirst needing to be satisfied.   Jesus’ maturity allowed Him to make decisions about when to be with the one, with the few or with the many.

Similarly, leaders must operate out of that kind of emotional maturity.  It is imperative that you know yourself and that you are secure in your knowledge and relationship to God first.  While I don’t endorse individualism as a way of life, I do believe we need to understand who we are as an individual in order to live and lead effectively in community.

Consider the links and articles that we are posting this month as further means to explore this important leadership topic.  Check out the recommended book for this month, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.  Download the online resources that you can use with your Corps people or other groups you lead.

We are praying for emotionally healthy leaders in whom God can deposit His power for the work of the Kingdom in our day!

Grace and all good to you!!

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