Thursday, March 23, 2006

A thought on Lame-Duck Leadership

Without Yvonne's comment I almost forgot that I didn't update my blog for more than a week! Initially it was me who lured her to switch her blog from xanga/msn to blogspot yet she has been more diligent than me now! Good for you Yvonne, keep it up!

Well, I will do an update first. For those who absolutely find my life boring and pathetic can ignore the next two paragraphs.

I sort of kickstarted both of my projects, and I'm again fanatically trying to finish one of them while ignoring the other. The on-going one is the AI-ChineseCheckers... I need to extend it from 2-players to 6-players, and although I developed the prototype a year ago, upon reviewing my old code i realize that the design was not good so I am re-coding the entire prototype using Minueto. However, the old problem that I encountered, such as the piece location, memory allocation , arise again. I am so exhausted from it that I decided I will drop the development for a while and relax a little bit.

The other project, the abc compiler optimization, is in an even more appalling state and I can only hope that I have enough brain power and motivations to do it tonight or tomorrow.

I was talking with a good brother-in-Christ (a.k.a. a Christian friend... but of course those I consider brothers are more than just "friends") of mine last night about the fellowship that he's involved in now. Since I still know half of the people in the fellowship, our conversation eventually led back to the fellowship itself. I asked him about the functioning of its committee, out of curiosity. He told me that the leader hasn't been really participated and a lot of work had to be relegated to other committee members. I was surprised because initially I thought the leader was very enthusiatic and very assertive of his leadership (or so I thought). So I asked why. The answer was, the leader is near the end of his academic career, and he is now so busy in his projects and job-hunting that he doesn't care anymore (about anything else).

A word instantly came to my mind: a lame-duck leader.

A lame-duck leader is a leader whose fading influence is recognized by other, especially its followers. Since most decisions made by a lame-duck leader may not be recognized and he is most likely to be replaced by someone else soon, he must make an imminent choice: should he ignore his situation and do as much as he can within his power, or should he take a care-free attitude.

Well, I guess, in this case, this friend of my friend who's also my friend chose the later. And to be quite honest, it's probably the easier choice, which is not uncommon. Let me recount my experience with this...

During my Galilee years (the years when I was in the Galilee Fellowship of ECAC), I developed theory about the productivity cycle of the fellowship committee. The tenure of the committee usually goes from Jan to Dec of that particular year, so I devide a year into three periods:
  1. Workaholic period (Jan-Mar/May): that is a time when the committee members still care and put their maximum efforts into the planning and organization of the fellowship activities. Fellowship time at its best!!!
  2. Fatigue and quarreling period (April/June - August, depending on how motivated the committee is initially): usually people either start graduating and leave or people just have summer-jobs/gone-home/no-motivation. The attendance is probably at its lowest and unfortunately, usually some strifes or quarrels with the fellowship would arise. I have noticed that this happened almost every year and for some reason it's unavoidable.
  3. Lame-duck period (rest of the year): when commmitee is busy in trying to solve the problems that appear during period 2 andl...maybe due to fatigue or fun, spend most of its time finding successors who they hope can do a better job next year.
Contrary to the worldly leaders, almost no one spend time in thinking a worldly question: what kind of legacy will he or she leave behind when they leave?

By the time they leave, will they be sure that they have fulfill the responsibility entrusted by those elected them? Have they genuinely use their gifts to unite the people, to solve the feud between enemies, to care those who are ignored, to love those who feel unloved, and set an examples for the youth?

Will they care how they will be remembered their posts? A faithful stewart, a diligent servant? Or......a dictator, a tyrant? Or someone that others wish to have forgotten...

And, for those who believe that it's Him who have chosen you to that place, how will you react when He summons you to be accountable for what you have, or have not done. Full of regrets? Or excuses? Or complaints? (Or... we just don't believe in this anymore....)

Certainly for me, I'm full of regrets, for the things that I did wrong, and for the things that I didn't do, that I should've done. As for my own legacy.....well....hopefully not deplorable ... but that's not up to me to judge :)

Only one thing that I did not regret, that I have never chosen to be a lame-duck, that not for a moment I chose the easier path and just not care. Of course, maybe for some I've made the wrong choice., but personally, I have found my peace.

And, regardless of what this friend-of-my-friend-who's-also-my-friend chooses, I constantly pray that his fellowship will proper and avoid the Isaac's Galilee Recurring Lame-duck Theory in year 2006 :)

Sorry, again, if I've offended anyone. Please consider that I'm just a crazy old fool who knows absolutely nothing.


enfant de lune said...

Go Chinese checkers! Except we couldn't go beyond 3 or 4 layers in the search tree :(

As for being a lame duck - I think we all get spiritually injured at some point in our serving. We all go through our spiritual ups and downs. We just pray that God will give us the strength to triumph over our injuries and serve to the best of our abilities :)

山宗原人 said...

it's 3 x 2 = 6 layers :)