Comings and Goings is a blog written by Theology, Worship and Education Director Charles B. "Chip" Hardwick as he travels throughout the church. God is on the move out and about in the world, working to redeem all things in Jesus Christ. As we join this mission, by the power of the Spirit we see God on the move. This blog contains glimpses of how Chip finds this to be true in his comings and goings.
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As I mentioned in my last post, I had the opportunity earlier this week to attend a short course at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University called “Leading a Vibrant Faith Community.” Twenty students from the Lutheran, Salvation Army, Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Jewish traditions came together to learn about topics as diverse as change management, negotiations, conflict resolution, strategy, and succession planning from Kellogg’s world-class professors. Rather than trying to summarize my perspectives in only one post, I will be adding a post for each day’s session over the next week or so.
The first day included four sessions called “Reflections on Leadership” from Professor Lisa Fortini-Campbell, from the marketing department. I had been expecting a series of tools and tactics that would help me to be a more effective leader.
I was surprised instead by her consistent challenge to think about the person of the leader. That is, to think about ourselves as leaders, and what kind of characters we need to have in order to be worth following. It was like listening to a fantastic preacher with a prophetic edge. A recent convert to Catholicism, Fortini-Campbell provoked in me a lot of thought about who I want to be as a Christian and as a leader.
One of the points she made with which I have been wrestling is the question of how do I want to spend my time, whether on the job or in my personal life. She persuasively made the case that we have the choice how we invest our resources and, more importantly, our attention. She related that she formerly spent a lot of time thinking about popular culture—TV shoes, movies, and celebrities. But she has realized that spending time in that way is not as helpful as investing in people she actually knows.
I was very convicted by this. I’m fairly good about boundaries—not spending too much time working but rather reserving time to recharge and refresh outside of work. However, never before had I thought about the impact of how I spend my time while I’m recharging and refreshing. Having coffee with a friend or deepening a relationship with an acquaintance is certainly more fruitful than watching another episode of The Good Wife, no matter how much I enjoy that show (and all the others which fill my DVR).
In some ways it’s far removed from leadership, but investing my time more carefully so that I can grow more and more closer into the image of Christ (relying on the power of the Holy Spirit at all times to do so) makes me into a better leader, because it makes me someone worth following—a more worthwhile endeavor than learning all the management tricks and tools and tactics in the world.