September 17, 15
When I read something that affects me I can remember more. As I read through this reading I actually felt like someone was talking to me. Where do I start? First off the idea of the systemic power of leadership completely got me off guard. I started reading and thinking this dude is about to get into the science of leadership and that would have really turned me off. But he did get into more than just psychoanalysis of leadership than I thought and real issues emerged. I had to accept some of the things that Edwin Frieman talked about. I have already been where he went when he made it plain by that we have to examine ourselves before we try to examine others. Leadership is not so much mental as it is about what we actually do. That’s how I understood it. And to me that is so true we can collect data and amass so much stuff that really has nothing to do with a real outcome. And in America that is commonplace. Its seems like people who are gifted to lead are always measured only by stats. When something more dynamic is going on no matter what the measurement is. In my family that is a family of eight I always had to deal with three big bigger brothers and one mean sister who could beat us all up. But I confronter her when I was young one time because I could care less that she was the oldest. I ate a little grass but goats do that every day. I never would have guessed that I was facing my leadership qualities. Frieman says, “It was at that point that I began to realize that before any technique or data could be effective, leaders have to be willing to face their own selves.” And sometimes that means confronting a leader who is more powerful than you and you know what is going to happen. Facing your own self requires more than words or more than prayer. You have to face it to make a change. I was down with that when I was young. As I have grown older that same attitude I have is prevalent. Its not about just the idea of change its about being in something i.e. an organization or a place of leadership and you just fit in just to fit in because you don’t want start anything. I know that God also holds us responsible as he did the prophets for not speaking out about things we clearly see is wrong and you just go with it. The failure of nerve is a little different to me then how he addressed it. To me he addressed it like it’s a good thing so that you can allow other elements to take place and other ideas can make something out nothing. Failure of nerve to me is not doing what you have to do no matter what you have to face. I wish life was that simple but it is not. You can’t fail in your nerve if you are responsible for things and most importantly souls!
 Edwin H. Frieman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix (New York, NY.: Church Publishing Inc., 2007), 24.
12 responses to “The Nerve!!!!”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Travis, I think you captured one of Friedman’s big points. “Leadership is not so much mental as it is about what we actually do.” We need more leaders, especially in the church, leading elder boards that actual lead and address the core issues that are really going to lead to change and the difference God is calling the Church to make in the world. Looking forward to being in Hong Kong next week. Can’t wait to connect then with the whole LGP5 crew again. Catch you then.
Phil and Travis,
Excellent! At the end of the day, leaders must lead. If they don’t then they have nothing but a title. My grandmother was one of the best leaders I know, yet she never served in a leadership position in a career. She wasn’t afraid to take action or make decisions, but we always knew her intentions were good and we knew we were dearly loved. We went to her for advice and would never consider going against her recommendations, because we trusted her wisdom and knew that she only had our best interest at heart. She prayed for us and wasn’t afraid to ask us probing questions about our spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional health. She served on a couple of church boards in late years, and they knew not to play games or to create drama when she was around! She didn’t put up with bad behavior, she wasn’t resistant to change, and she was open to hearing new ideas and feedback.
Your grandmother reminds me of my grandfather and father. I know how it is to be in church organizations and everyone is not saying nothing just to avoid conflict. In your Shalom healthy conflict is needed. And trust me really wish i could just not say a word. But i dont think that God gives us insight and answers for us to do nothing with them. And not doing something when it should be done is just as bad do we have to not lack nerve to do it!
Amen Phil, and it is so hard when you want to be right with everyone. But i thank God my father never did it and i am not either.
Travis, Loved the point you made about, “examine ourselves before we try to examine others.” We too often what to face everything before we face ourselves. That was a good reminder I took from the book too…See you soon Travis!
You know Nick this is so real. Its like taking an inventory for everyone’s elses warehouse and going home and to sleep and your warehouse closes down because you did not do your own! Amen see you soon!
“Leadership is not so much mental as it is about what we actually do.”
Travis, this is such a great point. Friedman’s title really hits the nail on the head. Many people in leadership know the right thing to do but lack the nerve to do it. This carries over into other areas of our life as well. Knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things.
Brian sometimes now i just get busy with what i have to do. I dont even do most of the things in the best way or the most attractive way. I am learning that just beginning is the most in important thing. Its better to start than wait for all the statistics to be met before you start. You may have too many stats and not any action! Blessing see you in Hong Kong
Travis, Great job in tying it back to our family of origin. I think much of our fundamental ways of relating were formed in those early years, and opportunities to show leadership as a child would be largely formative and helpful as an adult. Also having grown up in a large family the dynamics of carving out a space for yourself to operate in and express yourself from is a challenge and such challenge galvanized your leadership.
So true Dave and you don’t even know the dynamics until later in life! Blessings and see you in Hong Kong!
I wish I had been in the room when you confronted your sister. 🙂 I imagine you learned how to be effective to get your point across, and what didn’t work. In a large family, you as one of many kids have to figure out how to get along. It makes for a healthy exploration of “who am I” in the midst of all these other people. That’s what it sounds like has served you well over the years, Travis.
Thank you Mary. Our family actually got along well. My oldest sister established herself well lol!