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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

LESSON 8: Listen to the Wisdom of Many Counselors

Welcome to Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Wayne Pederson is our guest blogger this week for the first of three lessons in "Part 3: Nominees for the Board Member Hall of Fame.”

LESSON 8 OF 40 - Listen to the Wisdom of Many Counselors
Don't ask board members to vote against God!

 In Lesson 8, we learn the importance of a leader’s ability to listen to the counsel of others.  Yes, leaders are supposed to lead and produce a great strategy, hopefully from the Lord. However, the greatest leadership skill is not speaking. The greatest leadership skill is learning to listen.  We as leaders must lead in a way that invites wise counsel from others, especially our board.  

Ideas, plans and strategies must be clearly and compellingly presented to the board, in a way that allows board members to discuss, discern, possibly dissect, then decide.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 8, pages 40-43: 
 “The board wants you to lead, but it’s their job to define the parameters.”
• There is wisdom in many counselors. (Proverbs 15:22)
• “Listen, listen, listen.”

You’ve heard: God gave us two ears and one mouth. So we need to listen more than we speak. More wisely, James, the brother of Jesus, said: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak.”

I’m not, by nature, a good listener. I have to work at concentrating on the one who is speaking. I’ve been embarrassed at times when I’ve mentally checked out of a discussion, only to be called on to respond.

This is not good if you, as a leader, are accountable to a board. Good leaders take wise counsel. They pay careful attention to the advice of others and will process thoughtfully what is being said. 


WAYNE PEDERSON has served his entire career in Christian broadcasting, leading radio ministries at University of Northwestern, Moody Broadcasting, and most recently Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB). He’s held leadership positions in National Religious Broadcasters and Mission America Coalition. He recently stepped aside as president/CEO of Reach Beyond. He likes to say he has moved from management to leadership; and now from leadership to influence. He currently serves on the board of NRB, The Joshua Fund, and ECFA. 

• As leader: Make an intentional commitment to listen to the words of others.
As board member: Resist distractions. Focus on the discussion and issues that impact the ongoing effectiveness of the organization. 


On Jan. 17, 2018, watch for Reid Lehman's commentary on Lesson 9, "Serve With Humility and Experience God's Presence. One board chair creates a holy moment for his CEO search committee."

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