Highlights From My Reflections – Part 1
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I just finished my year-end reflections so over the next few emails, I will share some highlights.

Last year, one of the young men at my church asked me if I would start a Leadership Mentoring Program. I do need to confess that it’s been tough to keep a regular routine as I try to balance so many people’s schedules. None the less it has been so rewarding. We have developed a mission statement that is very succinct and lends itself very well to action items that can be tracked.

The statement I had in my notes that jumped out at me read, “I need to look for and help people grow in their giftedness.”

I had even started to identify the giftedness of four of the six young men. Here is what I discovered:

  • Very optimistic and inspirational. Can inspire others to act.
  • Extremely analytical.
  • A skillful teacher who engages the entire room with confidence.
  • A very deep thinker who is developing into an amazing teacher. Able to see intricacies in scripture.

I still need to discover the giftedness in the other two, and we just had another young couple move into our area and I am excited to add another young man to our mentoring group.

One aspect of leadership that I love is the opportunity, or might I say requirement, of helping people discover their giftedness. Leaders need to take the time to observe their team and look for the unique giftedness in each person. Once identified, the leader needs to make sure each person is resourced in the appropriate areas to facilitate growth. Please allow me to share an example:

Discovery – When a person is working in their giftedness, they will appear energized as they carry out the task. Quite simply, they will be enjoying themselves. They will be good at what they are doing, and people will begin to respond to the positive energy that they give off. In his book Love+Work, Marcus Buckingham writes that when a person is working in their giftedness, time flies by. Asking them to identify activities when time seems to escape them may also be an indicator.

Resourcing – The first step is to give them an opportunity to utilize their gift. As a mentor, we ask them to sign up for a stretch opportunity. Working beside us on things that we may have been doing in the past, but that they can now engage in. Don’t micromanage or hover over them, walk beside them and support them. They may actually have a better way of doing things than we do. Rather than giving a bunch of directions, ask questions that will give them the opportunity to discover new truths as they search for the answer.

Ongoing training will be essential. For the young men at my church, I decided to walk them through John Maxwell’s book, The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication. Each time we meet, I give them another Law to consider. I highly recommend that everyone have a growth plan. The leader needs to take the lead by showing the team their growth plan and encouraging each person to find at least a couple of areas that they will focus on growing in.

Assessments – I am a big proponent of assessments for learning as much as we can about ourselves and others. A DISC assessment opens the door to understanding a person’s personality and how they prefer to interact with others. The Six Types of Working Genius assessment reveals a person’s working preferences. It also allows you to create a team map so you can make sure all areas of work are covered.

My first big takeaway from 2023 was the reminder to help people grow in their giftedness. I was so excited to see that I had started this process with the young men at my church. It was also a bit of a kick in the pants to get moving and schedule our meetings in the New Year. The next time you see me, ask me when our next mentoring meeting will be.