Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

September 28, 2010, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Books, Christian Living, Community, Discipleship, Lessons Learned from Reading, work

As I was reading  through The Top Ten Mistakes Leader’s Make this summer, these quotes stood out:

“When someone comes into my office or interrupts me on the phone, my gut reaction is to see it as an interruption. But God is showing me that I have to make room for people in my life. When all is said and done, the crowns of my achievements will not be the systems I managed, the things I wrote, the structures I built, but the people I personally, permanently influence through direct contact.” (52)

“If you are wired like I am to enjoy working alone and working on tasks, you must reorient yourself to people. People will only be influenced and changed as we allow them into our personal lives.” (49)

“A few years ago I met an old professor at the University of Notre Dame. Looking back on his long life of teaching he said with a funny twinkle in his eyes: ‘I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted, until I slowly discovered that my interruptions were my work.’ This is the great conversion in life: to recognize and believe that the many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us for his return…” – Henri J. Nouwen, Out of Solitude, 1974 (41)

There are two different styles of leadership  exercising authority (28) vs.focussing on human relationships (the integration of personal goals with the success of the enterprise) (29).

Exercising Authority involves:

1.       Work is inherently distasteful to most people.

2.       Most people are not ambition , have little desire for responsibility, and prefer to be directed.

3.       Most people have little capacity for creativity in solving organizational problems

4.       Motivation only occurs only at the physiological and safety levels

5.       Most people must be closely controlled and often coerced to achieve organizational goals

Focussing on Relationship involves:

1.       Work is as natural as play, if conditions are favorable.

2.       Self-control is often indispensable in achieving organizational goals.

3.       The capacity for creativity in solving organizational problems is widely distributed in the population.

4.       Motivation occurs at the social, esteem, and self-actualization levels, as well as the physiological and security levels.

5.       People can be self-directed and creative at work if properly motivated

– Hersey and Blanchard, 1082:49


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