For a while now (several years if I'm honest) I've had a longing to try and equip people within Kerith who are leading, but in leadership roles in the market place rather than in church. That could be in a company, in a school, in local government, in a hospital, in a charity, in a local kids club or football team, anywhere you have responsibility for leading others. It could also be in a setting, such as in a sales role, where you may not directly line manage anyone, but indirectly you need to influnece a whole load of peole to get the results you want. It could be someone who is self employed. Or it could be someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, trying to start something from scratch.
Many of you will know that my background isn't in church leadership, but in electronics, designing computer chips for a whole range of different applications. I don't use too many of my electronics skills in what I do at the church (and I refuse to get involved in trying to fix the photocopier) but I do draw a lot on what I learnt about building businesses, about creating the right culture, about the need for a clear vision, about being honest and ethical, about the importance of hard work, about building and managing teams and about taking calculated risks in order to grow.
So here's what I've done. On Friday 2nd November I've booked a room at the Bracknell Hilton (the one by Sainsbury's) from 7.00-8.30 am to gather and equip Kerith people who are leading in the market place. There will be a full cooked breakfast, tea, coffee, orange juice and all that sort of stuff. For this first one I'm going to speak about my experience of seeing BlueArc, the company I've worked for over the last 13 years, go from a small venture capital funded start up to being acquired by Hitachi Data Systems last year. If this first breakfast works then I'd love in future to get other leaders in to equip and envision us.
Tickets for the breakfast are £15, available either from the Kerith Reception or by phoning the church office on 01344 862699. There are only 70 places available so please get in quickly if you want to come.
I'd also like to encourage everyone who comes to the breakfast to also come to the Willow Creek Leadership Summit on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October. Having heard the talks live in August I can assure you it is brilliant - in particular the talks by Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni and Condoleezza Rice will give you enough leadership thoughts and ideas to keep you going for quite some time.
People from Kerith can book in to both days of the conference for £35, or one day for £25, again via reception or by phoning the office. However, if you book in to both the breakfast and the two days of the conference you get a combined rate of £45 - there's a bargain!
Hope that all makes sense, and I hope both of these are events which will serve you well.