Thursday, February 16, 2012

I am moody and I have a nice butt

"Any preacher who doesn’t think he’s a fraud is – a fraud."

Assayas: What about your own sunglasses, then? Do you wear them the same way a taxi driver would turn off his front light, so as to signal to God that this rock star is too full of himself and not to hire at the moment?

Bono: Yeah, my insincerity… I have learnt the importance of not being earnest at all times. You don’t know what’s going on behind those glasses, but God, I can assure you, does.
(Assayas, more)
We have a tremendous capacity for self-deception.

As part of  a class on Ministry and Leadership I was subbing for, the assigned topic was the book "The Dark Side of Christian Leadership."  We had some great discussion about how our  individual "dark side" ("Darth  Side" vs. Anakin side)  issues affect our life and ministry.   The students had completed the survey in the book, so they each knew which category they "were":

It's hard, because the categories sound so hard  ("hardening of the categories")and clinical, and everyone comes out with a  default dark-sounding dark side "orientation"(not a clinical diagnosis!).  A power-point of the book, summarizing the categories is HERE:
  • The Compulsive Leader
  • The Narcissistic Leader
  • The Paranoid Leader
  • The Codependent Leader
  • The Passive-Aggressive Leader

 I came out "narcissistic,"  (Steve will love that!) Must be true, considering stories like this about me.
I am proud of my humility.
           And proud of that pride.
                           Proud of my low-self esteem, etc.

So here are my results (you can take the survey at this link here,,..dare you!) in all their gory glory:

Then  we spent a few minutes orienting the students to the "Johari Window"...

 ..highlighting the fact that we  may not know how obviously our dark side is showing, or even know what it is...but others do:

The Johari window is a technique created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955[1] in the United States, used to help people better understand their mental instability. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.
When performing the exercise, subjects are given a list of 56 adjectives and pick five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid.[2]


Open: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of.

Hidden: Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.

Blind Spot: Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots".

Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant's behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits.  Wiki

It's so true that we can't really know ourselves until we are known by another (Tournier)

All this carries profound insights for epistemology, psychology....and especially leadership/dark side issues.

So as last-minute lark, (why be normal?), which I was hoping would be a lively teaching moment, I asked for volunteers to take  a clipboard around  campus, and ask anyone on campus  (student, faculty, staff) who knew of me to list 5-6 adjectives that described me...anonymously, of course.

I knew there might be surprises; stuff I didn't want to hear.
Which was the point of the teaching point.

Here's what they came back with, and I post this for the big LOL at the last answer:

The students also told me someone who didn't know me answered the question anyway: That answer was properly ironic and partly true:  they said I was "narcissistic"   (Anyone sending students out to ask people what they thought about him was obviously narcissistic!)    (:

Then I had another group of volunteers phone some people who knew me Dallas Elder and Nancy Boyd..I knew she would be honest!!), etc.  They were asked the same question, and promised they could be honest, as who said what would not be revealed when the answers were revealed to the class.

I was glad to get some positive feedback.
The narcissist in me was thrilled.

One person, though, said:



I don't think I'm moody!

That makes me moody, by the way...

I needed to hear that.

I even asked my wife later, and she basically said, "Well, you may have  lots of issues, but being moody isn't one of them."

That felt better.
But dang it, I must be.
There are things about me that I don't see, my wife may overlook....but are me.

And I really needed to hear that.
Which is precisely the point of the teaching point..

Anyway...I better quit blogging on this; as I'm getting moody.

But as for whoever it was that said I had a "nice butt"..

I think the actual quote was transcribed wrongly.
                           The person probably said,  "He's nice, but..."


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Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!