The National Institute of Christian Leadership was carefully designed with practicality as its preeminent and presiding value. I have developed every page of the NICL material with one idea as my true north. Keep it practical. That was the foundation upon which the NICL was created and it remains my singular determination. I continue to tweak the dials, constantly trying to enrich the material, add to it, carve out the superfluous, and improve the presentation.
This year-long program is now fuller and better and uses more sophisticated technology than ever. There are, for example, well over 275 individual graphic presentations from which the lectures are presented. Hundreds of leaders in business, the ministry, education and even politics have attended and graduated. Many have gone on to seek graduate degrees from multiple universities.
Three college presidents have attended. An Oklahoma state senator attended, as have pastors of mega churches and, in fact, churches of every size. Business persons from real estate to publishing to construction have attended and found the NICL invaluable. Students have commuted (four times in the year of the NICL) from multiple countries including Brunei, Myanmar, Albania, Israel, Canada and Australia among others.
Why? That is a serious question. Why do leaders who are incredibly busy with jobs and companies and large ministries take the time to attend the NICL and subsequently describe the program as “the most important educational experience of my life?” Why would the founder and owner of one of the world’s most prominent Christian publishing companies say the NICL “transformed my company?” Why are more than one hundred pastors bringing the Institute to Australia in 2016? Why?
I believe the answer is “practicality.” I try to steer clear of platitudes and vague theories of leadership and opt instead for practical management techniques that were proven in real life laboratories. What leaders want to hear, need to hear is, “This was the problem. This is what we did and these are the reasons it succeeded… or failed, for that matter.” Though failures are a lot less fun to talk about, I do talk about them because that is reality.
In leadership and management, devote yourself to the two values of reality and practicality, and those whom you lead will rise up and call you blessed. This is especially true of your youngest staffers. They don’t care what your title is. They have little regard for protocol and politics. They do NOT want theory from some book you’ve read. They want to know what you know and they want you to tell them the truth.
Ever had an idea that flopped? Don’t hide it. Tell it. Tell it and take the blame and tell them why it flopped and they will love you for it. At the NICL, I tell the story of a small group evangelism program that I wrote for a mega-church I pastored at the time. It didn’t just fail. It failed utterly, horribly, beyond my darkest nightmare. Every class loves that story. I don’t enjoy telling it all that much but they just lap it up.
Your followers know you’re not perfect. They do not expect perfection. They want the benefit of both your harshest and most gratifying experiences. They want reality. They want truth, even tough truth. That’s why they come to the National Institute of Christian Leadership. That is also why your youngest and most promising employees stick with you. They want your story, your wisdom, your experience. They can see the miles on your odometer. They want to know what you learned on the trip.
For more information on the National Institute of Christian leadership call Daniel Prince at 407.333.7106, or visitthenicl.com