Thursday, June 10, 2010
Your Leadership Sweet Spot: Henry DeVries
These words, part of Henry DeVries’ talk on finding your leadership sweet spot, reminded us that leadership isn’t all about being in charge. It’s not about status or power or title. It’s about service and influence. And it’s true—not all of us are called to be the Chief Executives of major corporations, but we are all called to do God’s work and praise Him in all we do. We are called to be servant-leaders.
Henry’s talk enlightened us to the idea of finding our “leadership sweet spot.” In tennis, the “sweet-spot” is the section of the racquet where your hit on the ball will be most effective. It has a distinctive “feel” to anyone who has played tennis for long enough to find it. We, as leaders, have a sweet spot too—a position where we are most effective. Whether that position is the front, middle or back is largely determined by how analytical, behavioral or emotional you tend to be. More so, though, your leadership sweet spot is determined by:
Where you most often find yourself
Where you are happiest
Where you are most effective
Where you feel most satisfied
And where you feel called to be
Over the next nine weeks, we are sure to learn a lot more about what it means to be an authentic Christian leader. I think that each member of the LCI would agree that Henry’s talk set a good groundwork and raises questions that can be prayed about, thought about and discussed the entire summer. “Where is my sweet spot?” many of us our asking ourselves now. Through our work, small group discussions and large group presentations, I’m sure we will begin to understand ourselves better as Christ-honoring servant leaders and discover where it is we are most effective.
On Wednesday evening, the LCI group went to Adams Falls in Grand Lake, a quaint town on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. In comparison to other hikes we’ve done recently, Adams Falls is short, but it’s certainly beautiful. The water raged heavily because of the recently melted snow in the high country and the sun setting behind the Rockies made it feel like we were walking in a living post card. The biologist in Henry DeVries came out in full force, teaching us about the different wild flowers and other plants of the area. Thank you Henry!
Another thank-you belongs to Henry (Calvin College, actually) for treating us to ice cream at Grand Lake Chocolates. It was delicious and the perfect end to a beautiful day. Grand Lake, we will be back!
Monday, June 07, 2010
LCI 2010 Kick-Off
The LCI group kicked off its summer program last night by sharing stories, music and smores around the Indian Peaks fire ring. The gathering was largely informal—a chance for everyone to spend some time together and remind us all that Monday night marks the first of the large and small-group meetings.
It was a delight to have Henry DeVries, this summer’s opening speaker, and Steve Peterson, SMR’s Chaplain, join us around the fire. Having a member of the Calvin faculty reminds me that though we are over a thousand miles removed from Calvin’s campus, we are still connected by this program. Remembering that connection is important as it both validates our mission out here in Colorado and ties us to a common home while we live and work in a place which is, for many of us, a very different environment than we our used to.
Family and friends back at home or elsewhere: Please continue to think of us and pray for our program this summer. Pray that each speaker is granted valuable insight and delivers with clarity and honesty. Pray that each member of the Leadership Challenge Institute strives to make his or her first agenda love by approaching the program with grateful attentiveness and eager appreciation.
LCIers: For tonight and every week this summer, meditate and reflect on the verses provided by our speakers. Prepare mentally and spiritually for each Monday night meeting, being ready to apprehend and discuss the topics addressed. Think about this quote for tonight and for the whole of summer from Henri Nouwen: “Jesus sends us out to be shepherds, and Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led to places where we would rather not go. He asks us to move from a concern for relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity to communal and mutual ministry, and from a leadership built on power to a leadership in which we critically discern where God is leading us and our people.”
READ MORE for a few pictures of our campfire
Friday, June 04, 2010
LCI 2010 is Almost Here!
The Calvin College Leadership Challenge Institute 2010 kicks off this Sunday at Snow Mountain Ranch! We have mostly all arrived, situated ourselves into staff housing, hiked mountains, seen wildlife, camped near the waterfall on grounds, and somehow we’ve even found time to work. In many respects, SMR can become its own little world to the staff—an outpost from civilization. It’s easy to forget that just a few weeks ago many of us were busy studying for finals. Despite our location, nestled comfortably in the Rocky Mountains, we shouldn’t forget why we are here—to learn about and practice authentic Christian Leadership so as to be a redemptive presence in the World.
Many of us, in our work, our hikes, and our discussions, have already found ourselves in leadership positions. With openness to the LCI program and a charitable attentiveness to our upcoming speakers, I know that each member of the Calvin Program at SMR can hone their skills to become a more mature Christian leader.
As we enter our 10-week leadership program, the fun certainly won’t stop. Though we will be more intentional about our purpose here these next months, we will still have time for hiking mountains, impromptu campfire worship (like we had on Wednesday night) and excursions to Hernando’s Pizza in Winter Park. This summer will be a healthy mixture of fun and challenges (both spiritual and physical).
Friends, Family: Please pray for us out here in Colorado as we strive to model a Christ-like servant leadership in our lives.
LCIer’s: Prepare for the upcoming ten weeks and be ready for large and small-group discussions starting Monday. See you there!
Read More for a few pictures from the week…