I need to preface this post with this confession: Len Schlesinger was my least favorite speaker at the Summit. Having said that, I will probably read his book if only to get a little more insite into what he was saying. And, as I promised in my previous post, I will share some of what I gleaned from listening to him.
Len is an author, Harvard professor, and former executive. He was a vibrant speaker, but not as engaging as others at the Summit. Coming from a business perspective, his advice and insight into leadership was definitely not specific to being in ministry leadership. So, I listened, but not as intently.
What I gleaned from him was two-fold:
- When you don’t know what lies ahead, when you can’t predict the outcome of the situation, you can simply create it. However, you can’t create it unless you’re willing to ACT. This was powerful for me . . . I’m very much the scardy cat, the one who argues a lot of “what ifs” in the face of a risky proposition. I’ve never thought of an unsure future in this way before – that if I can’t predict the future, create it instead. That stuck with me.
- He said that we need to stop worrying about what we WANT to do, and instead worry about what we want ot do NEXT. I wasn’t sure what to do with this until I began thinking about the many “meetings” I’ve had to attend at church. You know the ones – the 2 hour “planning” retreats/meetings where you “brainstorm” and carefully plan the next step in whatever ministry/event/program you’re trying to do. You spin your wheels meeting after meeting, week after week, just trying to decide what to do . . . what is the BEST thing to do. Then, a month later, nothing has even been done yet. I get SO frustrated with that. Why can’t we do a little bit of the “what” to do and a LOT of actually “what to do NEXT?” To move on to the next thing means that we are actually taking ACTION. I like that. I may not be a good Methodist for saying this out loud, but I truly dislike the spinning wheel meetings . . . I am definitely more of an action kind of girl 🙂