This month, I will complete my first year of doctoral work in leadership studies. The best way to describe the first year is to think of placing your face in front of a fire hydrant and having the water turn on and rush into your mouth. In the first year, we have read, analyzed and reviewed over 100 books and many more articles. So the question to ponder is, what have I learned about leadership? A very valid question and has a funny answer. I now know less about leadership than I did when started.
Let me clarify, I thought I knew about leadership before I started, but now I see how little I really knew. Did you know there is around 130 definitions of leadership? As Burns wrote in his seminal work on Leadership is that leadership is the most studied, but least understood social science in the world. So can you see why I know less about leadership now?
How does this relate to Kerusso?
All this said, the mound of books I’ve read ranging from Plato’s Republic to Heifetz’s Leadership without Easy Answers, I have had time to think about leading Kerusso. What I am doing well? What I am doing wrong? From the beginning of Kerusso, I have been torn between being the person to perform the projects, and the person leading the projects. The problem is that I am still torn. I absolutely love going to countries like Cambodia, China, and India and working with leaders. It is my passion to develop leaders, but we have grown beyond my capacity. So this leaves me with a strategic leadership issue.
The first step is praying that God desires us to grow. I want and desire a heart of contentment and being humble before God and understanding that He is the center not my pragmatic view of business growth. Over the last two years, we decided to stay status quo mainly because of the situation of my oldest daughter’s health. This month she finishes her regiment of chemotherapy so we started to rethink the process.
The solution is that we believe God desires us to continue growing. We know that my plate is full so we need to develop a new process in accomplishing the vision of Kerusso Foundation. This means I will not be the person on the ground on all of the projects, but I will still lead the project. The vision to develop Christ-centered leaders in the emerging world is more real than ever. Now we build strong partnerships so this vision can expand to beyond what I can do by myself.