Becoming a CLO

Brad M. Griffin | Jun 1, 2010

Im excited about todays June FYI E-Journal and the new resources were sharing. One of those resources is a video of a talk by Tod Bolsinger that weve (re-)titled Chief Learning Officers: Becoming Adaptive Leaders.

I was able to hear Tod give this message to a group of Fuller grads who have been serving in ministry post-seminary, many of them youth workers. Tod uses the narrative of Lewis and Clark adeptly to frame Harvard theorist Ron Heifetzs leadership model for pastoral ministry in what I found to be a helpful way.

Real change in just about any context requires new learning on the part of everyone involved. This means adaptive change rather than simply changing structures (think programs, processes, peoplethe things we usually change when we want to fix something thats going wrong). One of Tods conclusions is that we in ministry must re-vision ourselves as CLOs, Chief Learning Officers. In other words, as leaders we become the first to say, I dont know. We become the first to remind others that we have more to learn together. That frees usand the community around usto pursue whatever new thing God wants us to learn through the opportunity at hand.

I dont know about you, but I like the ambition of becoming a CLO. Its gutsy. Its anti-superyouthpastor. And it rings of something Jesus cared a lot about: discipleship, becoming people who are good at learning as we follow the Master.

Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Senior Director of Content for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of Faith in an Anxious World, Growing Young, several Sticky Faith books, Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World, and the series Can I Ask That?: 8 Hard Questions about God and Faith. Brad and his family live in Southern California.


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