Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Leader

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Welcome friends, thanks for taking time to stop by. I'm writing this today, because I feel like some people need encouragement to step into leadership. Now, I'm not talking about stepping into a leadership position, but rather making a proactive shift in your mind, to one of a leader.

See, you influence things already. You already have leadership influence. If you are parent, whether a good one or not, you are making a difference in the lives of your kids. If you a ministry helper in the local church, you have more influence than what you probably think. If you are a young adult, then you no doubt influence friends around you; you probably even influence your boss.

So I want to pass on a few thoughts on starting out as a leader. I'm calling it The Beginner's Guide to Becoming a Leader.

1. Begin to realise you ARE a leader

When the penny finally drops, you look around and see that you already are a leader. You are already making a difference. By choosing to realise you are a leader, you begin to explore a whole new avenue of potential growth opportunities. For the last couple of years at The Salvation Army Craigieburn we've taken half a dozen people to the Global Leadership Summit. It's jammed packed with leadership teachings and bite-sized learning to think about. But the challenge is this:

People who don't think of themselves as leaders, don't immerse themselves in leadership development opportunities
The reason I mention this, is because some people don't attend leadership conferences or leadership growth opportunities, because they've already ridden off in their mind, that they are not leaders. I argue that that is most likely not true.

So, begin to realise you are a leader, and have a greater influence towards people around you.

2.  Choose to grow as a leader

Immerse yourself in world politics for more than 2 minutes and you'll see a world bereft of good leadership. Scratch a little deeper into small businesses, schools, churches and your local sporting club and you'll see a need for more leaders and better leaders. If you first begin to acknowledge you are potentially a leader (again, not dependent upon status as a leader), then you'll see there's now opportunity to grow as a leader.

I don't want to be at the same capacity five years from now. I want to be teachable, reliable and faithful, to becoming a better version of myself than I was the day before!

Choose to grow as a leader.

Here's some ways you can do that:
  • Attend a leadership course
  • Read a leadership book (ask me and I can recommend some!)
  • Have a coffee with a respected leader and ask them what they know
  • Read the Bible regularly (how did Jesus lead? how did Paul lead?)
  • Listen to a podcast: Try the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, for instance.
3. Think like a leader

I spoke to our church recently and identified the difference between the mindset of a volunteer and the mindset of a leader. There's a difference. I think we need more leaders, who realise they're leaders and think like leaders and operate like leaders:

 

Clearly, leaders act differently. Leaders make it a priority to thank others. Leaders are generally the first ones there and the last to leave. Leaders don't wait to be asked, but they take initiative. So if you're starting out as a new leader, understand that there's a paradigm shift needed to begin to think like a leader.

4. Moving from a me-mentality to an others-mentality

A new Salvation Army magazine was launched some time ago called Others. The more I think about it, the more I love the title. See, it's about others. Your salvation in Christ is important, of course, but as spoken about in Luke's gospel (15:3-7), we see the parable of the lost sheep:

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

We are clearly called to consider others. Paul puts it succinctly in his letter to the church in Philippi (2:3): 'Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.'

Followers of Jesus make their life about others. Leaders make it a priority to do something about helping others. If you are just starting as a leader, check your motives: is it about others?


If you ask yourself, 'How do I become a leader?' I suggest, look around, and realise, you probably already are!

Naturally, there is more to be said. But this is a beginner's guide to leadership. If you've found these points helpful, please share the blog, make a comment on the blog, or comment via facebook. Tag a young leader via social media. And just for the sake of it, grab a copy of my new book JESUS CHRIST!

What can you do to become a better leader today?
God bless,

Pete Brookshaw.

Related: Pete's Mammoth Guide to Effective Leadership

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Why we no longer care about Foreign Aid

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Back as far as 1970, OECD countries agreed that official development assistance (ODA), should be set at a minimum of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI). In Australia, we call it foreign aid, and it's about supporting countries that lack strong economies to provide for the marginalised of their communities.

One of the statements leaders of the G7 signed upon at the Monterrey summit in 2002 was, 'We urge developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts toward the target of 0.7 percent of gross national income (GNI) as ODA to developing countries.' (See Jeffrey Sachs', The End of Poverty, p. xxxiii).

But, we no longer care about foreign aid. Have a look Australia. Look at these damning statistics. Under Whitlam's government back in the 1970s we see the best effort yet of distributing foreign aid money overseas. Our overseas development assistance, has all but declined (as a percentage of GNI) ever since. Under Howard foreign aid was consistently below 0.3%. Under Rudd, Gillard, Rudd we see the ODA percentage rise a little. Now under the current conservative government of Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison we see it being the lowest contribution recorded.

http://theconversation.com/factcheck-what-are-the-facts-on-australias-foreign-aid-spending-71146
 
I think I know why.

We are experiencing a kind of Australian nationalism that I haven't seen before. Maybe it's a response to the populism of President Donald Trump or a reaction to radical Islam that has done it. Irrespective of the reasons, we live in a Australia now that is more intent of looking after itself. The Australian Federal Government is continually banging-on about securing our borders and we all become a little more insecure.

The premise is that we need to look after Australians better. I agree, but why does it need to be at the expense of others? I'm not a big fan of nationalism. I believe God created every living being. I believe all are made in the image of God. I believe all have human rights. I believe therefore that an economically strong country like Australia should do more to support our fellow brothers and sisters.

There's more to be said. We could debate the validity of the foreign aid system, and argue about the accountability measures that ensure it goes where it should, but all that aside...

Our rising Australian nationalism reveals that we are self-serving and greedy, with a disdain for cultural integration and respect for others.

I pray we can learn to be generous again.

Read more here about Australian Aid: http://www.micahaustralia.org/agency/australian_aid



 

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