Welcome back, friends, for a unique conversation today with Brian Dodd, author at the Brian Dodd on Leadership blog and Director of New Ministry Partnerships at INJOY Leadership Solutions.
Brian is with us today to talk about leadership and leader development and how he used his research of both to write his book Timeless.
- 10 most common practices. // On his blog, Brian coined the phrase “Apex Leaders”—leaders at the top of their professions. When it comes to leadership, there are also Apex Organizations and Apex Churches. Over the years, Brian has done over 185 profiles of Apex Leaders, Churches, and Organizations on his blog. In profiling so many exemplary leaders, he wondered if there was a common thread among the Apex groups, so Brian began an Excel spreadsheet and started going through all of those blog posts. He identified 309 things that those Apex leaders, churches, and organizations do and narrowed it down to the ten most common. With each of those ten practices, he builds a biblical framework within the chapters of the book Timeless and then ties each of those back to modern day examples.
- Build leadership culture. // With every book he writes, Brian sets out to create something that can be used to build a leadership culture. Timeless can be used as a personal study, but pastors can also read through it with their staffs, staffs can do it with their primary lay leaders, and lay leaders can do it with their spheres of influence. A faith-based organization or business group can go through the book together. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter that you can go through on your own or with a group.
- Character comes in later. // The most shocking discovery Brian had during his research was what did not make the top ten most common practices. It was so shocking he wrote about it in the introduction of the book. You have expected steps that leaders would take—build great teams and deliver results—but Brian thought character would be number two or three in most common practices. To his surprise it didn’t even make it into the top fifteen. The fact is while you don’t need character to reach the top, you need character to stay at the top as a leader or organization. You see it in entertainment, sports, business, and even ministry—people who shoot to the top, but fizzle out because they don’t spend time on character development.
- Leader development versus leadership development. // Brian explains that leader development and leadership development are two different things. Leadership development is developing the skills, talents, and abilities to accomplish a task or assignment given to you by God. Meanwhile, leader development is becoming the type of man or woman who can accomplish a skill, task, or assignment given to you by God. We spend time an inordinate amount of time on leadership development, but not enough time on leader development in order to sustain the positions we’re placed in.
- How is your mission and vision becoming a reality? // Some may say blogging is dead, but Brian encourages pastors to have blogs. God has given you a unique word to say on His behalf, so what do you need to be sharing with your community and church? How is the mission and vision at your church actually becoming a reality? If pastors are feeling stuck on what to write about, Brian gives a couple quick ideas. On Monday: 10 Things I Saw, Felt, and Heard on Sunday. On Tuesday: 10 Things My Staff Saw, Felt, and Heard. On Wednesday: Invite Your Friend this Weekend and Here’s What We’ll Be Talking About and Doing. On Thursday: Here’s What We’re Doing in the Community Over the Weekend. Take a break from writing on Friday and enjoy your Sabbath! On Saturday: Quick Reminder, Invite Your Friend. Make these posts short – about 300-500 words – with Saturday’s post super short. Always be talking about your church’s mission vision and how people can be a part of it.
You can read Brian’s thoughts on leader development and leadership development at www.briandoddonleadership.com, or pick up the book Timeless: 10 Enduring Practices of Apex Leaders with a 25% discount (and free shipping in the US!) at www.injoystewardship.com/
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