COR Leadership Institute: Finding Leadership Principles in the Ten Commandments

At this year’s Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute, I attended as my second pre-conference workshop on Wednesday: A Brief Overview of the 10 Timeless Principles for Next Generation Leaders. This packed presentation by Jim Lucas illustrated the bridge  of doing well by doing right, as he identified it. He effectively demonstrated over and over the remarkable connection between ethics and performance.  This exciting presentation was based on the 2007 book, High Performance Ethics:  10 Timeless Principles for Next Generation Leadership, by Wes Cantrell and Lucas.  I was pleasantly surprised by the power of Lucas’ speaking.

The book and this workshop were actually based on the 10 Commandments, and authors unpacked each of the ten commandments in a way that keeps the commandments timeless, and at the same time provides excellent management principles.

For instance, the first principle is First Things First.  This principle is based on God’s commandment that we have no other gods but He.  It leads us to the leadership principle:  High performance ethics leaders are Restless.  Lucas took us through a rapid series of questions for this principle, including:

How do we know what the first things are?

What are our core excellencies?

What actually differentiates excellence from competence?

He provides a list of key comments, as well as spot-on quotes, for each principle.  His key comments on that first principle included:

Not “First things first,” as though we have time for secondary things and nonsense.

Life is too short to waste on other things.

Do we have our eyes on the prize?

Are we devoting our work and lives to the “main concern?”  Do we know what that is?

Does everyone have a really good reason to do the work they’re doing?

During small group discussions, my group of eight discussed the first principle (First Things Only).  We explored from our experiences the difference between “first things only” and “first things first.”  What are the “first things” on which we want to have our teams focus relentlessly?  We particularly discussed a recent survey that found that 75 percent of employers said that don’t screen effectively for the job applicant’s moral character.  This was not much of a surprise to our group.  We think that employers don’t consider a “character check” as essential as a “background check” because of fears about litigation, difficulty in defining character, a vague notion that they are already doing, and concerns about how to do it.  We spent much our time trying to figure out how to do it.

Also at Leadership Institute Wednesday, I attended:  Bearing Fruit: God’s Alternative to Success.

I was most excited to get the new book (with a 2013 release date!) by Pastor Scott Chrostek, Pursuit:  Living Fully in Search of God’s Presence.  I have been a fan of Pastor Scott’s preaching since I first heard him in 2009 (on my iPod).  I look forward to opportunities to download his messages from iTunes as often as I find him.  I didn’t get a chance to meet Scott on Wednesday, but I hope to see him Thursday or Friday.

Later Wednesday, I got to visit COR’s mid-high Youth Group meeting.  It was tremendous.

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About Tom Bolton

I'm a Husband and Dad, an Enterprise Systems Manager at the City of Milwaukee, and a Disciple and Lay Servant at First United Methodist of West Allis. I love working beside young people. As I study the Bible, sometimes I feel moved to work through my understanding by writing poetry. I also am going through a process to discern my calling, and to learn more about Christian Leadership. Sometimes I just feel like writing about something that grabs my attention too.
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