Engage/collaborate with key partners in a way that both supports our partners and demonstrates servant leadership.
To learn to value the perspective, expertise and input of others when collaborating/partnering.
Assignment 1 // Read Philippians 2:1-8 and answer the corresponding questions
Assignment 2 // Read “Principles of Effective Collaboration” by Erica Flora
Assignment 3 // Read the Leadercast Video Transcript “The Emotional Side of Collaboration: Humility and Courage” by Gregg Kober
Assignment 4 // Read the Leadercast transcript for “Servant Leadership Changes Everything” by Dave Workman
Read Philippians 2:1-8 and answer the corresponding questions.
Philippians 2:1-8 (ESV)
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
What is the main theme of Paul’s instructions to the Philippians about their conduct?
What was Christ’s example of being a servant leader?
Read “Principles of Effective Collaboration”
By Erica Flora
Leaders who want to make a long lasting impact in their communities first recognize that there is huge value in listening to , learning from and watching others.. Being a constant student of those individuals, entities and agencies that you partner with is one of the biggest keys to success in being a great leader because it helps to constantly broaden and enrich your perspective.. Great leaders also humbly recognize their strengths and the part they play in the bigger picture in the community. Just as the body needs all of its members to function properly, so does a community need all of its sectors to be fully engaged to make significant change.
True Collaboration can only take place when we take time to learn from perspectives other than our own.
Ask Questions & Become Educated:
As you navigate relationships with partners in the community, asking questions is such a valuable tool. It not only shows that you are interested in taking the time to understand what they experience, need, value and also what they DON’T need and what is NOT helpful. Being in “the know” about the climate and reality of various challenges that your community is facing will also help you shift the perspectives of those you lead. It is our role as Christians and the church not only to educate ourselves, but to advocate for those who are hurting.
Here are some reasons why being educated is SO important:
- It builds trust with those partners
- It informs any decisions made internally
- You become more knowledgeable about various issues the community faces from the ground level
- It leaves little to no room for decisions to be made on assumptions or community chatter
- It shifts your perspective and demystifies stereotypes/assumptions about any topic or group (homelessness, domestic violence, human trafficking, incarceration, foster care, etc) which will help you better advocate on their behalf
- You learn about ways other groups or individuals may have tried to help, but ended up hurting
Look for Gaps
When we don’t take the time to first understand the issue from the partner, agency or even individual’s point-of-view, we can risk wasting time, resources and/or energy on something that might not only not be the a solution, but might also perpetuate the very issue we set out to resolve. This is why looking for gaps in what is already offered is so important.
When the Anaheim Homeless Collaborative [Facilitated by City Net] first came about, the leadership of that group spent 1 full week at La Palma Park, which is located in central Anaheim and is a “hotspot” for those who are experiencing homelessness. They spent time asking questions and getting to know the transients who live there and began to track how many different groups would go to the park and do outreach or distribution (food, clothing, blankets, etc). What they found was astounding. Not only was it a “hotspot” for those who were experiencing homelessness, but also for those who were looking to help meet the needs of “the Homeless.” In one Saturday, they tracked that the residents of the park were served nine dinners by nine different groups! None of these groups were working together, coordinating or at the very least communicating. While they were visiting and asking questions, the residents asked for more trash cans, not more food! The crazy thing about this example is that there was so much food that ended up wasted because well-intending groups kept going by the park and dropping off food . After they noticed this lack of coordination and communication, they knew where they needed to start.
One of the biggest takeaways from this learning for us, at Eastside, was that we would not start individual, “rogue”, outreaches, where items are distributed. We would only move forward on coordinated efforts to stretch our dollars and ensure that we are indeed helping more than we may be hurting. Our goal is to fill gaps in the community and not replicate efforts when it doesn’t make sense. Don’t be hesitant to learn about all of gaps even if you won’t be able to fill every one of them.. Once you learn about a few (or even more than a few) needs, you can choose which items you want to focus on first based on what your strengths and resources are.
Know your Resources and Strengths
Once you have looked, listened and learned, it is important to understand what your “internal” resources are, whether individually, as a small group or as a church. This will help you meet the need, without overextending yourself We don’t want to over-commit and under deliver. We would rather under-commit and over deliver. In some cases, your “means” would be manpower, money, items, availability, emotional availability, etc. These resources and strengths can be ever-changing, which is why it is important to continually to look, listen and learn internally.
Continue to Engage the Relationship
It is so important to continue to stay in contact and connected to the agency you are serving, even when you have already found the area that seems to be a good fit. Always being open to feedback and new input once you have chosen an area to focus on, is so key! This shows that you are not only open to feedback, but that you are truly, interested in being helpful over all. When you are engaging with the partner, you might learn that what you are doing is ineffective or harmful in some way. This is a great opportunity to keep the posture of humility, ask more questions, get more educated, and broaden your perspective on the population you are serving.
Why is it important to be educated and informed before taking action in a specific area?
In what areas can you improve your looking, listening, and learning in your current role at work, home, or community?
What are some strengths and/or resources that you believe you have to offer? Have you used them in the past?
Who have you seen demonstrate these principles well/poorly? What can you learn from their examples?
Read the Leadercast Video Transcript:
By Gregg Kober
Who in your life sets a great example of being both humble and courageous? What makes them good at this?
On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate skill level in this area? What specifically made you give yourself that score?
What are some dangers to collaborating with arrogance? Have you seen this play out in a situation at work, home or in your community?
Read the Leadercast Video Transcript:
“Servant Leadership Changes Everything” By Dave Workman
How have you seen servant leadership demonstrated in your life by another leader?
As Dave mentions, “Servant leaders are people who realize early on that it’s not about you.” How do you do in this area? If you were to make significant progress in this area, what would be the first step you would take?
How does servant leadership play a role when collaborating either with other individuals or even with organizations at a whole?
What can happen in collaboration if servant leadership is not present?