The leader’s dilemma’s

Had an interesting meeting today with a so-called Christian Leadership Council, with about 60 people from different areas of society (business, non-profit, politics, academia). Cees Boele, Chairman of christian college CHE in Ede, hosted the event. He shared some interesting thoughts and observations about education and personal development, as well as a personal evaluation of the dilemma’s he faces as a leader:

  • About 60% of today’s managers and leaders suffer from chronic fatigue. They are spending most of their time on information processing, less time on transforming that into knowledge, and hardly any time at all is left for turning knowledge into wisdom. The problem is that most managers do not have an adequate system of selection and therefore are overwhelmed. The ideal model is to spend some time on information processing, more time on knowledge and most time on gaining wisdom.
  • The economisation of education pushes the schools, colleges and university into productivity thinking: more lessons, more input, more work to create more output. But (says Cees) the opposite is what should happen: there should be a productivity reduction in educational systems, leading to better balance in the information-knowledge-wisdom process, leading to increased quality, which in the end leads to a sustainable high-level productivity.

I could relate well to the personal dilemma’s Cees shared with us. It is almost impossible to live up the expectations of (some) christians, and there is sometimes a feeling that professional and christian behaviour are not compatible (i.e., it is unchristian to fire someone). A lively debate developed on this topic, and it turned into a discussion on how to operationalise your faith into daily professional life and leadership. It seems that many non-christians expect christians to be better persons, both morally and professionally. I guess that is true, mainly because these are standards that are raised by us, christians, ourselves. But, as someone pointed out, the difference is not that we are better, but that we have hope – and are more prompt to forgive and ask for forgivess, I would add. I guess there is a lot more to say on this, so if you have any thoughts, leave them here…

The highlight of this discussion was the question of one of the few ladies: how do men show their vulnerability? And silence reigned in the auditorium…

The meeting ended by the way with a nice dinner by a Michelin-star winning chef – probably my first star-food ever.

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