Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lessons for leaders from Hurricane Katrina.

Eric Reed, Leadership managing editor offers up his "rant" on lessons for leaders from Hurricane Katrina. Eric is right - everything rises and falls on leadership - Rosalynn Carter comments, "A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be. "


Please forgive my rant. I pastored in New Orleans for almost ten years. For a month now, I have watched as two hurricanes have devastated my church family, friends, and relatives in the region. I've searched the internet for aerial photos of our neighborhood, only to find most of it under water—our work of a decade, at least in terms of properties, destroyed. Whether the church body will return to renew the work there is seriously in doubt.In the Insight just below I offer a few observations about the failure of leadership in a time of crisis.

I have spent much of the past month calling ever-busy phone numbers, e-mailing friends who might have heard from other mutual friends, and searching the internet for aerial photographs of my old neighborhood. Was my former church still standing? My seminary? My friends' homes?

I have spent much of the past month remembering. I lived in New Orleans nine years as seminary student and pastor. In that time, the grimy gumbo of cultures became my home. I became enamored of the food and music. I was befriended by people I hope will remain close for my lifetime. I came to care deeply about the place. I also became aware of the depth of New Orleans' poverty—and its breadth, especially in Orleans parish where I lived and ministered.

And I have spent much of the past month pondering the effects of one, now two hurricanes; the horrific loss of life and the state of my former church, whose current pastor—rescued from the roof of his home—now ministers in exile. So many members are deciding to relocate outside the city that the future of that church and many others is in jeopardy.

And I have come to the conclusion that once again it's about leadership.

Read the rest here

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