Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leadership thoughts from 'Management Today'

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Here's some leadership thoughts from an Australian Magazine, Management Today (May 2008):

Sol Trujillo (CEO of Telstra):
'I least like dealing with the breaking down of regulatory or bureaucratic barriers; while all large companies have them, you always want your company to be as fast and nimble as any other'.
'I have a fundamental belief that most people underestimate what they're capable of, and sometimes it just takes some coaching to unlock their thinking'.

Deborah Tarrant on leadership:
'They are charismatic, dynamic, optimistic, socially adept - not narcissistic - and are expected to be trustworthy and have foresight'.
'In other countries, particularly in Asia, where hierarchy and authority is often valued over relationships, a relational style of leadership is not necessarily going to work'.
'Under the circumstances, the most desirable skills are adaptability and social intelligence, the ability to read the norms and the cues of a situation, and to influence others through social relationships'. [Partly sounds like Catherine Booth, i.e. the adaptability concept]

Five core words for working as a team (p. 20):
Clarity, Courage, Creativity, Connection and Care

'I believe that 20% of culture is planned and 80% evolves within every company [but] real or virtual, you need flexibility, agility and the capability to change' (p. 21). [I wonder how much of church culture is influenced by who we are as leaders?]

There's some leadership thoughts for you. I understand all the emerging, postmodern Christians on the journey might not connect with all of it... ahh well.

God bless!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Duopoly of Business

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A Duopoly is where a market exists where there are only two sellers. I have concerns about the duopoly's I see developing and the impact this has on other businesses. For example, I see these two in Australia:
* Woolworths & Coles
* Cadbury-Schweppes & CocaCola Amatil

I find myself concerned that these businesses become so powerful, they are able to control the market. Woolworths and Coles can control the price they offer farmers, because where else can the farmer go to sell his produce? Cadbury-Schweppes & CocaCola can squeeze out other competitors because they own the whole manufacturing processes that assist in bottling, warehousing, and finally getting your drink on the shelf. They then can control the price.

What about Fairtrade when it comes to these local issues? What about accountability for these businesses? Should these businesses be more transparent with their practices?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Binge Drinking - Is it really cool?

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Melbourne Corps 614 hosted a great line up of informed speakers at Urban Conversations, to speak about an increasing issue in Melbourne: Binge Drinking.

Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg spoke passionately about attempting to raise the age of drinking alcohol to 21, seeing the benefits this has had in America. He said that companies benefiting financially from Alcohol sales have the 'ethics of a cash register'. Good call.

Alcohol affects brain development in adolescents...

The Editor-in-chief of the Age promised to advocate strongly within The Age newspaper against Binge Drinking, and to bring awareness to the effects that excessive drinking has, especially amongst teenagers.

The media, and many agencies in the past joined together to change the paradigms of thinking regarding smoking; to the point where smoking is no longer seen as 'the cool thing to do'.

We should be joining forces, to change the thinking in Victorian culture today (and Australia!) that says 'getting drunk' is cool, and if movers and shakers join together to advocate against this then we will see a shift in today's culture regarding binge drinking...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Salvation Army in Decline?


Why, generally speaking is The Salvation Army in decline in the Western World?
* Is it because the Holy Spirit is not moving as much in our midst?
* Is it a lack of good leaders to stir up our congregations?
* Is it a lack of doctrinal teaching, or good biblical foundations for ministry?
* Is it a lack of good evangelists?
* Is it because we are losing our identity as The Salvation Army?
* Is it because we're too concerned with the 'good ole days'?
* Is it because we have too much 'stuff' and have forgotten how to simply trust God?

Maybe it's none of these. Maybe it's all of them. All I know is, depending on your answer will determine how you will equip and empower others into the future.

Despite all this God is turning the tide in the Western World... Maybe some people know the answer.

(Heb 12:2 - Fix your eyes on Jesus!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Failure and Success

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Well it's been a few days... Here's some thoughts for you:

* Was listening to audio CD, 'Failing Forward' by John C. Maxwell, and he says:
--> When you 'fail' at something, this does not make you a 'failure'
--> Failure should be like fertiliser for future success
* Theologian N.T. Wright says that Christian hope is more than just getting to heaven when we die, but about God bringing about New heavens and new earth. Heaven is not just a future reality, but the presence of God around us today, this is really like heaven on earth. Thanks Jesus. We look forward to the future that you have planned for us, found in Christ.

* Are people in the Salvation Army today fearful of success (How do we define success?)? I said today to someone, 'How great would a corps of a thousand be...' and suddenly the following misconceptions propped up:
--> The corps would be a large congregation meeting on a Sunday morning
--> The corps would be missionally inactive
--> The corps would be organisationally beuracratic and slow in decision making
--> The corps would be caught up in power, and would be a reflection of Christendom (buildings matter most).

Interesting. In my mind, when I think of a corps of a thousand, I think this:
--> Possibly 100 small groups of 10, who are active in discipleship, mission, community development, etc
--> Passionate, growing group of believers, people enrolling as soldiers, people engaged in mission
--> Quick decision making, good leadership development, many people becoming committed followers of Jesus.

Paradigm shift. Revolution.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vision and Reading the Word

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On a silent retreat recently I received a new found passion for reading the Word of God. I came across this verse of Scripture: Psalm 119:18 - 'Open my eyes to the wonderful things in your law' (the law referred to the first five books of the Old Testament - but I reinterpret it to refer to the whole of the Scriptures). Try praying this verse out before you read the Bible... It really allows God to challenge you and speak to you when you read...

Commissioner Joe Noland (U.S.A) spoke to the cadets recently, sharing how he planted a Corps, and hundreds came and heard the message of Jesus. He said:

Do not let your vision be hindered by your resources
Do not let your vision be hindered by your experience
Do not let your vision be hindered by your self-esteem

Also, 'Don't say as I do, but do as I say and do'

God bless those officers in the Australia Southern Territory that will officially be told their new appointments today...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Secular Charismatic TV?


I turned on the TV yesterday, and found myself watching some sort of Charismatic celebration, like I was watching a Pentecostal Church Meeting on the screen, but it was something else.

I had turned the TV on to 'Ellen'. Literally, for the first 10 minutes of the show, the crowd gave a continuous standing ovation to the TV presenter, and she just smiled and danced as she lapped up the attention. I then changed the channel, and you know who popped up; Oprah. Again, a crowd going nuts at being in the presence of a 'celebrity' with whistles, clapping, and mild screaming...

I don't buy it. I don't understand how you could be ok with receiving THAT amount of attention. In the Christian vernacular we have the word, 'humility'. That's why when most Christian bands I've seen, or preachers come out and preach, they turn this praise towards God. I mean sure acknowledge the encouragement you are receiving, and be thankful for it, but humility forces you to only take so much of this charasmatic support before you must sent it heavenward!

I felt that if you took away Ellen or Oprah, or Dr. Phil and put the Saviour of the World there, right in the middle of the stage.... then you'd have a meaningful, exciting, passionate worship meeting, where God was being glorified. Who do you give your praise to?

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