CECL Session #5 Day 3

Basic elements of a leadership development program

Danny Wallen finished up his sessions yesterday by giving us a couple of different models for developing leaders. I’ll just quote them here:

The Two Track Analogy

There are four parts of leadership development that work together like the components of a train track.

  • Spiritual Formation (experiencing God and becoming Christlike) is the gravel under the train tracks.
  • Input (gaining knowledge, developing values, and learning skills) is one of the rails. One way to do this is by going through a book together.
  • Experience (apply what you are learning through activities) is another one of the rails.
  • Dynamic Reflection (process it all with mentors and peers, accountability and evaluation) is like the railroad ties holding everything together.

Mentoring with the “Constellation” Model

I have no idea why this is called the constellation model, but it basically describes the different kind of mentoring relationships that are possible. I was also unsure about whether we were supposed to encourage ourselves and others to have a balance of these mentoring relationships or not.

  • Upward—those who are mentoring me “from above” and have been where I am.
  • Downward—those I’m mentoring who are either direct reports or less experienced than I.
  • Inside—those peers who are coworkers or somehow within the same circle as me who serve as peer mentors.
  • Outside—those who are peers but are outside my current situation and can offer greater objectivity.

3 Formations Model

This model basically emphasizes the different stages of ministry that people go through as they age and/or mature. Mentoring should be appropriate to the particular stage of each person.

  • Spiritual Formation is the activity that forms the basis of godly character and inner life in the minister. This usually needs to be the focus for people up to their mid 30s.
  • Ministerial Formation is the emphasis on developing leadership skills, experience, and gifts. This is usually the emphasis for people until their mid 50s. Some of the skills to emphasize are these:
    • Word Skills
    • Relational Skills
    • Organizational Skills
    • Group Skills
  • Strategic Formation is really the activity that emphasizes helping people achieve their full potential to reach a God-given destiny. This is sometimes called “convergence” and it usually applies to those in their mid 50s and on.

Just-in-time Training

One final model that Danny showed us was called “just-in-time” training which contrasts to the way we usually go about things. Usually, we do “just-in-case” training that assumes we can adequately prepare people for the experiences they are likely to face. Just-in-time training, however, emphasizes that we give people the specific kind of training that they will need for the specific task at hand.

  • Orient them to the task (talk about it).
  • Involve them in the task (have them do it).
  • Equip them for future tasks by reflecting together.

According to this model, the real teaching and learning take place in the third step which is AFTER the task has taken place.

Creating a Leadership Development Strategy

I was so glad that Danny finally got to this point. It’s one thing to talk about what needs to go into leadership development, but there are so many good models, and I never know what path to follow or if I should be the maverick and blaze my own trail. He gave us six final key points regarding the development of a unique development strategy.

These development strategies might be an overall development strategy, but the idea is to have a specific strategy for each specific type of leader you plan to develop.

  • What do you really want to accomplish? Write out your goal and vision, and be sure to balance task and relationship.
  • How can you instigate a cyclical process? Particularly think about ways to integrate the regular processes of public ministry together with the processes of private ministry (people development).
  • Hammer out your general ideas with specific steps.
  • Get started—select emerging leaders based on character not giftedness.
  • Remember the WIFM principle (What’s in it for me?) and answer it for both you and the leaders you will be developing.
  • Develop leaders as God has developed you—with patience, faithfulness, grace and truth.

Other new things I learned.

I also have to just mentioned one other new thing I learned. Apparently, before the machines were developed to flip donuts in their grease, it was done by hand in a process called “diddling donuts.” Our peer group leader, Larry Faus used to be quite skilled at the process and spent some time tonight telling us about his ability to use a diddling stick to diddle those donuts. You cannot imagine the amount of laughter this generated in our peer group. It has been about a year since I have laughed as hard as I did then.

My Action Steps

  • I will continue to flesh out what my leadership development strategy needs to be for the new church.
  • I will decide on a leadership development “exit strategy” for my transition out of NWBC.

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