By Thom Owens. It is said that you cannot train people to be leaders, they must be developed. Whether you subscribe to this axiom or not, knowing what and how to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of leaders rarely happens on its own. As we explore together this adventure called "life," we have tools available to us to navigate it successfully. Often times others have gone before us, but not all of those paths lead to success. We have to know which paths lead to success and which ones do not. This reminds me of an example from my college days. I competed on our university orienteering team. For those not familiar with the sport, it is a combination of completing a timed land navigation course using a map and compass to find specific points on the ground and cross-country running. You compete as an individual but also as teams of two, teams of four and then as a school as times are combined for each runner and averaged. My teammate James and I took first and second place as individuals, first for the two, four and team categories at the Inter-collegiate championships in S.t Louis, Missouri that year.
A few months later I found myself at my Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Advanced Camp at Fort Lewis, Washington. Here cadets are trained and assessed against their peers before they are commissioned as officers in the Army the following spring. One of the training events was the successful completion of a land navigation course. I was in the second class to rotate through the camp so one other group of cadets had been on the course before us. As I was on the course I was running on a particular azimuth for a particular distance and I crossed through a semi-open area in the woods and when I got to the other side there were three paths in the tall grass going into the woods all within a few meters of each other. My azimuth was not lining up exactly with any of them... Rather than cut my own path on the azimuth I was walking, I shifted to the left and followed the middle path. I doubted myself just a little, thinking I might have drifted to the right (a common occurrence with right handed people) and I trusted that the person who went before me knew where they were going. The rest of the story is that the middle path did not take me where I wanted to go and I failed the course. I, a member of the inter-collegiate orienteering championship team and second place overall in my category, had failed land navigation. It was beyond embarrassing. Fortunately, I got a second chance and passed the course on my second run.
I tell you this story to highlight that not all paths lead us to where we want or need to go. When navigating the path of leadership, we really have to be sure of where we are going because others are counting on us to lead them as well. The good news is that success leaves tracks that unlike the freshly broken trail in the grass, are known and distinguishable. As a leadership development organization, the CBCHR can help you identify and walk the path that leads to successful leadership; leadership modeled after the example set by Jesus Christ and the biblical principles through which He showed us how to live every day. Get plugged into the organization and start or continue on the path toward successful leadership with other travelers on the same journey. We look forward to the opportunity to travel together.