LF Blog and News

2016 Annual Report

We are excited to share the Leadership Foundations’ 2016 Annual Report with you. Last year was filled with a remarkable number of developments that have further positioned Leadership Foundations (LF) and our members as a force of good will on behalf of cities throughout the world. In this report, you will learn about the intentional process LF has taken to cultivate and drive global impact.

 

Click here to download the 2016 LF Annual Report

 


Eucharistic Leadership Whispercast- Episode 27

Take a moment to listen to the latest episode of the City as Playground Podcast.

 

What would it look like if your leadership was shaped by the Eucharist? In this Whispercast, Rick and Dave discuss LF’s perspective and its implications. This sets up our next full length podcast where they will dive into the shape of Eucharistic Leadership in more depth. Listen here and send in any questions you would like answered to info@leadershipfoundations.org.

 


Achieving Greater Impact

How can Leadership Foundations achieve greater impact in cities around the world? In March 2015, we set out to answer this question by launching the Advancement Plus Project (APP). Two years later, we are excited to report that we have made key shifts that have gone a long way to answering this question.

 

We often describe the experience of APP and working with the Bridgespan Group as engaging a “benevolent agnostic.” The Bridgespan Group’s benevolence was characterized by a caring and empathetic spirit as they listened deeply, asked penetrating questions, and provided positive options. Their agnosticism was demonstrated in the way they demanded corroborating data to support any strategic decisions thereby dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”. This rigorous analysis was applied to LF’s wheel of change, determining if it made cities better, and how LF added value to our members.

 

Bridgespan’s gift of benevolent agnosticism was a gift to LF and provided the necessary framework to measure organizational shifts moving forward. LF used this clarity to prioritize our time and resources on: a more deliberate focus on member performance improvement; more time and resources for LF function-related services rather than domain-related services; the prioritization of tailored rather than broadcast supports; and an emphasis on growing impact within the existing network rather than by adding new members.

 

With this focus, LF has made a number of key advances that are bearing great fruit as we continue to drive positive, permanent change in cities around the world.


The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg

Many years ago G.K. Chesterton wrote a wonderful book called Orthodoxy. Among other things he wrote a chapter called the Ethics of Elfland where he made an argument for why fairytales had a kind of resiliency and permanence. His answer was quite straightforward: they last because they are true. Recently LF had a Goose That Laid the Golden Egg type of experience that reaffirmed Chesterton’s insight. First, some context.

 

Over the years, Street Lights has explored one of LF’s niches: we understand cities to be living, breathing organisms. LF approaches each city through a common framework—LF’s Wheel of Change—while allowing each city’s context to determine their areas of focus. This approach, process over product, allows the city final arbitration in deciding what needs to change for the better. This niche, and keeping it sacred, makes all the difference.

 

And here is where the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg comes in, and it has less to do with the moral of the story and more to do with the content. Recently a new city was interested in becoming a member of the LF network. One of the steps we encourage is to visit an existing LF member city. The new city took this advice and went to hear from an older LF member about all that God had done over the years, reviewed the size of the budget, the amount and impact of programs and the buildings owned. What became obvious is the new city was becoming increasingly awestruck and began to fall prey to seeing its task as one of simple replication.

 

During the tour a Leadership Foundations staff member stood up and said the following; “you have just had the privilege of hearing about all of the golden eggs that have been laid in this city for many years. These should be celebrated. However I am here to help you discover the goose—LF’s wheel of permanent change—so your city can have its own golden eggs.”
This, in short, is the key to LF’s effectiveness in cities throughout the world: we plan and pray about the “goose”, allowing for cities to have their own “golden eggs.”

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Wheel of Change

How do you make a city better? How do you transform a city into a playground?

 

These are the questions that Leadership Foundations is devoted to answering. Through over 35 years of field-tested work, we believe the key is developing leaders who drive the wheel of permanent change in their cities by increasing mastery of our three functions: engaging leaders of good faith and good will, building the capacity of others, and developing joint initiatives. Through consistent application of these three functions to a particular place over a given amount of time, cities do in fact get better.

 

Our members love their cities and we want to help them love their cities in practical ways that make their communities more whole. That is why we focus on resourcing our network. We do this by connecting, developing, and equipping them through a variety of key services. Whether it is the support of a Senior Associate, one of the veteran coaches assigned to each member, or using the Stages of Impact tool to develop a plan to deepen their impact and mastery of the three functions, we are working to strengthen our members. This commitment to better resourcing our network will make our members better, which in turn makes our cities better.

 

Around the world Local Leadership Foundations are using the LF wheel of change to transform their cities. As we begin a new year, we are excited to report that our members are doing just that- driving positive permanent improvement in their communities to make them more like playgrounds.


Servant Leadership Whispercast- Episode 27

Take a moment to listen to the latest episode of the City as Playground Podcast.

 

If we take the city as playground metaphor seriously, how does it shape our leadership in the city? In this Whispercast, Rick and Dave reflect on this idea and discuss how servant leadership can move us from transaction to transformation, from a culture of management to leadership. This sets up our next full length podcast with Dr. William Hutton, CEO of JMJ Entrepreneurial Excellence LLC and LF Leadership Council member. Listen here and send in any questions you would like answered to info@leadershipfoundations.org.

 


The Untold Christmas Story- Episode 26

Take a moment to listen to the latest episode of the City as Playground Podcast.

 

How does the Biblical Christmas story speak to our 21st century cities? In this episode, Rick Enloe and Dave Hillis explore an untold version of the Christmas story that mirrors the realities of our world today. Join them as they discuss how the untold story, complete with rough edges, brings us hope and can help us see our cities in increasingly clear ways.

 


2015 Annual Report

Leadership Foundations took many important steps in 2015 that have further positioned us to positively impact cities around the world for generations to come. Through this report you will learn about the processes, decisions, investments, and strategies taken to achieve these impacts. It is our sincerest hope that you sense our deep thankfulness for your contribution to making cities better and that you receive further encouragement to invest in LF moving forward.

 

Click here to download the 2015 LF Annual Report

 

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The Table- Episode 25

Take a moment to listen to the latest episode of the City as Playground Podcast.

 

Including diverse voices and expanding the table was core to Jesus’s work. In this episode Rick Enloe, Dave Hillis, and Rev. Dr. Jean Milliken look specifically at the historical inclusion and exclusion of the female voice and how this has shaped our view of the world. Join them as they use psychology and theology to explore this idea and invite us to embrace a fuller language and understanding of God.

 


We Must Rise

In August, 250 leaders from across Africa and around the globe gathered in Pretoria, South Africa for the Urban Ministry Consultation. For 20 years, this event has represented a space in which urban people working in the trenches of post-apartheid South Africa, or in urban slums and inner cities elsewhere in the world are able to connect deeply, share experiences and struggles, and discern together what God would have for them back in their cities.

 

The 12-day, three-part event which included the LF Africa gathering, brought together urban ministry practitioners, activists, students, and scholars to explore how to be prophetic communities taking local ownership for reconciliation and justice. The theme of this year’s Consultation was We Must Rise: Healers-Dreamers-Jesters and was inspired by recent student movements that swept campuses across our nation, pursuing aims of decolonization; addressing university fee structures to give increased and just access to poor students; fighting for an end to outsourcing and exploitation of workers; and changing language policy and curricula to be in line with the South Africa of 2016 and beyond.

 

This has come to be known as the #Fallist movement as the focus was on constructs of colonization and oppressions that had to fall! As faith communities in cities, our concern is with the vacuums that might be left after certain constructs have justifiably fallen. How do we ensure that these vacuums are not filled by even more oppressive forces? What do we rise to? What do we put in its place? How do we take local ownership to build ethical, aesthetical, healthy and vibrant communities- cities that are playgrounds- where all of God’s people can live with dignity and meaning, sharing in the abundance of God’s resources? These kinds of questions are central to the work of Leadership Foundations, and we took them up at this year’s Consultation.

 

Continue reading about what took place and take-aways from Stephan de Beer- Director of LF Africa and Senior Associate