My favorite picture and memory from last year’s Fireman’s Fair. See you out there May 1 – 4, 2014.
A wonderful family man, friend and public servant.
Even though the recent recession postponed retirement for many Baby Boomers, it didn’t eliminate it; and now many of them are exiting the workforce stage left.
Because of this reality, many innovative organizations in both the private and public sectors are developing creative ways to develop effective leaders. Here’s a quick look at three unique approaches that could help prepare your team for the future:
Toyota has modeled this with great success. They created a diverse team of young (and I mean young!) leaders and provided some advanced leadership training. However, they also reached out to other organizations in their community and “loaned” this team of leaders to these organizations, many of which were non-profit groups. The purpose was to have the emerging leaders help these organizations solve problems they were facing. It was a win-win in more than one way. The organizations benefitted from receiving input from a different set of eyes. Toyota not only had a public relations win, but their leaders received some hands-on experience. It provided both learning and evaluation opportunities. This is something that many local governments could explore.
- Cross-Departmental Training
In The Southwest Airlines Way, author Jody Gittell describes the practices of Southwest Airlines in developing employees. Due in part to their aggressive cross-departmental training programs, employees are likely to know how their work relates to the work of the entire organization. They know how their work impacts other departments. Gittell argues that this is not typically true for other airlines. This may not seem like a quick fix for developing future leaders, and it’s not, but it may be an important foundational issue. John Kotter, distinguished business professor at Harvard, suggests that creating ways for employees to reach outside the boundaries of their own silos will facilitate innovation because it spreads operational knowledge and builds relationships. No leader is prepared for the future without those two things, no matter how many classes he/she has attended.
- Executive Assistants
This idea, sometimes used in the military, involves taking a young leader and re-assigning him/her for a period as an executive assistant to a department head. The key word is to have them serve as an “executive” assistant not an “administrative” assistant. This is not the next step to being the “assistant department head.” It is one step in the process of developing a future leader who will be much better equipped because of the opportunity to see things from a higher level for a period of time. It may seem like a luxury that you can’t afford to have, but if you are serious about developing leaders, it may be a necessity that you can’t afford to be without.
It was around 1981-1982 that I decided to quit my job and pursue the full-time ministry of an Evangelist. I had been taught by my Pastor that you never make major changes without prayer and fasting. I had a wife and two children at this time (my youngest was not yet born), and making this decision was serious because it would affect their lives greatly. I had to know it was God directing me.
I took a few days off from my job and went on a prayer and fast retreat to the Bogalusa Bible Conference. Back in those days they would let young ministers sleep in the basement to save from a Hotel bill. My mind was pretty made up, but I needed to be sure.
During a break, an elder Minister that barely knew me called me over to him. He told me, “Bro.Ronnie, a mushroom comes up over-night and is practically full grown, but it’s a mushroom. In no time it will be gone. But an oak tree takes years to grow. You go back to Thibodaux and be an oak tree.”
I knew immediately the Lord was answering my question. It was not His will for me to travel around this nation Evangelizing at this time. I listened, but I must admit somewhat reluctantly.
I have Pastored now for many years here in my hometown. I am a blessed man and all my children and their families are in church serving the Lord with my wife and I. I am convinced that my pursuit for His perfect will has blessed our lives.
I encourage you to seek God in your decisions of life. Don’t be hasty and wind up a mushroom. Pursue God’s will for you, accept it, and be an Oak.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
It is such a joy when someone saves a place for us. We walk into a crowded room wondering how we’re going to find a seat, and someone across the way waves us over; pointing to a chair they’ve held especially for us. For a moment we feel a sense of relief, a taste of being on the inside.
Now consider Jesus’ words in John 14:2—”I am going . . . to prepare a place for you.”
Christ promises that He is saving a place in heaven especially for each of us. When we walk into the crowded excitement of the wedding feast of Jesus Christ with the sound of thousands of conversations, clinking glasses, laughter and music, we will once again feel that excitement of being let into the inner circle.
We’ll be welcomed to the table by our Lord Himself. No one will have to scramble to find another chair, to make room for us at the end of the table, or rustle up a place setting. There will be a seat with our name on it, held open at Jesus’ command for us and no other (From the book The Sacred Romance , 182-183).
That will not be by chance. It will only be for those that have prepared their lives to attend. Put your main hope in that special day to come.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
Why don’t you ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?
Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?
Why is it that doctors call what they do “practice”?
Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!
Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
God put the “wonder” in our hearts to search for Him. We were created to know Him and serve Him. Until we find and give ourselves to Him, there will always be some kind of “wonder” to fill the void.
A seashell held to the ear makes a sound like the ocean. If we go 100 miles away from the ocean, it will still make that distinct ocean sound. That is because it was created for the ocean.
We can go as far away from God as humanly possible and our heart will still produce a cry to know God, because we were created for Him.
If you sense something missing in your life, begin your pursuit of God today.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon
If you want to live a life that matters and has the Peace of God in it, learn to know what to bury and what to remember. This Poem I often read at funerals says much about what is important.
A time has come when my life on earth has ceased.
I ask you my family and friends, remember these special things:
Bury my body, but don’t bury my beliefs.
Bury my heart, but don’t bury my love.
Bury my eyes, but not my vision.
Bury my feet, but not the path of my life.
Bury my hands, but don’t bury my diligent efforts.
Bury my shoulders, but not the concerns I carried.
Bury my voice, but not my message.
Bury my mind, don’t bury my dreams.
Bury me, don’t bury my life.
If you must bury something:
Let it be my faults and weaknesses,
My shortcomings and limitations,
My imperfections and failures.
But let my life continue on, in each and every one of you.
Chaplain Ronnie Melancon