Thursday, March 24, 2011

Anticipatory Governance

Wayne Gretzky, ”The Great One” in the world of hockey, is not known as an authority on governance, but he spoke volumes for us when he said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Strategic governance is always anticipatory. Effective boards of Christ-centered organizations will foresee emerging issues and trends in both its internal and external environment in order to get ahead of potential problems and propose viable options. Ineffective boards, however, are known for acting only after things become urgent.

CEO’s are the Wayne Gretzkys of an effective board. In their reporting as well as their planning they will strike an anticipatory note to limit the surprises and grasp the opportunities. With deft and strategic moves, then, the board and the CEO can skate together to where the puck is going, not where it has been.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Follow the Money!

When my wife asks my opinion on current events, such as international revolution or domestic protest, my stock answer is “Follow the money.” If you start with that assumption about the motivation for leadership, whether in business, politics, education, international affairs or even religion, you will be right 90 percent of the time. The other ten percent can be subsumed under the corollary “Follow the ego.”

Leadership decisions are always made with mixed motives. CEOs of Christ-centered organizations are not exempt. Even when we make decisions to do what is good for our organizations and what is right for the people involved, we will probably have a bit of “Follow the money” and “Follow the ego” in mind. In fact, most of us develop a predictable character of decision-making based upon our motives. We are fooling no one if we claim to have the mind of God, but are known for our underlying motive of money or ego. Isn’t this why the Paul said that he had to die daily? Even his fiery, all-consuming passion to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles could be subverted by self-interest. We, too, need the discipline of death for the start of our day. Our motive for decision-making may never be wholly pure, but it can be so Christ-centered and Spirit-filled that no one will say of us, “Follow the money” or “Follow the ego.”