The 5th Point: Aspiring Servant Leaders Conference Follow-up
By: Mac Tristan, Coppell Police Department & 2018 ASLC conversation starter
It’s been four weeks since I spoke at the Sophia Aspiring Servant Leaders Conference in Fond du Lac. After these talks, I can’t help but wonder the impact made on participants. Was the conference of value? What were your “take-aways”? And what have you done since?
There were over 200 people present that morning and as a speaker, I always do my best to capture everyone’s attention. I’ve been a participant at many such conferences — and I can’t help but notice a lot of people playing on their phones for much of the time. Are they really listening? And if they are looking at the speaker, what are they thinking?
“Gee, I wonder where I should eat lunch today”
“Did I leave the coffee pot on this morning?”
“I hope they have donuts on the break”
Well, I can tell you that the Sophia conference was different. Christa Williams, executive director of Sophia, said it herself when she commented on the energy in the room — indicated by the loud talking and laughing during the table dialogue. That’s the fun part. That’s a conference full of people that want to be there, that are engaged, thinking, imagining the possibilities. I absolutely loved the energy in the room. It was contagious.
And, the mere fact that people are asking the following questions tells me that you were paying attention.
“What was the 5th point? The slide said 5 points, but he only spoke about 4?”
“Was that a trick? Did he forget? Was it a mistake? Is there more?”
So, relax my Wisconsin friends. There is a 5th point and my intent was to talk about it at the end. But I got caught up in the energy myself and I was concerned about my time limit.
The 5th point is this: “Be Intentional”
Intentionality is the key for all of this to work. For example, leaders must aggressively and continuously work at building a great culture. We cannot take a day off. We cannot think we are done. We need to attend to those around us in word and action. Good thoughts are worthless.
How many times have we thought about thanking our team for doing good work and then never follow-up? How many times have we thought about sending a simple “thank you” note to someone for the great work they did on a particular task and then never did it.? At the Coppell Police Department, we write commendations to employees that have gone above and beyond,
that model the behavior of our culture. Once that commendation is written, every member of the command staff writes a personal note on that commendation memo. Then it is presented to the employee, read in front of their peers, and posted on the department bulletin board. What if wenever did that? How valuable would our employees feel?
Being intentional is not a complicated idea but for some reason, it is hard for people act on. It is too easy to make excuses; “there is always tomorrow, I’ll get to it next week”. Then, it never happens.
So, think of the word itself. Where have you fallen short? How can you be more intentional? Where can this idea of being intentional apply in your life? What actions do you have to take to hold yourself accountable?
Intentionality applies to every aspect of our life. It impacts our health, our relationships, our intellectual growth and spiritual growth.
If we are not intentional, none of the other 4 points will matter.
And by the way, I didn’t notice anyone on their phones while I was talking.
Thanks for listening.