DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Leaders Helping others in the Sandbox

Written by: on January 22, 2015

Leaders Helping others in the Sandbox

 

January 21, 15

 

MaryKate really hit on some major issues that I have faced years ago and even now. I can’t even begin to speak about how many areas that are so relevant to my life now and even in the work I am doing here at George Fox. One of the few areas I will touch on in this post is about that sand box. She made it simple enough to understand this dilemma that we face when we are children and when we grow up. She stated in Making Room for Leadership, “This book is about unpacking the message our bodies send as we play together in the grown-ups’ sandbox. It answers these questions: What is my body telling others? How can I become a player? If I’m already a player, how do I manage myself so that others are invited to play?”[1]

At Biola University in a Organizational Behavior course I took I found out how I was really not working as a team player and that you can unknowingly be like a bully or just be so focused on a result that you might be sending the wrong message. “I was frustrated with other leaders who seemed oblivious to how they used their bodies to assert power plays during meetings. They would take up lots of space, and the rest of the group would be squashed against the sides of the sandbox.”[2] I was put in a group on purpose with all women and we were told to build an aesthetically beautiful structure with leggos. My instructor did it on purpose with me. I love that guy. At the end of the building I was standing on the table trying to put the last piece of leggy on the top with people around just helping to hold it up. That test really opened up my eyes to how I used to run my construction company years ago. I learned so much from this, that as leaders we cant be so focused on the end result and not the people who are helping us do it. As MaryKate said we have to have more interpersonal abilities to lead affectively. She stated, “Though titles, followers, vision statements and goals may be markers of leadership, true leadership happens between the lines, in the interpersonal relational processes in social settings.”[3]

I like some of the terms and the definitions in this reading and what they entail is how we should view our leadership. She used a Greek word, Kephale in this way; “Kephale can be defined either as the source of a stream or the head of a body. It can also refer to a scout who goes before an army to spy on the enemy.”[4]
I think that this is right on point for leaders. Leadership is not just telling someone what to do it is being the first to do it if it for the good of those who follow us.

I have been studying concepts like shared leadership and one article that Caroline Ramsey gave me is so important to leaders. One of the concepts presented was the DAC model. This means Direction, Alignment and Commitment. It deals with shared leadership. MaryKate put it like this, “A leader helps give form and direction, but everyone, regardless of gender, age or amount of experience, has the right and responsibility to be part of the influencing process.”[5]
I don’t like it when people just assume that you are ok with what they give you to do. And when we are leaders its important that we don’t take it for granted that people should share in the goals of the organization for them to enjoy following you or at least feel more apart of it.

There were more concepts and I could go on and on. But this is such a treasure of a read to me. And I want to be effective in how I lead and effect change. I don’t want to transform things for my benefit but in the hopes of benefiting and empowering others. “The ability to cause or prevent change can either benefit others or simply oneself.”[6]
 

[1]             MaryKate Morse. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Kindle Locations 78-80). Kindle Edition.

 

[2]             MaryKate Morse. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Kindle Locations 97-98). Kindle Edition.

 

[3]             MaryKate Morse. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Kindle Locations 160-161). Kindle Edition.

 

[4]             MaryKate Morse. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Kindle Locations 230-231). Kindle Edition.

 

[5]             MaryKate Morse. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Kindle Locations 257-258). Kindle Edition.

[6]             MaryKate Morse. Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space and Influence (Kindle Locations 357-358). Kindle Edition.

 

 

About the Author

mm

Travis Biglow

Pastor of Victory Empowerment Center. Regional Chaplain High Desert Regional Center Graduates Azusa Pacific University. Licensed General Contractor B. I am the married with one daughter, two grandsons and one step son.

10 responses to “Leaders Helping others in the Sandbox”

  1. mm Nick Martineau says:

    Travis, I love your comparison of the sandbox to your personal comparison to the lego project. One of the things I kept thinking with reading MaryKate’s books is the importance of being self aware. Sounds like your Biola prof really helped you become self aware. Too often I’ve been n situations where good hearted men/women don’t realize their bully/bull dog mentality and how it affects the group dynamic. I wonder how we as leaders can do what your Biola prof did, and help others become self aware?

  2. Travis Biglow says:

    Yes Nick that, leggo project really floored me and forever changed me. That whole program at Biola was great for me at that time it really taught you how to be ethical in business and how to work effectively within organizations. Also that everyone who is in a group have different learning styles. And if you want them to be successful you have to approach them according to their learning style! God bless you

  3. Phillip Struckmeyer says:

    Travis, The guy who discipled me always use to say “OPM” – Only People Matter. I love your line, “I learned so much from this, that as leaders we cant be so focused on the end result and not the people who are helping us do it. ” In the “incident” that I posted about happening to me, the abuse of power could definitely be labeled as “ORM” – Only Results Matter. I had just become a spoke in the wheel or a tool in the box and was rather dehumanized. That is definitely a type of leadership I do not want to reflect, yet it is surprising challenging to not become. Good post man!

  4. Travis Biglow says:

    God bless you Phil, i will remember that ORM. Wow its hard to believe leaders think like that in the church. I could understand if corporations in the world think like that but church leaders? Thanks Phil God’s blessings

  5. mm Dave Young says:

    Travis, “I learned so much from this, that as leaders we cant be so focused on the end result and not the people who are helping us do it.” While I couldn’t agree more, it’s honestly a struggle. It’s not just them ‘helping us do it’ it’s them doing it and I’m simply orchestrating. It’s a struggle, as you said, to remember the people. The people are moms with little kids at home. Are salesmen with quotas at work. The tension seems to be the longing for loving community with people, and the stresses of organizational necessity. The church (that’s what’s on my mind), is both organism and organization. Yes brother lets remember the people, the organism comes first and foremost.

  6. Travis Biglow says:

    Amen Dave, I am learning to have shared goals too because its important to know what others what out of the organization just as much as you. Just like Google, set up a mall or something like it at their work place so people could enjoy their work atmosphere and not feel like they are just punching a clock. I have learned that when people are included in the success of an organization they too take ownership in it!

  7. Dawnel Volzke says:

    Travis,
    I agree with your sentiment that this book is such a treasure! I’ve been teaching a course on leadership & management, and watching how my students have grown in their knowledge and understanding of leadership. At first, I had several students that equated leadership with top roles or positions within a company. To them, power came from climbing the corporate ladder. We are now in the last week of the course, and they are learning that leadership is so much more. We’ve discussed traits of leaders that are charismatic and transformational. Exerting influence and power is something that we must work towards, and continuously improve. Effective leaders “rally people around a purpose, share power, clarify norms and expectations, and admit ignorance” [1].

    [1] Daft, R. L. (2014). Management (11th ed., p.13). Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.

  8. Travis Biglow says:

    Amen Dawnel, and im learning more and more how important this is to rally people around a purpose. Its really an important aspect that I hope a lot of 21st Century leaders in Chrisitanity will begin to adopt. God’s blessing Dawnel

  9. Mary says:

    “Leadership is not just telling someone what to do it is being the first to do it if it for the good of those who follow us.” And sometimes, as you quote, the “being the first” means being the last or least. It’s so difficult. I’m reminded of that story about the professor who asked only one question on his final – what’s the name of the custodian? If they knew the answer, they received an “A.” His point was knowing what’s most important in his course – knowing the people around you.

  10. Travis Biglow says:

    Mary,
    Thats nailing it down right there. Everyone matters even the custodian. Praise the Lord for that story. Jesus would have got an A because he would have know his name!

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