January 29, 2015
by Floyd

What Makes a Leader?

This article is an adaptation of an article by the same name, found in the book, On Leadership. It is an excellent article and a great book.

Many leaders I have interacted with over the last 50 years have either been highly motivated or greatly skilled or very intelligent, some even have been very mature with obvious godliness and spirituality. Some have had all these characteristics. But once they were promoted into a higher leadership position, some of these same leaders failed.

Why? What makes the difference? What makes an effective and successful leader?

There are five qualities that are essential to successful leadership… and all of them can be learned to one degree or another.

  1. Intelligence
  2. Skills
  3. Character
  4. Wisdom
  5. Emotional intelligence

All the leaders I have met over the last 50 years have varying degrees of the first four characteristics, but of those that were highly effective and highly impactful only those that excelled in the fifth leadership quality – emotional intelligence – were greatly effective leaders. If they themselves did not possess emotional intelligence, then someone on their team did. Conversely, most of the leaders I know who have not been effective have lacked this fifth characteristic.

It’s not that character and intellect and competence are not important. These qualities do matter a great deal and character is certainly a crucial ingredient for servant leaders. But a leader can be godly and still be ineffective in leading others. And one can be highly educated and very well read, but still fail to connect to people.

So why is emotional intelligence the most common quality of highly effective leaders? Emotional intelligence is the ability to relate well to people. It is healthy self-awareness with an ability to read social signals and adapt one’s behavior to the needs of others – without losing one’s self in the process.

Without it a person can have the best training, be the most traveled, have an incisive, analytical mind, and possess an unquenchable passion for spiritual things, and still not reach their potential for greatness.

Emotional Intelligence Defined

In short, emotional intelligence is the ability to connect to a wide variety of people in a wide variety of situations. It is the ability to identify, accurately name and manage one’s own emotions in relation to other people.

Those leaders with emotional intelligence have all of the following five skills in a high degree, which enables them to maximize their own and other people’s potential.

People without emotional intelligence react easily to others when disappointed or criticized. They withdraw or attack when they feel rejected or left out of a change process. Their first concern is their own feelings and not the feelings of others. They often feel “left out” of decision. They isolate themselves through inability to ask questions, listen and understand what others are feeling or thinking about the decisions being made.

A person without emotional intelligence is characterized by the following:

  1. Lack of self-awareness, that is how they come across to other people. A lack of self-awareness is a lack of understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses and how they impact others.
  1. Lack of self-control, especially under stress, when criticized, or tired. A lack of self-control manifest itself in outbursts of emotion, reaction to others, easily offended, or misunderstanding others; disruptive emotions or moods.
  1. Lack of self-motivation, inability to create structure and make decisions for oneself. Lack of ambition or drive to achieve for it’s own sake.
  1. Lack of empathy, not able to understand and connect to other people’s emotional makeup. This often causes a leader to react to other’s decisions. Or withdraw into an introverted process of thinking through a situation.
  1. Lack of social skill, which is defined as the ability of building rapport with others in order to influence them to move in a particular direction.

Emotional Intelligence Further Evaluated

In a faith community, those who lack emotional intelligence may be highly intelligent, or spiritually mature, or highly skilled in particular areas of leadership or Christian service. Lack of emotional intelligence does not imply a lack of intellect, or an inability to think strategically or see the big picture.

To give perspective, one leadership expert rates emotional intelligence to be twice as important as other leadership capacities or abilities (See What Makes a Leader? by Daniel Goleman, On Leadership, published by Harvard Business Review Press).

I agree. When leaders with high levels of impact are compared to impacting leaders, it often comes down to emotional intelligence.

We need look no further than the life of Jesus to see an example of a leader with an ability to relate to people with a wide range of personalities, social backgrounds, gender differences, educational levels and professions. Jesus connected to the Samaritan woman drawing water as well as the Roman centurion.

Jesus could read a crowd. He knew how he was coming across to people. That didn’t change his responses, but he knew. He was aware. He discerned. He had emotional intelligence.

January 26, 2015
by floyd

Leading Your Team Into the Unknown

Innovate or die. That’s how one great leader described the dilemma of change. If we hold back innovation we do so because of fear of change, fear of losing people, fear of the bottom line.

But leaders lead. Either they lead or someone else will. Innovative leaders assess and they insist on change based on their assessment. They evaluate effectiveness and productivity, and then they make the hard choices.

Great leaders empower their church, team, business and organization to innovate. They challenge the status quo, they model the way forward, they encourage the hearts of the faint-hearted, and they inspire a common vision of what can be.

The last thing a great leader does is accept the status quo. Great leaders appear everywhere we look: in the home, at school, in the office, at church and on the playing field. They are great because they are not satisfied with what is… they know about “change resisters” and “slow-change adapters”, but they flourish in spite of those who don’t do change well.

Great leaders create a culture that says, “We change. We care enough to make hard choices. We believe yesterday’s solutions will not solve today’s problems and will not meet tomorrow’s challenges.”

Great leaders attract other great leaders in the making. They are not interested in creating followers, they want more leaders. Great leaders know an innovative culture attracts more leaders, and more leaders make things happen.

Innovative leaders are not threatened by other leaders. They welcome other leaders to join them because they value leadership more than they value status or comfort or power.

January 22, 2015
by Floyd

Seven Ways I Turn Creative Ideas Into Action

I get a lot of things done.  But I’ve had to learn to work effectively in order to do so.  I’ve learned to let things go undone in order for my dreams to turn into reality.

I’m a visible leader, so people have expectations of what I should do.  I’ve learned not to be the prisoner of those people’s expectations.

I have also learned that busyness is not the same as effectiveness.  The point of this post is not to write about how much you can get done, but about knowing how to turn your dreams into reality.

How do I do that?

  1. I let new ideas bubble up as they come.  I get creative ideas on walks, in meditation times, and when I’m talking to others, in lots of ways actually.  If an idea “hangs out” in my mind for a while, then I journal about it.  I let my mind imagine and dream about what could happen.
  2. I share my ideas with other dreamers.  There are some people who are “can’t-do” type people, and there are others who are “can-do” people.  Can’t-do people can kill not only a good idea, but the joy of creativity in the early stages of dreaming.  We need them, but at the right time.
  3. I’m a person of faith, so I share my ideas with Jesus conversationally.  I believe any good idea is inspired by the greatest creator of all.  So I seek His advice.  I ask Him to give me wisdom, encouragement, and fresh perspective to help me look at an idea from different angles.
  4. If the idea/dream keeps growing in my heart, I continue to journal about it.  I make a list of pros and cons.  It’s at this stage that I ask the “can’t do “people for their reactions.  This is the time to listen to them, as they are great at helping me think through the loopholes, weaknesses and false assumptions regarding my new idea.
  5. I keep three lists of ideas: first, a list of ideas and dreams for “some day” off in the future; then I also keep a list of dreams/ideas I want to do soon; finally, I make a list of creative ideas that I want to get done right away, or as my friends in South Africa say, to do “now now.”
  6. I share my dreams as they grow with change agents and key leaders.  I invite those in places of power and influence to be a part of the decision to turn the idea into an action plan.  I am careful to distinguish between what I am sharing with them for their input, and what I am submitting for approval.
  7. I recruit others to help me do it.  I sell them on the idea, engage them in the process, and start turning it into a reality one step at a time.

January 10, 2015
by floyd

Help Build a Beautiful Shack Home!

I met Zoe as a waitress at The Meeting Place cafe in the southern suburb of Cape Town where Sally and I live. Over the last few months of appointments at The Meeting Place, I came to be impressed with Zoe’s work ethic and friendliness.

Zoe’s a great waitress. I would describe her as responsible, hard working and honest, with a very sweet spirit as well. On one occasion I observed her being mistreated by patrons, but without complaint.

Waitressing can be a thankless job. Your income is dependent on the generosity of those you serve, or sometimes, the lack of generosity. Both my kids have worked as waiters and both have strong feelings about giving generous tips as a result.

Last week I asked Zoe to tell me her story. She lives with her boyfriend in a one-room shack home in a very poor community, in someone’s very crowded back yard. She lives in what we call in South Africa a “township.”

Zoe and her partner, Johnno, have three children. When I asked Zoe her dreams and desires in life, she said she is saving to buy a nicer, bigger “shack” to be able to bring her family together. Zoe and Johnno are desperate to have a home of their own.

I was intrigued. I asked her to take me and a few friends to see the shack she wants to buy to use as building materials. We saw it yesterday. It is 4 x 3 x 3 meters (13 by 10 by 10 feet). Then she and her partner took us to see the plot of land where they want to build in a small “informal” settlement. About 60 people live in this informal settlement, behind Ocean View, a township of about 35,000 people. The informal settlement is primarily inhabited by Rastafarians. Everyone lives in simple bungalows, what many call shacks.

I was impressed with the industrious of the community. I saw a wind turbine, gravel roads built over sandy dunes, land cleared of vicious alien plants called “Port Jacksons”, and friendly neighbors.

I’m sure there is much more to Zoe and Johnno’s story in life… I look forward to building relationship with them and hearing more of their story. But right now, they need help getting established in their own home. So, here is the immediate need, if you would like to help us partner with Johnno and Zoe:

They need $3000 (R35,000), to build themselves a three bedroom beautiful shack. It will be very small, just 4×6 meters (13 x 20 feet). There will be no running water or inside toilet. But with some of my very creative, green friends, we are full of ideas about how to partner with Zoe and Johnno to make it cozy and sustainable. This is their dream, and we believe the dream is going to happen!

We are in this for the long-haul of relationship. We will walk a journey of friendship and partnership with Zoe and Johnno.

Would you like to be part of it with us and them? Join us, won’t you! If just 35 friends give R1000 or $100 each, we can do this for Zoe and Johnno!

To give, you have several options:

1. Give through our PayPal account: floyd.mcclung@gmail.com. Please send a note saying it is for the Beautiful Shack for Zoe and Johnno.

2. Give through our personal bank account here in South Africa: Floyd McClung, Standard Bank, Fish Hoek branch, account number 072079517. To send an international wire you need the swift number: SBZA ZA JJ

3. You can give to us through All Nations in the United States. Send a check made out to All Nations and attach a note that says, “Beautiful Shack, Floyd and Sally McCLung” and mail it to

PO Box 55
Kansas City MO 64030
United States

Let me know if you sent a check, will you?

Thanks you!!

December 12, 2014
by Floyd

Is It Really Possible?

Is it possible to complete the great commission?  And if it is possible to “make disciples of all nations” as Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28, should it be something we should really worry about?

I believe we should.  So does Mary Ho of All Nations, Grandview, Missouri.

The following is an article written by Mary, calling us to give very serious attention to “completion”.  Completion of the Great Commission in this Generation has become a rallying cry for many people in the body of Christ in the last hundred years.  And it is making a difference!

Making Our Lives Count for Zero – by Mary Ho

Two transformational moments altered my life. The first was that Jesus called me when I was 17 years old to follow Him. The second was that eight years ago—after already following Jesus for 25 years— I found a truth that overturned my life. The truth is that our generation lives in the most pivotal time of history since Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection! Throughout history, some generations have laid foundations; others have built. But I believe we are born into the generation that will complete the Great Commission. Jesus has passed into our hands the baton of finishing the Great Commission in our lifetime—not fifty or a hundred years later. Jesus is calling us to be part of the global initiative to Count for Zero[i]: 0 people groups without fulltime workers, 0 languages without a Bible translation, and 0 villages without a community of followers. He is calling us to make our lives count for zero, that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord!

When Jesus mandated us to go and make disciples of “all nations” or panta ta ethne in Greek, He was literally commanding us to disciple all the peoples of the world. According to Finishing the Task, of the 16,350 people groups in the world, there are currently only 6,541 people groups “unreached” by the gospel (less than 2 percent evangelicals) and only 3,004 “unengaged” people groups in the world where there are NO KNOWN workers engaging these peoples with the good news. These unengaged unreached people groups (UUPG) urgently need apostolic teams in residence committed to working long-term in the local language and culture and to igniting disciple making movements.

Is this mandate to catalyze a disciple-making movement in every remaining UUPG do-able in our lifetime? According to Operation World, China alone has 100,000 cross-cultural workers and the U.S. alone sends out 93,500 longterm workers to the nations! This mandate to make disciples of every people is more than attainable in our generation. But the sad reality is that only 10 percent of the global workforce goes where it is unreached and unengaged[ii], and where there are no known believers or workers.

Two days ago, Pam Arlund and I just came back from Finishing the Task meetings at Saddleback in California. It was a gathering of practitioners, leaders, and passionate men and women who have given their lives to getting the job done. We heard from a young Muslim background believer who was persecuted for her faith and died. But Jesus gave her a choice to go to heaven or come back, and she chose to come back to share Jesus. Pam and I are in dialogue with a near-culture worker sharing Jesus among 70 unengaged unreached people groups in Asia. On the plane ride, we were grappling with what we need to modify to more effectively trigger movements among the unreached.

I have in my study at home a baton that Pam gave me a year ago inscribed with Paul’s charge to Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2:2). Like Paul, we are to make it our ambition to preach where Jesus is not known, and to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. From this meeting, Pam and I have the latest verified list of remaining unengaged unreached people groups (link below). We would like to invite each of you in various nations to prayerfully view this list and adopt at least three groups for prayer, vision trips, engagement and planting communities. Many of the countries you are living in have multiple unreached people groups. India tops this list with 236 UUPGs, then China 208, and Sudan 123. But in this age of global migration, even a European nation like France has 33 UUPGs, Germany 21, and the Netherlands 13. The largest Muslim country of Indonesia has 71 UUPGs, and the smaller country of Oman 27. These unreached people groups are within our reach and often within our geographical radius. So let us divide the task and finish the job!

We as AN family are called to be movement makers. We are called to be the generation that completes the great commission. We are called to make our lives count for zero!

[i] I borrowed the term “count for zero” from Issachar Initiative.

[ii] From Finishing the Task by Ralph Winter and Bruce Koch.

Finishing The Task UUPG list:          http://bit.ly/1x8qMsI



November 26, 2014
by Floyd
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The Power of “No”

The excerpts below are from a great article from Psychology Today, titled The Power of No.  I highly commend this article, found on the Psychology Today site:


Here are a few carefully chosen excerpts:

“As a general guideline, five situations benefit from increasing strength to say No.

When it keeps you true to your principles and values. It’s a beautiful thing – emotionally, spiritually, and even professionally – to be generous, to be supportive. But, as sociologists Roger Mayer, James Davis, and F. David Schoorman point out in their classic studies of organizations; integrity is as essential as benevolence in establishing interpersonal trust. It is a requirement for effectiveness…

When it protects you from cheerful exploitation by others.  It’s remarkable how much some people will ask of you, even demand from you, things for which you yourself wouldn’t dream of asking. Protect yourself best from the many who feel entitled to ask by being strong enough to say a firm, clear, calm No….

When it keeps you focused on your own goals.  When her boss criticized her for the second time as a “Chatty Cathy” whose work was late because she wasted too much time talking, Amy felt hurt and unfairly evaluated. Was it her fault that people loved to stop by her cubicle? How was she supposed to turn away Marsha, whose aging mother presented so many problems, or Jim, who wanted her thoughts on the best way to proceed with their clients? Her colleagues needed her support; cutting them short would hurt their feelings and her relationships…

When it protects you from abuse by others.  Sadly, our most important relationships often invite our ugliest communications. In part that’s because the people closest to us arouse our strongest emotions, and in part it’s because they are the people we fear losing the most. Fear can sap the strength we need to say No, just when we need that power most…

When you need the strength to change course.  The invitations are in the mail, but the impending marriage is a mistake. The job looks good to the rest of the world, but it’s making you sick in the morning. Your family has sacrificed to pay the tuition, but law school feels like a poor fit. When you find yourself going down the wrong road, No is the power necessary to turn yourself around….

The problem is getting ourselves to do it. Accessing your own power requires overcoming one huge obstacle: the cost of dishing out No.

Dishing It Out

Simply, No is not a warm send. It’s tough to deliver, largely because we have a gut sense of how it will be received – not well…”

What follows in the article is sage advise about how to say no – and the cost of doing so…to read the complete article go to the link above.


November 24, 2014
by Floyd
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Why Jesus Said “No”

Matt 4:1-11  –  Jesus said no to leadership power, position and prestige

Matt 5:31-32  –  Jesus says no to divorce for any reason except breaking one’s marriage vows

Matt 5:33-37  –  Jesus said no to making superficial oaths

Matt 6:25  –  Jesus said no to worry

Matt 10:34  –  Jesus said no to false unity

Matt 11:20-24  –  Jesus said no to impenitent cities

Matt 12:1-14  –  Jesus said no to religious legalists

Matt 12:32-42  –  Jesus said no to doing miraculous signs

Matt 12:46-50  –  Jesus said no to his mother and brothers

Matt 16:23  –  Jesus said no to a key leader

Matt 17:1-10  –  Jesus said no to staying in God’s glory

Matt 17:9  –  Jesus said no to speaking the vision too soon

Matt 17:24-27  –  Jesus said no to disregarding an oppressive government

Matt 21:12-13  –  Jesus said no to exploitation and injustice of the poor

Matt 26:39  –  Jesus said no to taking the easy way out

November 21, 2014
by Floyd

15 Things To Say “No” To

  1. Say no to negative chatter about others
  2. Say no to emotional entanglement in relationships
  3. Say no to life without margins
  4. Say no to compromising your values
  5. Say no to pleasing people
  6. Say no to being made responsible for the choices of others
  7. Say no if you can’t follow through
  8. Say no to the destructive thoughts of your inner-voice against your own self
  9. Say no to people who are not good for you
  10. Say no to jealousy
  11. Say no to being a slave
  12. Say no to bad eating habits
  13. Say no to self-absorption
  14. Say no to lack of accountability in your life
  15. Say no to “great opportunities” – to stay true to family and calling

November 17, 2014
by Floyd
1 Comment

The Fruit of Your Labors Will Follow You – Part Three

Jesus had fruit that followed him because he lived a determined life.  He cultivated the heart of a warrior and the lifestyle of a lover. He was fiery, he was focused, he was secure. Everything he did flowed out of a secure, love relationship with the Father.

This kind of love is warfare… not necessarily an aggressive, frontal attack kind of warfare, but warfare born of love. Having spiritual fruit that follows us to heaven is the result of fighting for what we love and believe in on earth.

To attack a baby with it’s mother nearby is an invitation to a fight. A mother defends her children to the death because of love. She conceived them in intimacy, birthed them in pain, and nursed them with tender care. They are hers. They belong to her and she to them.

Whether male or female, extrovert or introvert, we are all called to warfare. Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.” Paul said, “I have fought the good fight.”  These words speak of facing trials, tests and being overcomers by fighting for what is ours.

Having fruit that follows us is the result of living a well-directioned life. We face forward, toward the prize. We look forward to hearing “well done.” We know the direction God has called us to face and we face it…not to the right, not the left, but straight ahead.

God determines forward for you. It may not be my forward, but it is your forward. It is the right direction.

We each are assigned a destiny in life… God shapes us and lays sovereign foundations in our lives:  our race, our culture, our ancestry, our personalities and gifts… these are His gifts to us.  It is up to us to receive these “gifts” and develop them for the specific purpose he has for our lives.

If we are to take hold of our destiny, it will be the result of fierce focus on the main thing, that one thing, the purpose and calling of God for our lives. Those who give in to difficult circumstances and challenges in life, those who lose sight of God’s direction for them, lose out.

Having fruit that follows us is the result of living a well-disciplined life. Jesus refused to compromise the truth. He spent time with the Father on a regular basis. He said “no” to lesser passions. He cultivated a life of fasting, prayer, scripture reading and speaking about the Father.

When some of his disciples fell away, Jesus stayed true to the Father. When he faced suffering and death, Jesus said to the Father, “Let this cup pass from me…but never-the-less, your will not mine be done.”

This is not a popular Twitter topic. It’s not news-feed you read much about on FB. There is a well-deserved reaction to religion versus relationship amongst young evangelicals, I agree, but with that reaction we must not throw out the good with the bad. Don’t throw out spiritual disciplines to avoid un-spiritual religion.

By-all-means enjoy life. Life is God’s gift to us to be celebrated. Laugh, play, watch a good movie, exercise, enjoy your friends. Healthy spirituality includes rhythms in life of play, pray and obey.

But as you play, don’t leave out pray and obey. Don’t let God’s grace in your life be in vain. Lay hold of that for which God has laid hold of you. He has a plan for you, he has a destiny for you… don’t lost sight of it and don’t lose hope for it. It is from God and therefore it is worth fighting for!

It is written of Jesus, “For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross.” Some things are to be endured faithfully so we can rejoice fiercely!


November 14, 2014
by Floyd
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The Fruit of Your Labors Will Follow You – Part Two

At a very young age, seeking to recruit a friend to join him in China, Robert Morrison wrote these words,

“I wish I could persuade you to accompany me. Take into account the 350 million souls in China who have not the means of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior…”

The year was 1806. At this time, except for the purpose of trade, foreigners were forbidden entrance into China. Every foreigner, on landing, was strictly interrogated as to what his business might be. If he did not have a reasonable answer to give, he was sent back on the next sailing vessel. Morrison was aware of the dangers but was still willing to go in faith, believing Jesus would open a door for him to stay in China.

Reading about the life of Robert Morrison, I am reminded of the fierce focus of Paul the apostle:

“I consider my life worth nothing to me…if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me” (Acts 20:24)

At about the same time these words were spoken to the Ephesian elders, Paul also wrote to his young disciple Timothy and said,

“…the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (II Timothy 4:6-8).

Paul lived with the expectation that there was a reward awaiting him. He pictured Jesus awarding him on “that day.” It was the vision of Jesus in the future that kept him going in the present. It was the pure picture of pleasing Jesus that ensured the fruit of his labors would follow him.

I too, look forward to that day, don’t you? Can you picture it in your minds eye?

Take a moment and imagine it… you are kneeling before Jesus. As you are bowed in worship, He gently reaches out to you, puts His hand under your chin and lifts your gaze to look into His eyes, He astonishes you by placing a crown on your head. It is the reward given to the faithful who have stayed focused on Jesus.

In response, you take off the crown Jesus gave you and cast it at His feet, acknowledging that your greatest reward is the reward He receives from those who are gathered to worship Him. It is the fruit of your labors on earth that will follow you into heaven.

It is this vision of the future that sustains us in the present.