It was 1944. The Germans were losing the battle on the Russian front. My grandfather (Opa in German) was a recent recruit to the front… but his physical war didn’t last long. Within a few months, he had been captured and taken as a prisoner of war. Now a new battle began…
Communication is a massive challenge for leaders. Always has been, always will be. One of the biggest issues many of us face is truly listening to people rather than simply waiting for a long enough pause for us to be able to spew out our opinions (and if a pause doesn’t come, we just butt in regardless). But something else is causing me concern about how we’re communicating in the technical age.
The premise of my book, Grab a Towel, is that servant leadership provides a Christ-centred critique and corrective to much of the leadership that we see in the 21st Century. This is perhaps most apparent when we look at what I propose is the foundation of servant leadership – character. And given so much of what has been taking place on a global scale in recent times and the dearth of servant leadership on display, I felt it was a good time to post this (summarised) excerpt from the book.
The foreman screamed across the shop floor… “Tucker… what the ******* are you doing – you’ll lose a finger”. I immediately realised how stupid I was being… seeking to clear metal shards from the rotating drill with my hand. My safety report that week was somewhat humiliating. Being an apprentice on the shop floor had its ups and downs. This was definitely a low point! But I believe in the principle of apprenticing – I don’t think there’s anything quite like on-the-job training. And this equally applies to being Jesus’ apprentices…
This book is a life-giving corrective to all this, painting a picture of servant leadership that’s both honest about the difficulties, pain and challenges – but also emotionally truthful about the ups and downs and how we might deal healthily with the suffering that is likely to come our way.
It seems to me that part of our expectation of leaders is that they can answer our questions and solve our problems. There is a danger that we want our leaders to be omniscient and fail to recognise that the greatest leaders do not try and be the fount of all knowledge. In fact, I’ve been wondering recently if the power of great leadership rather rests in the ability to ask great questions and to remain curious.
My book, Grab a Towel, argues that the number one priority of servant leaders is to increasingly display the character of Christ.
But how do we grow in the character of Christ? This article looks at the writings of Dallas Willard to give us helpful guidance in this essential area.
My teaching on servant leadership and based upon the book, Grab a Towel, has been incorporated into a nine-part film series airing on Message Live.
This post reflects on leading The Message Trust through the last 6 months… As we entered 2020, we were full of hope and optimism for the year ahead. Our keyword for the year was expectant… but the one thing we didn’t expect was Covid-19 and the hard lockdown.
King Solomon famously wrote: “Train a child in the way he should go, And he will not easily depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). But when it comes to leadership development, it is hard to find programmes that intentionally invest in emerging young leaders…