Tom Camacho’s book, Mining for Gold gives thoughtful insight into a framework for coaching leadership. His passion for drawing out the potential in others came through in each chapter. His positive view of people and his love for Scripture must make him a joy to work with. Camacho’s generous nature translates through his language of growth and multiplication. Overall, my biggest takeaway from the reading was a reminder that God has a plan for every person and our collective impact for the Kingdom will be stronger when we seek to activate God’s gifts in each one.
The book was full of excellent, practical tips for coaching ourselves and coaching those we lead. However, one of the consistent themes that resonated with me was “deeper work.” At the close of every chapter, Camacho offers “deeper level questions.” He also challenges the coaching leader to drink deeply for themselves even as they work to serve other leaders. He acknowledges that change can only be realized if the Holy Spirit is allowed to do deep work. However, the principle I was drawn to most was “deep listening.”
One of the great gifts we can give people is a quiet, uninterrupted space to share their thoughts. In our digital, high-speed world, deep listening is a rare and beautiful thing. It is profound in these fast-paced days to actually slow down and have a deep and meaningful conversation.
I have a growing desire to be a fully present leader. Too often I find myself distracted in the midst of conversation, not really hearing what team members are saying. I desire to slow down and “keep God in charge of the process.” As I do this, I will find rest in my own soul, and perhaps I will be able to help others discover the solutions they are already holding. Without the clutter of my own voice, the Holy Spirit is allowed to take His rightful place.
This summer, I asked one of our student development teams to read Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. We have been unpacking their learnings from the book over the past few weeks. Each of them mentioned how difficult it was to reflect on their own digital addictions, especially in terms of lack of presence with others. Through our discussions, we realized one of the best gifts we could give our students would be to just listen purposefully to them. It was painful to think of the number of opportunities we have missed over the last few years because we were simply looking down, completely distracted. This has led us to challenge one another with a small “screen to scene” initiative this Fall. We hope putting our devices down and paying attention to what we see around us will help us do some deeper listening with our students. Camacho and Newport have served us well by calling us to consider another path forward.
I would enjoy hearing a conversation between the two of them.
 Tom Camacho, Mining for Gold, 2019.
 Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: On Living Better with Less Technology, 2019.