Surgeons and sermons…

Today was a practice filled day in KC. It began with a 5:55 run with FD around Loose park and ended with hugs and kisses with Miss and Krits before heading out for Chicago and then off to London Town. In between, we practiced like banchees with a bunch of people who are learning how to love each other enough to speak and listen to truth. We could have gone a million places into new content. We chose, instead, to go backward to the very basics of building trust.

Today a number of teammates were given the opportunity to get better. One of my favorite practices involved a one on one practice with a “surgeon” who is learning how to preach. Let me unpack this one for you. You see, my surgeon friend is the kinda man you would want operating on your heart, if your heart was in need of repair. Let’s say you had the widow maker valve over 90% blocked. My client would be the guy you would want cutting you open with life giving precision. He is a master of his craft and knows it. He would cut you in all the right places, in just the right ways, to just the right degree, and he would sew you back together with precision. Good. His treatment of his team would resemble a classic Mash unit, if you’re old enough to remember the show. His communication would be ccd and, most likely, lack heart. He would communicate facts, make demands, and leave many teammates feeling their abilities are lacking. He would not be mean spirited or bullying. He would simply be an elite surgeon expecting elite, emotionless excellence, to simply draw near.

Here’s what he’s working on. He’s working on continuing to build his technical skills and master his surgical craft, so to speak. And, he’s learning to preach. He’s learning to speak from the heart and connect, more deeply, with his audience, his patients so to speak. Preachers understand it’s not enough to tell the team once or twice a life giving truth. Preachers are masters at repeating, rinsing, and reminding. Preachers understand the human heart is hurting, regardless how well the patient may appear. So, virtuous preachers, like MLK, just keep repeating the message to a hurting world about something civil and something right. My client thinks one and done. He’s like a surgeon. Precise. Focus on performance. Got it. Humans, however, want to be led by a man/woman who is both strategically competent (like a surgeon) and empathetically connected (like a passionate preacher). Surgeons act with clarity and perform under pressure. Preachers act with compassion and perform with feelings. Surgeons are cool. Preachers are caring.

Today, remember, your team wants you to be both – Surgeon and Preacher. Do you need to master your craft technically or master your caring? You most likely tend toward the technical or the relational. Transformational leaders are both technical and relational. Build both, friend. Build both. Today, a surgeon learned a few new sermons. How ’bout you…

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