Adaptive Leadership: Leading Courageously and Living to Tell About It.
Organization: 4-6 Senior Pastors meeting monthly online for 90 minutes
Sessions: April 21 – November 17, 2015
Application Deadline: April 1, 2015
Program Fee: $500
LC Facilitator: Rev. Dr. Terry Tieman, Executive Director, TCN
In this Learning Community series, we will focus on the dynamics and practices of Adaptive Leadership. Adaptive Leadership helps people face problems that require new learning and change if their organization is to thrive anew. Adaptive challenges push us beyond our current expertise and ways of doing things. Previous TCN Learning Communities have focused on engaging the mission of the church. In most congregations, engaging in effective mission is an adaptive challenge. Our goal in this series is to equip you with knowledge and skills that will enable you to help your congregation face the pain of change and navigate through the complexities of living out the mission of God in our post church culture.
Adaptive Leadership: Leading Courageously and Living to Tell About It is a 7-month online program. The course is organized into eight modules, each with a specific learning and/or project outcome. Each online session will be conducted through a GoToMeeting platform and last for approximately 90 minutes. The curriculum focuses heavily on the dimensions of adaptive leadership and peer learning.
Including an introductory session to get acquainted with fellow participants and learn the parameters of the program, the group will work through the following 8 modules:
- Introduction to Adaptive Leadership
- Distinguishing Technical Problems from Adaptive Challenges
- Leadership is Dangerous
- What’s Really Going on Here?
- Getting on the Balcony
- Thinking Politically
- Creating a Holding Environment
- Orchestrating the Conflict
For each module, participants will read a section from Leadership on the Line: Staying Alivethrough the Dangers of Leading, by Ronald A. Heifetz & Marty Linsky, as well as read and answer the discussion questions in the accompanying Learning Community lesson provided by TCN. Also, during the course of the program, each participant will be expected to present their Leadership Challenge for Peer Consultation by the group.
We want you to choose a leadership challenge in your current ministry environment. Learning the skills, through practical application and practice that are necessary to impact a difficult challenge in our own context is the goal of this exercise. We are going to use tools to help us achieve these skills, and the primary tool is what we will call a “Case In Point” process, which each pastor will develop. To track our learning, experimentation, successes and failures, we will use a Case In Point. (See Below.)
In choosing a challenge to work on, we want to identify the root cause or issue so that we aren’t simply dealing with symptoms that will initially seem to be resolved, but then later, quickly return to the status quo. To help diagnose your challenge, we’ll use the work of Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky from the book, “Leadership On the Line.” Think about your current ministry context. What are the current problems you and your people are facing? Which of these challenges do you want your Case In Point to focus on?
Case in Point
List your Leadership Challenge and then write a 1-2 page summary of the challenge. Include a history of how the challenge developed and what you have already done that has or hasn’t worked. You will also want to consider the Fact Questions that are listed in the Peer Consultation attachment. Finally, consider some of the diagnostic questions. The idea is to simply present your challenge to the group in a way that they clearly understand what you are dealing with, so that they can coach you on possible ways to solve the problem.
During this Learning Community on Adaptive Leadership, you will keep your own Field Notes on your Leadership Challenge and other skills you are developing as an Adaptive Leader.
Resources: Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of
Leading, by Ronald A. Heifetz & Marty Linsky, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.
Adaptive Leadership Learning Community Curriculum, (Lessons 1-7), TCN, 2013.
We expect an appropriately high level of commitment from participants. To earn a course certificate, participants must complete all of the following on time:
- Attend and participate in 8 discussion sessions
- Submit 8 Homework Assignments
- Complete the Leadership Challenge
- Keep regular Field Notes
- Submit course evaluations.
Make Up Policy
In case of a ministry or family emergency that cannot be rescheduled without putting parishioners, health, or family in jeopardy, partipants may miss up to two scheduled sessions. There are three requirements to make up the missed session:
- Explain your absence to the Facilitator in advance and in writing if possible.
- Watch the video (available in the TCN Dropbox under “lesson video”).
- Within 2 weeks after a missed session submit a ½ page written evaluation of the video (takeaways, pluses, and action steps) to the Facilitator.
Rev. Dr. Terry Tieman is the President & Executive Director of Transforming Churches Network (TCN). Dr. Tieman’s vision is to empower churches to open new doors into their community to reach lost and dying people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. TCN was developed to provide training and resources for judicatories, congregations, and pastors in order to accomplish this transformation process. TCN is a non-profit Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). Currently, there are over 900 churches in the Transforming Churches Network.
Prior to starting TCN, Dr. Tieman served as the Director of Mission Revitalization for the LCMS. He also served as Mission Executive for the Mid-South District for 13 years. In addition, Rev. Tieman was a parish pastor for 12 years in Michigan and Arkansas, where he revitalized 4 existing congregations and planted two new ones. He has led numerous seminars on church planting, evangelism, and revitalization around the United States, Canada, Cuba, Africa, and Asia. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA, in 1998.
Terry is the author or co-author of three books, including, People of Passion: Activities for Opening Doors to Your Community (2012), Skill Builders: Leadership Tools for Opening Doors to Your Community (2012), and Catching Vision: Seeing a New Future for Your Church (2014). Terry’s most recent work has led to the development of Seasons of Discovery, a step-wise church transformation process.
Terry and his wife, Becky, live in Memphis, Tennessee, and are members of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Becky teaches First Grade at Belle Forest Elementary School. They have three grown sons.