WES HENSON

Check it Out, Incoherent Ramblings

Check It Out: Having a Personal Development Plan

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Today’s “Check It Out” is an early post dealing with your own personal development and how to help make sure you grow as a leader. Click here to read it.

Here’s a glimpse:

Look at a calendar, and look back over the last six months. What steps have you taken to become a better leader? Have you had regular meetings with a mentor? Have you read leadership books? Maybe you have attended some conferences, or go to a local network of professionals.

Leadership development for those around you will not take priority until your own personal leadership development takes priority. Let that soak in for a moment. Developing leaders around you will not take place at a rate that is greater than your own development.

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3 Questions, Leadership Journey

Clean Your Lenses

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Have you ever noticed that experts in a certain field seem to see things differently than you? Sometimes, it’s not even experts.

Hunters have a language that is all their own, as do mechanics, policemen, teachers, musicians, and every other interest, hobby, occupation, career, or calling.

Just the other day I was playing a Squier Classic Vibe 50’s telecaster in Butterscotch Blonde (you still with me so far?) and someone who doesn’t play guitar commented how it looked just like a very well-known artist’s guitar. I knew the difference (mainly a few zeroes on the price tag), but he did not.

Why is that? Because over time I have been able to develop a “lens” for viewing guitars. The way I look at guitars is influenced by my experience, opinions, and information gathering.

The same is true for your leadership. If you’re reading this, you have leadership influence in some realm of your life. More than that, you have developed some kind of “lens” to help you view situations around you pertaining to your leadership.

Your leadership style is influenced by your experience, opinions, and information gathering.

My question to you today is simply this: what is that lens in your life? Have you thought about what it is that shapes how you view the situations and the world around you? Have you considered the unhealthy influences? Have you weighed the positive influences?

For me, the 3 Questions (click here if you haven’t read about them yet) have become the lens through which I run my leadership. More specifically, the third question encourages me to equip and involve those around me.

So, once again, how are you viewing the leadership opportunities around you? Is there some kind of correction you need to make?

Maybe you could benefit from putting the 3 Questions into practice in your life.

Maybe, the application for you is to simply take some time to journal about the lens through which you are viewing things.

Whatever it is, take some time and grow your leadership by examining your lenses.

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Leadership Journey

Mind the Gap

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If you looked at my resume, you would likely notice something strange: in the last 14 years, there’s a gap of about 4 months where I was not on staff at a church either part-time or full-time.

I really believe there are some places that if I were to send my resume and apply for a position, that 4 month gap would raise a few red flags, or cause me to immediately be sifted into the trash pile. But, for me, I look at that gap as the most important part of my work history.

The gap came after a challenging ministry situation intersected with some major life transitions (and personal growth areas). My wife and I felt God calling us to shift gears and change pace for a while, so we did just that.

During the gap, I started farming again, working for my dad. (You can read some of my Lessons from the Farm by clicking here.)

So, here’s the takeaway from my resume gap: I wouldn’t be where I am, or serving with the passion I serve, had it not been for those four months.

In those months (and the bi-vocational years that followed), God solidified a call to ministry in my life.

I had time to step back and evaluate my gifts, my passions, my abilities, and my joy. I rediscovered my passion for helping students and adults grow closer to God. I realized I had drifted away from the things that drove me early on in ministry.

Most importantly, during that gap, I wrestled with my call to ministry, and realized my heart was in serving God vocationally.

So, for me, the gap in my resume represents a time where I was able to come to terms with my own call, with the reality of the challenges of ministry, and with a desire to push through and endure.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without that gap. I am better because of it, and I would like to think people around me are better because of it as well.

What do you look at in your life and say “that was central to my development”?

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Check it Out, Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Check It Out: Be Careful Who Speaks Into Your Life

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Today’s Check It Out post links back to one of my early posts, but one whose content I have been pondering a little extra the past week or so. I hope you enjoy it: http://www.threequestionleadership.com/2017/03/02/be-careful-who-speaks-into-your-life/ 

 

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Leadership Journey

Tips from the Bunk: Listen to Those Around You

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I have one simple rule for surviving camp. It’s a personal rule, and not one that I share. It does not affect other people. It does not make me a better leader. Quite the contrary: it’s a survival tip.

So, here’s my survival tip for camp: use the same shower each day and learn which way the knobs turn. Simple enough?

Years ago, early on in my camp ministry, I learned the painful lesson that the hot water doesn’t always turn the same way to shut off. Simply put, I changed showers one day and instead of turning off hot and cold, I turned the cold water off and cranked up the hot, resulting in a scalding.

Last week, my survival tip got put to the test as I took two lukewarm (read: cold) showers, thinking the hot water would kick in eventually. It never did. Until, the teenage boy who was helping me at camp cracked the code: the other knob turned on the hot water. I was convinced hot water was going to flow by turning the cold knob.

I am so grateful for the boy who figured that out, communicated it to me, and blessed my week as a result.

So what’s the leadership lesson? Sometimes, those with less experience have fewer assumptions of superior intelligence.

Here’s a teenage boy who has a fraction of the camp experience I’ve built up over my lifetime, and he had the audacity to try something I had not tried yet. His lack of life experience cannot stand up against my infinite wisdom, right? After all, I have survival tips I live by at camp. He doesn’t have that, so he cannot possibly be as wise as me.

As a leader, fight the temptation to think you have it all figured out, and as long as you stick with your process, it is bound to work. Instead, learn to listen to and trust those around you, especially those who are younger than you.

In the church realm, this may mean including others while re-evaluating a program or event. Other people will look at certain elements through a different lens, and you just might learn something from it along the way.

Arrogance chokes the life out of creativity. Thinking you have every answer negates your long-haul influence.

Who knows, maybe one day you’ll have someone help you learn you don’t have to take a cold shower.

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