After being told by someone on my church’s leadership team for what seemed like the 20th time to read this book, I decided it was time to finally pick it up and discover its secrets. And I must say, besides it being an easy read - which was everyone’s last attempt of convincing me to read it - there is a captivating beauty to how Leman and Pentak compiled the essence of Theodore McBride’s experiences and knowledge.
With that being said, here’s what stirred up my soul within the introduction and first chapter:
A Teachable Spirit
‘There’s an honesty about your writing. What’s more, you’re still young and idealistic enough to be teachable.’ - Page 10
People always say, “leaders are readers”. As people desire to become better leaders, there’s a desire that grows within them to gain knowledge and wisdom. Books such as, The Way of the Shepherd, are read out of this desire to stretch ourself and grow as a leader, influencer, manager, mother, father, etc. But even while we read and attain a greater knowledge, we must approach books such as these with a teachable spirit if we intend on the techniques and strategies being effective in our lives. Knowledge and wisdom itself will not carry us to greater places and it definitely won’t carry those we are trying to lead to greater places. It’s the application of the knowledge and our ability to examine ourselves in relationship to it that births the growth within us. The challenge in becoming a leader, in regards to learning, is taking the time to pause, analyze ourselves, see what we’re doing well, what we can improve on, and being intentional about taking a step forward. But most importantly, having a heart to step outside of ourselves to see positive growth in those we are leading.
Keep Communication Open
Engage your people on a regular basis - Page 28
Regular communication with your flock, business partners, family, etc. keep the relationships close, fresh and vulnerable. It allows the relationship to grow as you never need to play catch-up. Throughout the years of being in leadership positions the most horrific and self-reflective moments were those when I’d ask a question like, “how is your job at _______, going,” only to hear he or she quit months ago. Not only did it reveal my lack of involvement in their lives, but emphasized what may have been a pre-existing sense of abandonment. Communicating with your team on a regular basis solidifies the foundation of your relationship and paves the way for deeper and transforming conversations.
Keep Your Eyes On the Ball and Follow Through
You’re going to have to get out and get among your people. When you do, keep your eyes and ears open and ask lots of questions. Most importantly, follow through. - Page 27
Asking questions creates conversation. Following through reveals your investment.
Asking questions about your flock gives you access to their lives, what they dream about, where their heart is and the status of their soul. Following through is asking for access to continue the journey with them.