Jerome Kalan is the director and key facilitator of Three Things

It’s easy in our busy lives to consider passing up on anything that we perceive as eating into our precious time. So when opportunities arise to help us grow and get equipped as leaders, and especially where such opportunities do not infringe too much on our busy schedules, we tend to grab hold of it.

And that is exactly what happened with the SENT course delivered by Flavio Guaratto from the Evangelical Alliance. He presented the four sessions to a group of us from our local church, most of whom hold leadership responsibilities both in terms of service at church and also holding positions of authority and leadership in the marketplace.

I run a business focussed on delivering business performance improvements to small teams in companies and organisations. I have a passion to see workplaces transformed into places where people work with purpose, experiencing fulfilling work lives and careers, while making valuable contributions to the success of the businesses that they are an important part of. I love working with small teams and first line managers on the front-line. As a Christian, this course has not only helped me gain a better view of how I can improve what I do, but also on what impacts the workplaces in the businesses I provide a service to, be this in terms of the belief systems they hold to, philosophies in leadership and the impact on how people function as a result of these.

I was impacted right from the outset by the succinct, but powerful opening segment covering worldviews. I gained a better understanding of how a Christian view of the world differs from those around me. Too few of us, whether Christian or not, and including those in leadership, consider the real impact of a worldview and yet it has a profound impact on the way things are done in any organisation and how that organisation and its people relate to each other and external parties. Not having a clear enough idea of what the major worldviews are, and how people are likely to approach life and work as a result of their own worldviews, could cause us to fail to engage properly with those around us. We may fail to challenge views and actions that could have a negative impact on people, organisations and broader society. 

As Christians, having an understanding of this also helps us not to adopt an arrogant or ignorant stance, but to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding that reaches out to others and engages with them in a more meaningful way. This allows us to positively influence how life and work happens in the places we find ourselves. A Christian worldview gives hope and resists the onslaught of views that are too often selfish, materialistic and do not view and value people in the right ways.

The third session on building leadership competency was very good, especially for those of us that function within the context of businesses and workplaces. It looks at the impact of how we do strategy, how we act as authentic communicators, how we lead in a way that is not obsessed with who gets the credit, but rather by how much is accomplished. It considers a culture of teamwork, cohesive trust, collective agreement and concrete actions.

The second session covers key aspects such as influence and servant leadership and the fourth session is very inspirational and is centred around the story of how an organisation is transforming its context using its Christian ethos as key to its functioning. It looks at how it and its people faced and overcame adversity to make a difference in circumstances and a location that would otherwise be deemed hopeless by others.

There is a survival-of-the-fittest” / more-is-never-enough” mentality that is eating away at our society’s ability to do good business and be truly sustainable for the longer term. In an increasingly ego-centric, narcissistic and selfish corporate culture, where slick websites and social media shout flowery plaudits of an organisation’s own values and goals without much evidence of this manifest in the lives of those making the claims, it is refreshing to encounter organisations and course content that speaks to the real issues and challenges our mindset to consider what real integrity and success can look like. And if ever there was a time in our history when we needed it, now is certainly such a moment.

This SENT course, despite its brevity, is a great resource that ignites so much more. I would highly recommend any organisation who wants to build a workplace of integrity and genuine principle, to consider putting its leadership teams through this helpful programme.