Kingdom Noise Apprenticeship

MODULE 4 || STAGE 1 by seancooper
November 9, 2008, 11:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


What does the author mean by “walking naked into the land of uncertainty”?

How is the normal state of leadership and the fundamental state of leadership different? What are the challenges of moving to the fundamental state of leadership?

Describe how your view of leadership is changing. What do you see as a significant challenge for personal leadership growth?


8 Comments so far
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I feel like the three phrases that the book is constantly referring to (build the bridge as you walk on it, walking naked into the land of uncertainty, and learning how to walk through hell effectively) mean you either have to commit to it totally, or you’re either not going to live, or are going to fail miserably. It sounds similar to a dare. You can’t do a dare half way. You either go all out or not at all. Its a heart and mind transformation like the book is talking about, not one or the other.

The normal state I associate with a managers position in a company which is more comfort centered with rules and regulations that have to be followed. The fundamental state of leadership I associate with a leader who is capable of accountability for their employees or followers, etc. A leader is able to make decision on their own rather than relying on the company to make every decision for them. They go above and beyond what is necessary to get the job done.

The speaker for my guest lecture class this past friday talked about this very leadership idea that this book is talking about. I now wonder if he even read it because there are many correlations between his powerpoint and the message that this book is giving. In hospitality being a leader is very important, much so than just being a manager. Guests dont just want the standard anymore, they want the above and beyond leadership in their guest experience. I’m excited to read this book more, because I know it will be very helpful for me in my class discussions, and within the workplace where I am currently.

Comment by laurenmclaughlin0

Hey Lauren – I really enjoyed reading what you wrote. I am on a train right now headed to Amsterdam and rereading your thoughts. I will post my own thoughts on the reading later today, but I wanted to drop a note on what you wrote.

Going “above and beyond what is necessary to get the job done” is a quality that you strongly possess. This book is excellent in helping each of us see that good leadership means taking ownership of each task on such a significant level that you knock over whatever barriers necessary (not people but other issues that arise).

The reading is also very good in helping us see that good leaders own each situation rather than simply feeling like “I work for this company” or “I work for this person”. It takes you to a level of ownership that you own, which again you do so well.

So my question for you: How do you do this personally? Where do you find the motivation to own something so significantly?

Comment by seancooper

Hey Sean – thanks for the feedback!

When you were mentioning ownership, I feel like every position I have been in, especially at Northland, the leadership around me has really let me make things my own regarding special projects and things which has really helped me learn for myself now that my major is within Hospitality and Events.

Its hard for me to get involved with something when I don’t see how my gifting would be used. Because I have had so many opportunities put before me through this church, I have really had to pick and choose what I should get involved in, and the leadership here has definitely helped me do that. So, for me, being able to serve the Kingdom is directly relating to what I am able to do with my gifting in each situation or opportunity or event.

Comment by laurenmclaughlin0

I like what Lauren said about that phrase meaning we have to commit fully. To me it also means that you have to be truly authentic at the risk of appearing exposed. One must lead in such a way that self preservation is of little consequence. Without knowing whether or not you will be right or whether your efforts will be implemented, appreciated, rewarded or even successful, a fundamental leader must be one that moves outside their comfort zone, even to the point of feeling naked and exposed.

The normal state of leadership is a progressive climb that eventually plateaus. At that plateau the normal leader works to stay within his comfort zone and simply imitates what has been done in the past, the methods and forms that got him to this point. This type of leader lives in the reactive state and is perpetually self-focused. Their focus is own their own needs as they seek to be more of a people pleaser and less authentic. In contrast, in the fundamental state of leadership the leader is constantly growing, changing and adapting. As the book says, that leader undergoes a shift from being comfort-centered to being purpose-centered. The leader is more secure, more externally focused and more creatively driven. They are responders rather than reactors.

One significant challenge that I see for myself and an area that I hope to grow in is that of having my values and my behavior become more congruent as a leader. I want to be all the more aware of who I am, so that I can be authentic and real about who I am not. I want to live from a place of principle and integrity, where the common good is my personal goal, rather than pushing my own self-interests. I am challenged by this reading to discard the desire to “arrive” at a place of leadership but rather to constantly be changing, growing, and developing. I want to be creatively inspired and compelled as a leader.

Comment by Jenny

I hope I never have to walk naked anywhere! Sandy Cohen says it best “fear of the unknown which makes us not move forward”. I hate the unknown, but love walking blindly because I feel like that is when I trust God the most, and makes me lean into him more.

I feel like at this point in our lives we are starting to really figure out who we are, being in college finding our nitches, and in reading this falling into a normal state can happen very easily, once we graduate. But its finding our strengths and pushing forward and taking risks and being self jolted into a fundamental state. I hate routine and being a student it is so hard to not be in a routine. I love being creative and trying to think outside the box, yet sometimes hold back because of those comfort zones.

I am personally challenged by our hs leaders here. They push me to become a better leader. Hanging out with the girls I’ve been mentoring over the years and conversations we have about what it looks like to live a life worthy of being called a follower a leader for Christ. I am challenged more lately about loving all, and being a leader to my peers, which is something I struggle with.

Comment by laurenberlin

Jenny – You wrote some great thoughts… “Their focus is own their own needs as they seek to be more of a people pleaser and less authentic.”

I picked out this one statement because I believe it has such a deep connection to the Gospel. The way I see it, Jesus knew that there is a connection that we have to the Divine when we focus on “other” (vertical and horizontal), and we become more authentically who we are created to be.

Comment by Sean

1. The author describes the picture of a leader that envisions change, commits him fully to that vision and then admits to others that he does not know exactly HOW to get there. They would have to “figure out” how to create the vision. It is only possible if we are willing change and “willing to embrace uncertainty” i.e. to build the bridge as we walk on it. The picture also speaks of others being inspired to follow into change and uncertainty.

2. The normal state of leadership tends to maintain the status quo and where we are at: at a predictable place with predictable responses. It is what comes natural to us. Robert Quinn aptly identifies 4 areas in which the natural and fundamental state of leadership is at complete odds with each other. The natural state it comfort-centered (how can I just maintain what we have with the least effort) while the fundamental state is purpose-centered (what do I want to create?).

The natural state is externally directed (how can I control how others see me so I may survive in this social system?) while the fundamental state is internally directed (here I am increasingly motivated by the purpose I am focused on and less by what people may think).

The natural state is self-focused (I am putting my own interests ahead of collective interests) while the fundamental state is other-focused (being able to put others ahead of myself flows from increased sense of achievement of my purpose. It also increases as being internally directed frees me from insecurity and self-preservation.)

The natural state is internally closed (here being I am so busy being comfort-centered, externally-directed and self-centered that I become less and less secure. This blinds me for the signals that I need to change and I become internally closed) while the fundamental state is externally open (here I moving outside my comfort zone, I am being transparent with others and I have stronger networks with others. These 3 factors make is easier to be more aware of change that is needed and the vision to do it!)

The fundamental state starts with being vision or purpose-centered. As this attitude is implemented it leads to shifts in other areas which eventually come full circle into MORE awareness and vision.

The challenges in moving from to the natural state to the fundamental state for us as believers, I think boils down to a clear picture of the ONE, knowing his love and seeing the vision of world that has more of His kingdom in it. HE becomes more important than ME. This gives us purpose which allows for less worry of what others may think. This in turn allows us to be more authentic and there for other-centered as I can now engage and work with others towards a common goal.

3. Through this reading and a recent conversation I have come to understand that “walking naked into a land of uncertainty” is OK! A leader does not need to have it all “figured out” before you attempt to take others to change. Instead the fundamental state of leadership (in which you are seeking change and inspire others to do the same), allows others to be apart of the process and to actually change themselves. What a relief and an inspiration!

Comment by heidigrundlingh

This is my comment for Module 4 Stage 3, didn´t find another spot to put it:
First I have to say that all four fundamental state of leadership practices have challenged me greatly. But my top one is responsible freedom. Mainly because I am drawn to take responsibilities but in that often don´t feel free. In fact I had two weeks ago a burn-out. Coming from committing to a lot of things. I was doing just to much, which my body was not anymore ready to cope with. I was laying down 3 days, not feeling sick. I simply had no energy to keep myself up. This gave me time to think. I realized that I did nothing really well. But I like to perform well. I was just not happy and not free. I came to see that I evaluated myself by what others think about me, or what I think they think about me:)
I´m right now finding my true self, and already feel a difference. It´s good getting to know my purpose and from it do what needs to be done. It helped me stop doing some things I love, like our Monday youthgroup. It´s not that I want to stop youth ministry. I just feel like my potential needs to be used in another way. There was also one passage that really kicked me. There´s a suffering in my life where I have wondered why God isn´t just taking it away. Well here it comes:”when suffering is imposed on us, we come free by finding the meaning in it.” I asked a lot of times why things are so bad. But I never truly was looking for the meaning in it. It really helps, makes you look to the greater purpose in life: Which is for me making kingdom noise, to fully life in a relationship and get to know Jesus more and more. So that others see and feel it. I´m coming to grasp that when I know my purpose in life and life to it I will more likely do the things I am supposed to do. Therefore also be a greater help, example for others and empower them to live a life beyond what they know.

This semester I have learned to evaluate myself better. To be more careful with what I have: financially, my body, soul, mind, time, friendships and ministry. It was great to have a look out of the bottle. To understand why Africa is at the place where it is with all its problems. I´m now even more concerned that I need to protect the environment. This is not just the job of politicians to make regulations on emissions. I can make a change. It is my decision to take the train instead of car, to buy locally and buy stuff that doesn´t need to be shipped from far away and so on… .
The catalyst for these things happening was the mixture of reading and experiencing in my case. I´m really looking forward to the next semester, specially as it is great to talk on a regular basis with people you love but who are far away.

Comment by andibinder

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