• Leadership Makeover

Posted by: kidhelper on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

With years of leadership experience and multiple jobs and ministry positions, it was revealing, but not surprising to me, that one protégé offered this metaphor to explain her coaching experience.

“Coaching for me became a Leadership Makeover! After three years of working with my Coach Barney Kinard, I am now qualified to move up into a mid-range children’s ministry position. Coaching has been an important investment in myself and my leadership style.”

In reflecting on our coaching experience, it became clear that my protégé needed some help in understanding her leadership style. Further, she needed to understand how to reinterpret what she took away from her former ministry positions.

The process was not easy. It was slow going at first, but the teachable moments continued over a long period of time. Unlearning or relearning anything is an arduous process. Old habits do not really die fast. To explain how this happened, it would have to be said she took on a part-time position with no future that became the “lab” for working with resistant leaders, set in their ways and adverse to any change. When faced with leadership issues of this sort, it began to reveal the flaws in her previous leadership that would not work there.

Meanwhile, during our three-year experience, we worked on a new resume and a created a qualification brief. She was making lots of progress and was making weekly changes. She was becoming more qualified and continued to improve in the application process. With numerous résumé’s rendered, she was not getting that career position she wanted—so close, but not chosen. Instead of loosing heart and resolve, these set backs created the need to go deeper in learning and forward in action.

We introduced a battery of testing devices and began to help with the interpretation and application. Then we focused on how her leadership style works with other leadership styles. She began to understand the impact of her own style and what she could do to adjust her leadership according to the needs of those leaders she was serving.

The protégé became more receptive and more teachable. The lessons became clearer and the growth was more apparent to us. However, her current situation was almost impossible to change and influence. The setting was ingrown and cut off from the community, especially, to the real needs of parents with children. She could attract them, but there was so little available for the parents that the church could not keep them. As a part-timer she had so little influence to change an older congregation.

Meanwhile, the protégé was gathering momentum in her leadership, not by big numbers, but by internal reformation. She understood the issues. She was more aware. She was backing up from her former driving style to allow more participation for ownership. The church became the “lab” to understand how to introduce change with resistant leaders. Working with healthy, growing leaders is easy, but if she could lead resistant leaders, she would have the skills to work with anyone.

Our process led us to find a career position, in a healthy mid-range church (with lots of children) that was ready for an overhauled leader. We were searching for just such a church.

Shortly, after graduating from the Kidology Coaching Program, she found just such a position. The interviews went well. The chemistry was just right. It was a healthy growing church that was just waiting for what we were working on for almost three years. After a couple of trips to check things out, they made her a really good offer, with the best benefit package I had ever seen.

She accepted the offer and she starts her new position by the end of April 2013. Jeanette is continuing in the Kidology Graduate Program. We will continue to follow up on the investment we have made together. It was a Leadership Makeover and Coaching Works!

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