It’s nice some days when you can clear your head. After three days in Atlanta, I needed one.
Today with Jane and Lucy was one of those days, and I still managed to get a few things done. Getting back from a conference is a good time to process and look over the notes taken and trying to fill in the details that are on the edge of memory. Three workshops and five key note speeches contain a lot of info.
I’m still sorting out my steps for going from information to action, but here’s a general outline of the process.
1) Listen well.
To everyone that will be involved. People do not always know their own minds, but they will often process orally with other people in the room. The more people the more they process. If you are leading anything, listen well. New information that you intake at classes needs time before you present it to people. You have to listen and see what you can take from it. The seminary words for this are exegeting the situation. Painters and poets – I suppose all artists – take in the world and the philosophy and the ideas. When that’s done, then they can really get down to completing a work. The work begins in listening and often writing/sketching/planning right then and there. Leadership is an art in the same way.
2) Simplify and Clarify
Figure out which ideas you want and can implement well. Then make it clear and easy to understand. The best writers like C.S. Lewis or Joseph Conrad take immensely complex ideas and put them into language and metaphor that are easier to understand. It’s always good to keep writing on or thinking on ideas until you can really get a clear way of conceptualizing them.
3) Implement One Idea at a Time, at the Right Time
Don’t get tempted to try to do everything at once. We’re all tempted to do everything at once. The conference I went to was a pep rally for pastors, great to get pumped up. Getting carried away in the moment can lead to mistakes and too many complications creates crazy challenges to revising any application. In other words, do too much at one time or with inappropriate timing and you end up not being able to sort out the reasons for success or failure.
4) After Implementation, Reflection
Always a good idea. After taking a test, after a competition, after well even cooking a meal – it’s always a good idea. If you can figure out what criteria you want to use before you start, that may work. This can work effectively only if you are willing to tweak (to evaluate your evaluation.
These are just rudimentary ideas, but if you over think everything, it’s harder to act. This is a process is for me an act of prayer, each part a consultation with God. This little frame work offers multiple opportunities to enter into prayer while processing ideas and following a calling.