A new day, revived energies – what is leadership?

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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I had a strange night last night. I could not quite finish digesting my food which sat in my stomach for about four hours. Went to bed at 10:00pm  and slept until about 2:30 am. Then got up and sat in the living room where I flicked over various TV programs and finally went to sleep.

I woke up about 8:30 am  I realized that the pains that had been assailing me had gone. Put it another way, the body had finished doing what it does best which is self-healing. It occurred to me that sometimes we have to give it a chance as previously mentioned.

Generally, we are not pack animals and should not treat ourselves as such. Yesterday was very valuable. I decided to let go of everything, cancelled  all engagements, and focused on myself and my own needs. Let us face it, if the body had no self healing abilities we would all be dead. So with regard to my body, the storm has passed. I suspect we are programmed to thinking that the only way of being healed is to go to the doctor or seek some sort of medical advice but it may be that for most conditions, the answer lies within us. I feel we can make things worse for us when we worry about such things. Is this a lack of trust?

Healing is an inside job. Come to that. freedom itself is an inside job.

The sun is shining, I am sitting around doing a few entries to my various databases including this diary.

This evening – to the Frome Christian Mens group held at the Rugby Club.  10.6 miles is a short journey if you are in the countryside. There were about 16 of us. The meeting was advertised to start at 7.30 but when I arrived at 7.20 I found three other men slightly confused and wandering around.  There were no signs of life in the room allocated to us.  Had we got the right evening?

We eventually repaired to the bar and engaged in the usual good natured small talk prior to the meeting. We returned to the allocated room to find a small group of men waiting for something. Evidently the cook was ill and he had kindly offered to prepare the curry at home and have someone pick it up.

I was one of the first at the buffet Style servery. I had the choice of going to sit at an empty table or to join people who were already seated. It can be a little daunting to go and sit on your own and eat but I find that inevitably I get joined by others so with this knowledge it is quite easy to survive a few minutes knowing that the situation is temporary.

We were addressed by Charles Burgess, one of three Leadership Enablers  of The Church Pastoral Aid Society CPAS. He had a very easy style and was comfortable with himself and his speaking role. This is less common than you might imagine. Faith does shine through as the ideal ‘carrier wave’.

Charles’ role as a leadership enabler involves leading and facilitating training as well as supporting church leaders in building a stronger culture of leadership and mission in their churches.  In previous roles, Charles managed the engine programme for the RAF’s Typhoon fighter aircraft, led a team based at Rolls-Royce in Bristol and, for many years, worked closely with NATO colleagues in Europe and Canada.

His topic was the subject of leadership. We were asked to say who had inspired us as a leader and what qualities they had. He became a Christian before joining at RAF. That must have been when was 18 years of age.
Snatches from his talk – comfort zones. Most us has prefer to be within them and can tolerate being outside them for only short period of times. He calls this the ‘red zone’  As we grow more experienced and confident, the green zone increases in bandwidth. In the RAF we were pushed in at the deep end and thus our comfort zone was almost pushed to increase. He was an engineer officer so he flew in the VC 10 on many occasions but he never flew the Typhoon and Tornado as a pilot, but rather managed the engine fleets.

Later he felt God’s guidance on decision-making with regard to engine problems of nearly 1000 planes. Trust was an integral part of his work, an essential element. He feels that the church has much to learn from this. He now trains clergy in leadership, in person and on line.

Leadership is complex and messy and depends partly on the context. After group discussion we decided on some of the qualities needed. Can you be an autocrat and still be a good leader. We can be a good manager yet not a good leader. What we model as a leader is critical.  Human beings are very good at sussing people out over a period of time though you can fool people in the short term. Eventually any flaws will reveal themselves. Leaders who care for individuals and inspire them brings about loyalty.

Leaders nowadays need to more open and real. They must now earn their authority and respect. There is a generational shift in attitude. There is now a tendency to establish relationships and rapport with workers as opposed to barking orders. How do we get people to channel their energies in the same direction? I mentioned that I was impressed with people who are in control of their subject.

There should be a much greater emphasis on well being of the individual. In the church, the idea that ‘vicar knows best’ is dying.  The congregants may well contain experienced and qualified people.  How are group members complementing others’ weakness and strengths? How do we best get to know people? Gp Capt. Leonard Cheshire VC knew the name of all those who worked for him and details of their families. He was loved by all.

I said I was put off by ‘Mr. Perfect’. If people admit their mistakes or imperfections I am on their side immediately as I can identify with them more easily.

Are leaders born or made?  We are looking for sensitivity, competence, compassion, setting the example, people who listen, people who we can trust, the extent of micro management or excessive control, professional humility…. the list goes on. There is one quality that cannot be manufactured and that is ‘charisma’.  I wonder if you can ever tie that one down but it is compelling.

Charles said that the ‘management style’ of Jesus is fascinating and relevant but must be the topic of another occasion. I was so excited by this that I later offered my assistance as a catalyst/writer.

What happens when vested interests collide with an inventing Genius. Tesla, pyramids and the like.

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