Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Novice to expert

10 The master may get better work from an untrained apprentice than from a skilled rebel! (Proverb 26:10 TLB)

I was thinking about a particular issue a friend is having within the group of individuals who work within her department. It is possible the issues would resolve if the processes and workflows improved. It is practical to think if we 'fix' the issues, all will be well, isn't it? In reality, sometimes it is the leader who must be 'fixed' before the processes! It is the leader's heart that must be right as we often heard Solomon speaking to in the wisdom he left us with in the book of Proverbs. Really, the first 'issue' we must always focus on is the heart behind each action. A leader doesn't lead so much with 'good ideas' as he does with a 'good heart'. 

Many years ago, given my first responsibility as a leader, I remember struggling from day to day with all kinds of issues I just didn't think could possibly be linked to anything I was doing. I wanted to believe it was all 'them' - because I thought I was leading well. There are times we find ourselves having 'dug in' on some decision. We know the way it 'should be' or the way we 'want it to be' - both may be perfectly good and there is no real fault that can be found with the desired outcome. Yet, if we fail to create the vision, building trust as we do, we find those we lead are not sure about where we are headed. The lack of direct communication of a vision is oftentimes the beginning of chaos as we attempt to move in any particular direction!

As that new leader, I would have to admit I was more like an 'untrained apprentice' than a skilled rebel, but it was than 'untrained' side of me that failed to connect all the dots. I wasn't doing a good job of establishing trust within the group I was leading because I did not take time to share well. In homes everywhere, there are 'leaders' of those homes leading the blind! The blind are their own families - not really sure what the vision for their family really is because mom and dad haven't done a good job of creating that vision, establish that purpose, and guide in those actions. In work environments across this land, people go into work day after day, confused as to the purpose of the actions they are taking. It isn't that they don't want to understand - they just haven't received what they need to really guide their actions.

Novice to expert - one would think that pathway is so very easy, but it is riddled with all manner of continual learning. If you didn't figure it out by now, continual learning means we are continually making mistakes! Mistakes that have to be corrected before we can move on. While I am not sure about all the mistakes I have made along the way, I know the many course corrections I have had to make! Trust me on this - those course corrections cost way more than if I had just done a better job of charting the course out ahead of time! Just sayin!