Monthly Archives: June 2014

Leader Development Gathering

This past week (June 10-13) on The Navigator’s Glen Eyrie campus over 130 leaders along with a few guests converged for an annual developmental experience.  Why do we put such effort and expense into bringing leaders together?  How many times have we all gone to a gathering and when it finishes we leave with a positive feeling and even a few new insights?  However, weeks or perhaps months later, we are hard pressed to remember anything of substance let alone any change in our behavior.  Is the effort and cost invested worth the results?

Unfortunately, I find few people willing to even entertain such a question.  If an organization releases budget for a gathering and the location, content, and participants make it mildly attractive, many leaders will attend.  How can organizational leaders committed to good stewardship of resources be satisfied with little or no post-gathering assessment?

Articles by training magazines and associations tell of budgets in the hundreds of million dollars spent on training and development every year.  Few organizations can substantiate any significant positive behavioral or organizational change from such expenditures.  We have learned to expect such lack of accountability from our government but if we are honest this practice has infiltrated our organizations.  We can and must do better when we are doing so for our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

No one has influenced the arena of thinking on training assessment more than the late Donald Kirkpatrick (  His Four Levels of training evaluation created in the late 50’s is so simple yet so very neglected:

1) Reaction: Here organizers seek to discern to what degree participants react favorably to the training.  Often a final evaluation asks questions to affirm that people left “feeling” good.
2) Learning: Here organizers seek to assess to what degree participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and commitment based on their participation in a training event.  In almost every gathering participants will get some fresh idea.

Rarely do training events go beyond these first two arenas of evaluation.  The result is that organizers assess the worth of the training based on feelings and some knowledge gained.  I am reminded of the verse in James 1:22 where readers are exhorted to not settle for feeling and hearing, “But prove yourselves to be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”  If individual leaders and organizational trainers have a proper sense of stewardship of their time and funds they will never be satisfied with just these two easy means of evaluation.
3) Behavior: Wise organizers will assess to what degree participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the job.  Now this takes effort, time, and expense.  No wonder few organizations invest in such post event assessment.
4) Results: Wise organizations want to assess to what degree the targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training event and subsequent reinforcement.  The most powerful results are those that facilitate a critical mass of leaders making behavioral change so that organizational culture changes in ways consistent with strategic initiatives.

This is our fourth Leader Development Institute and we have progressively enhanced our approach to training so to engage participants with different learning styles and provide time for processing foundational concepts.  Everyone will take time before leaving to complete an evaluation that assesses feeling and thinking but they will also be guided to reflect on personal behavioral change they sense to be needed.  Within a month all leaders will dialogue with their coach about what developmental goals are most relevant going forward and then have bi-weekly coaching conversations.  After six-months all participants will be sent a survey and asked what they remember and what behavior change has resulted.  We certainly can do better in our stewardship of these gatherings but we are moving in a good direction.

How well are you doing at seriously applying what you take time to learn?  Let us be doers!



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Life of David Review

David was indeed a great leader.  God affirmed this truth as did many biblical writers.  How can we mine the precious principles from his life?  If you are interested in going deeper, consider a few of these questions:

What birth order insights can we glean from David being the 8th son of Jesse?

Since David is set in stark contrast to Saul, what can we learn from his opposite?

What can be learned from David’s ancestry, an Ephrathite of Bethlehem?

What is it about the heart that is more revealing of the essence of a person than outward appearance?

How was David shaped during his years of serving as a shepherd?

What are the implications of David uniquely having the anointing of the Holy Spirit?

By contrast, what are some implications of a leader no longer empowered by the Holy Spirit?

How did David’s years of service as an armor bearer prepare him to lead and be king?

How did David’s artistic talent influence his life and leading?

How did David’s relationship with his brothers influence his formation?

How significant is past experience of courage and seeing God provide to ongoing leadership?

When faced with challenges, what resources are most valuable?

How does a leader gain such confidence that God will absolutely come through?

What can we learn from the way David mingled among people?

Which of the blogs on the life of David served you the best?  What fresh idea did you have that resulted in some change of thinking or behavior?  I’d especially love to hear from you if you were led to make some adjustment from reflecting on David, A Reflective Leader.

David was great because he was humble.

David was great because of the people he attracted.

David was great because he was focused on God’s glory.

David was great when he inquired of the Lord.




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