My daughter-in-law (Jenna) reinforced an outstanding principle of building energy as a servant leader with me last week when she set appropriate boundaries and put me in control of the goal. My wife was out of town, and my son (Dan) and Jenna had to be away overnight for a wedding so they needed me to keep their 8-month old son (Mack).

I very much looked forward to spending a couple of days of concentrated time with my grandson, but there was a fair amount of trepidation from all parties over me being the one to take this duty. After all, it had been approximately 31 years since I had sole responsibility for an 8-month old child for any extended time.

Is taking care of a child like riding a bike? Probably not. So Jenna prepared extensive, detailed instructions for every aspect of what is necessary to take care of Mack. I received the instructions two days in advance of their leaving so that I could study and be prepared once it got to game time.

Having these instructions gave me a huge amount of energy, confidence, and peace knowing that I was now well equipped to deliver on what was expected of me.

If I had been totally competent in taking care of small children, I would have been hurt by being so micro-managed and told everything I needed to do. But that was not the case. Jenna read the situation correctly and built my energy by providing detailed direction.

Lessons

  • Be flexible in your leadership – One style does not fit all situations!
  • Make a proper assessment of every situation and lead accordingly
  • The more competence a person possesses the wider their boundaries should be for completing the work
  • Provide significant guidance when competency does not exist
  • Proper assessment and the appropriate leadership will lead to high energy and high performance

Jesus’ as the Model

  • Early in His ministry with his disciples, Jesus just asked them to watch him and observe. He was intentional about teaching them many things. (Sermon on the Mount) Matthew 5:1-12
  • Later He got them involved to help, but he still did most of the work. (Feeding of the 5000) Matthew 14:13-21
  • Then he provided instructions and sent them out to do the work on their own, and asked them to report back to him on how it went. Luke 10:1-24
  • After he had fully trained them, He left and expected them to do the work with the help of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:1-10
  • The rest is history. Jesus properly led 12, which turned into 120, then 3,000 by Pentecost, and well over 2.3 billion Christians today. Proper leadership is extremely powerful.

The Rest of My Story

My weekend with Mack could not have gone better. Due to me not having to think about what I was supposed to do, or how to do it, I was able to thoroughly enjoy my time with Mack and it will be a time that I never forget and always cherish!

Proper leadership makes all the difference in the world. Thanks, Jenna!

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12


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MARK Deterding is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and the founder of Triune Leadership Services, LLC. His purpose is to work with leaders to help them develop core servant leadership capabilities that allow them to lead at a higher level and enable them to achieve their God-given potential. He has written two books, A Model of Servant Leadership, and Leading Jesus’ Way. With over three decades of experience directing companies and developing leaders, Mark created A Model of Servant Leadership parallel to the principles that Jesus himself illustrated. Working with organizations, leadership teams, and executives one-on-one, he helps bring focus, clarity, and action to make things work. He also conducts training programs to teach faith-based servant leadership principles. His greatest passion is seeing the impact servant leadership has on people’s lives and beyond. Prior to Triune Leadership Services he worked for 35 years in the printing industry holding senior leadership positions at Taylor Corporation, RR Donnelly, and Banta Corporation. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven; values based teams that drive culture improvement, enhanced employee passion, and improved business results. He is featured in Ken Blanchard’s book “Leading at a Higher Level”, and has been a featured speaker for the Ken Blanchard Companies Executive Forum in both 2007 and 2011. Mark lives in Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife Kim. They have two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and three grandchildren, so far. To find out more about Mark and his work, visit Triune Leadership Services via the Link adjacent his Photo above.
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