Fresh Snow or Icy Slopes

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By, Tom Rees, Director of Church Planting

When we become a leader, we imagine leadership to be like skiing through beautiful slopes of newly fallen snow. Some of us have found the reality to be quite different. The leadership slopes have been more challenging than we would have ever imagined.

One year, I shared with my family that I wanted to learn to ski. At Christmas, my family jumped on that idea and gave me a few nights in Vermont complete with ski passes. As we drove, we marveled at the beauty of the freshly fallen snow. After a good night’s rest in the cabin we ventured out with great anticipation to Killington Ski Resort.

Upon arrival, I was ready to hit the “Learn to Ski” slope, but my girls had other plans. They decided to teach me and felt it would be best to take me up the gondola to the highest mountain. The logic was it is easier to learn to ski when you have some speed.

Unfortunately, when we got off the gondola instead of freshly fallen snow we discovered ice. Soon my lack of experience on the slope created a frightening experience… for me and for those who were trying to navigate around me. Killington almost KILLED me!

As we navigate leadership and life, sometimes we find ourselves on icy slopes. One of the concepts that Ken Sande identifies through The Young PeaceMaker is that conflict can present us with a slippery slope. Just like I found myself skiing off the trail, many of us tend to have the default of either escape mode (flight) or attack mode (fight).

What is your default response to conflict?

If you find yourself on an icy slope, let me encourage you that you are not alone. To assist you and your ministry, PennDel offers coaching, training and mediation. We stand ready to help you and are only an email or phone call away.

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