Reflections, Ideas, Teachings, Analysis, Observations From Malcolm Webber

Juggling Monkeys have moved to!


Juggling Monkeys has moved to

See you there!


Leadership 500 Excellence Awards for 2014


By God’s grace, for the second time in a row, LeaderSource SGA was selected as one of the recipients of the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards for 2014 “for outstanding achievements in leadership development and programs.” In addition we were selected as a “Top 10 finalist” in the Non-Profit Organizations Category. The complete list is here (we’re on page 12). We thank God for this honor.

How do you ride a bike?


Here’s a powerful article on how people learn. Can you imagine using a formula like this to actually help you ride a bike? Apply this to leader development. What are your thoughts?

Developmental Networks


Here’s an extract from an article on

Instead of taking on the formal role of sole coach or mentor to those you are responsible for developing (or to meet that performance metric of “develops others”), you can help your talent build a network of relationships that will – as a whole – provide the support they need for the next role or level.

Research conducted by Kathy Kram (Boston University) and Monica Higgins (Harvard University) indicates that people who develop faster have a strong network of developmental relationships. This parallels findings from Rob Cross of the University of Virginia that shows a clear correlation between high performance and robust networks.

Then, after some suggestions on how to do this, the writer continues:

With this simple process, your direct reports and mentees can start looking for and lining up key people to add to their developmental networks. You’ll check in periodically and even steer them to specific people, make introductions, but you are no longer front-and-center in the development process. Your mentees are not exclusively “attached” to you – freeing up your time and energy. Just as important, your talent doesn’t have all their relational and developmental assets tied to one person.

Another plus? The organization benefits from a more robust pool of people involved in building talent.

Then, finally:

One last note to all you over-scheduled senior managers. Don’t overlook your own developmental networks. The same strategies that will work for your mentees or direct reports will work for you.

Does this sound familiar?

Of course this is the role of the church in the lives of leaders and in the process of healthy leader development.

For more, see this page.

Africans for Norway!


A satirical video purporting to show African pop stars uniting to support frostbite victims in Norway is “a smart way to question” the effectiveness of aid to developing countries and the assumptions that often underlie it, a reporter who covers development policy writes in an International Herald Tribune column.

This “Radi-Aid” video urges Africans to send radiators to help Norwegians stay warm. Journalist Dayo Olopade writes that the mock campaign effectively shows viewers how such efforts can play into stereotypes about the developing world and ultimately do more for donors’ self-esteem than for the intended aid recipients.

Also see the original site.

Some Significant Advances in the Last Decade


The following are some observations regarding recent advances in the church/missions world over the last few years.

Content Delivery:

  • Ease of content delivery via many kinds of technology. This has been a stunning advance.
  • The rise of mobile phone use for data. So many people individually have personal, immediate and largely-unhindered access to anything and everything. Access to information.
  • Rise of social networking. Fast and simple access to a massive number of people. Access to people.
  • Social networking able to get around national censors and barriers.

Development in Christian Ministry Thinking and Practice:

  • Breaking down of denominational barriers. Therefore, ease and frequency of networking. Getting things done together. In the past we all stayed largely within our own denominational ghettoes and were greatly limited thereby.
  • Rise of “open-source” kinds of practice. Not only as a specific software technology but also as a way of sharing organizational learning. This has given rise to some great brain-storming opportunities and the fast creation and sharing of sophisticated models and tools.
  • More leaders and ministries willing to “give away” their learning, not having to own and control it. Results in a much greater sharing of resources (as well as “credit” for any success).
  • The rise of the truly indigenous church. Fewer Westerners needing (or welcome) to control things and thereby creating impenetrable ceilings. Westerners becoming genuinely willing to serve.
  • Western ministries realizing they have a limited but vital role in serving Majority World churches. Clearly defining that limited role and then keeping to it. Has created opportunity for indigenous church to rapidly grow under their own leadership, while benefiting from the specific, narrow areas of expertise the Westerners can bring. This greater empowerment and ownership by indigenous leaders has resulted in a much broader ministry base.
  • Shifting of missions-vision from parachurch organizations to local churches. This has also brought a great deal of amateurism along with dramatically increased vision and capacity.
  • Increasing recognition of the primary and central importance of leader development. With this shift comes an exponential increase of ministry quantity and quality.
  • Shifting of focus from ministry “work” to development of people, especially spiritual life. This must remain central or else, with the extraordinary advances in opportunities, everyone will burn out.


  • Significant amounts of funding becoming available to Christian ministries around the world.
  • The rise of Majority World philanthropists.
  • The willingness of the funders to fund learning and experimentation (R&D) and not only fund tried-and-tested “production.”

Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?


Here’s a great article from The Atlantic:

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society. Read more.

Are you doing projects or building people?


When you do great projects, you accomplish great things. When you build people, you build the future; the world is changed.

Laying Down Your Life for Your Friends


Good Shepherds are willing to lay down their lives for their sheep (see John 10:11).   As spiritual leaders walking in the footsteps of Jesus, we are called to lay down our lives for our people.  This laying down might in special circumstances mean dying for others.  But it means first of all making our own lives – our sorrows and joys, our despair and hope, our loneliness and experience of intimacy – available to others as sources of new life.

One of the greatest gifts we can give others is ourselves.  We offer consolation and comfort, especially in moments of crisis, when we say:  “Do not be afraid, I know what you are living and I am living it with you.  You are not alone.”  Thus we become Christ-like shepherds.

By Henri Nouwen

Augmented Education


Take a look:

School’s New Session in the latest edition of Fast Company.

A quote:

General Assembly is far more flexible than an Ivy League institution. It iterates and updates its offerings every few weeks, based on detailed student surveys. When its students said they wanted to study Android development, General Assembly ginned up a class two weeks later. A traditional college might take years to meet a new need. This close-to-the-ground, customizable model has been a missing piece of the innovation ecosystem. Top universities can’t always move fast enough to provide the technical and entrepreneurial skills needed in this new world.

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