Leadership Compass

The leadership compass is the basis for the leadership model we studied at the College of Biblical Studies.

North = Character

South = Skills

West = Relationships

East = Vision

A true leader is a man/woman of character and influence with leadership skills to move people into a new preferred future/vision. The intersections of these four points are also important. For example: If you’re having a problem with people trusting you as a leader, you’ll see that trust is at the intersection of relationships and character. That means the root of the trust problem is either 1) Your people don’t know you well enough to trust you or 2) You have character faults which make them question whether or not you can lead them. It could also be a combination of the two.

I am setting out on a new adventure in life and am seeking a teaching position in the public school system. I believe this model will help me as I seek to influence both students and other teachers. My vision as a teacher is to teach more than just the curriculum, but also true wisdom. Wisdom beyond the textbooks. This kind of goal will require a strategy and this leadership model provides the basic outline for my philosophy of education. Influence is gained through character, relationships, skills, and vision. I will seek to be a man who is qualified in each of these areas.

“Models of the Runway” Winner Interview with Kalyn Hemphill

Kalyn was the very first winner of “Models of the Runway” (the Project Runway spinoff) and was one of the students I served as a youth minister in Lake Jackson. Most people would never believe it, but Kalyn is actually a camper too – she’s the kind of girl who can sleep in a tent one night and then go to a formal affair the next. Both of her brothers have been very active in the youth programs too. Anyway, as a model in NYC and Models of the Runway winner, Kalyn has been given an incredible platform to share her faith. She allowed me the opportunity to ask her a few questions that I thought I’d share here:

How does it feel to be the very first “Models of the Runway” winner and how has it opened up more opportunities for you?

It’s amazing to be the winner of the first season of “Models of the Runway” and I feel so blessed to be in the position I am in. So many doors have opened and I just signed with Ford Models yesterday, so I am looking forward to the future with them! I am also working on producing my own web show called, “Scene Cuisine.”

Wow! Tell me about Scene Cuisine.

Scene Cuisine is a webisode series that I am producing and hosting that goes behind the scenes of parties and events thrown in the name of fashion. It explores the culinary and fashion elements as well as looking at the decorations and preparations necessary to make the occasion successful!

Sounds like a pretty big undertaking. I’m sure your acting/modeling career is a real asset for the hosting role, but producing?? Do you have experience in that too?

Yes, I’ve had some experience in hosting, but producing is a whole new undertaking. I always love a challenge though and am excited to learn about what goes on behind the camera as well.

As someone who spends so much time in front of the camera, trying to figure out what they’re looking for, I’d bet that you’ve got some natural abilities behind it too. I’m excited to see what comes of Scene Cuisine.

I also wanted to ask you about your modeling career. How are you able to express your faith in Jesus in the modeling world?

I like to think of myself as a missionary in a model’s body. I constantly am placed in situations on shoots, etc. with non-believers and I always try to shine His light wherever I go. I am also involved in “Models for Christ,” which is an amazing organization of Christians in the fashion industry. It is encouraging to see so many wanting to affect change in the fashion/entertainment world.

What does “Models for Christ” do? You said they want to “affect change in the fashion/entertainment world.” How do they do that? When you get together with them, what does a “normal” meeting look like?

Models for Christ is a “global community of professionals who are seeking to honor God as we navigate the unique challenges and opportunities within the fashion industry.” (modelsforchrist.com) We get together every Tuesday night for praise and worship, a short program/study, and prayer groups. Also we have dinners once a month with a guest speaker and those are so amazing. I was honored to be the interviewee last month!

In the modeling world, have there been any particular situations where you felt like you were being asked to compromise your faith? How do you handle those situations?

There have been a few situations where I had to turn down jobs because of my beliefs, but for the most part, my agency knows what boundaries I have and what I will/won’t do. For example, no nudity, no cigarettes, etc.

Have you witnessed other models doing things that would compromise their integrity in order to move their careers forward?

It’s amazing what some people will do to get to the top of the entertainment industry. I’ve seen girls basically give up their souls for such worldly things that will never truly satisfy. I wish that everyone could know the fullness of joy and satisfaction that comes with knowing Christ…

How do you maintain your daily spiritual life and your connection with God? (Church? Bible Studies? Quiet Times? Accountability? Journaling? Worship Music? Prayer times?)

I have found that it is very easy to get caught up in a very worldly mindset very quickly, especially in NYC, so I make it a priority to spend the first 30 minutes of my day praying and getting in the Word so that I can be prepared for the day. I also attend an amazing church with such a wonderful community of believers, and am involved with Models for Christ. Right now I am studying the book of Esther with a group of girls from Models for Christ!

Esther is a great book to study. I love the way her family plays such a strong role in her faith walk. I know your family is important to you too. In the midst of all the scheduling involved in maintaining a modeling (and now hosting/producing) career, how do you stay connected to your family?

Kalyn with her brothers Ryan and Jayce.

My family is the most important thing to me and I try to call them every day, even on the busiest of days! Also, any excuse to go home I always jump at!

I also want to give you an opportunity to tell us about your boyfriend Chris.

My boyfriend Chris and I met in NYC, and I knew from the moment I first saw him that he was “the one.” We were in a small group together and the way he talked about God and his faith was so inspiring. His heart for service and love for people captured my heart, and still does 2.5 years later!

How do you pursue a romantic relationship while trying to maintain your strong character and witness? I would think that in the modeling world people would see you together and make assumptions about you sleeping together, etc. How do you handle that stuff?

We try to keep our relationship “God-centered” and have many friends who hold us accountable. We’ve made a commitment to each other and to God to wait until marriage and although it is challenging to deal with people’s opinions and assumptions, it is really only God’s point of view that counts at the end of the day.

Of all the new opportunities that you have had as the “Models of the Runway” winner, which one has been your favorite and why?

My favorite opportunity that has come out of Models of the Runway has been all the chances I have had to speak to youth groups, organizations, and even individuals. I just feel so blessed that God has given me a bit of a “platform” to speak about all the amazing things he has done in my life, and that hopefully I can encourage others with my story!

Some of our Lake Jackson friends are a bit star struck over you. Do you get star struck? If so, by who and what happened?

Oh goodness! There’s really no need to be star-struck, haha! That’s very sweet though! I have never really been too phased by celebrities, although I do love to meet people I admire! I wish I had a good story!

I know you’ve also been involved a bit with Charity: Water. Is that a charity that you see yourself being attached to or do you have another charity that really gets you excited? Any that you’d like to be involved with more?

I think that Charity:Water is an amazing organization and I hope to get more involved in the years to come! I also support and am involved in Red Eye Inc, The Ronald McDonald House, and History Starts Now. The Autism Society of America is an amazing organization and I hope to get more involved with them. I feel passionate about raising autism awareness and helping families affected by autism.

Ronald McDonald House was a huge blessing to Miranda and I last year when our daughter, Kesleigh was in the hospital. I’m glad to hear you’re involved with them. It’s so cool to see you using your platform to help people and to share the Good News of Jesus. The “youth minister” in me is sure proud of you. You’re a great example and role model as you seek to “model” the life of Christ.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Are there any final thoughts that you’d want to share with the world?

I just want to share one of my favorite verses for all the readers: It offers me so much hope, peace and joy and God has really shown me the true meaning of this verse over the past few years. I hope that it encourages you as well!

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Here are a few other links to find out more about Kalyn:


Season 1 Finale Winner Interview

Kalyn writes for the Season 2 Models of the Runway Blog

Modelinia Blog about Charity: Water Event

Servant Leadership

This leadership model is grounded in the idea that different people need to be led in different ways. Let me explain the basics.

Commitment and Competence – Development Stages
Development stage 1 (D1) – People are usually highly committed to a new project, but have low competence since they’ve never done it before.

Development stage 2 (D2) – When the honeymoon is over commitment levels typically drop and competence remains pretty much the same. (This is where people most often quit.)

D3 – If they persevere both commitment and competence rise again.

D4 – The longer someone does something the better they get. Both commitment and competence continue to rise.

Directive and Supportive Behaviors

All leadership breaks down to these two kinds of behaviors.

Directive = *goal setting, action planning, clarifying roles, *showing and telling, time lines, evaluations,  priorities, etc.

Supportive = *listening, praise/encouragement, info sharing about organization or self, *problem solving, asking for input, rationale (explaining the whys), etc.

* = most critical behaviors.

Putting it all Together

A “D1” (high commitment and low competence) needs an “S1” Leadership Style – S1 = Low Support/High Direction (leader decides) This is sometimes referred to as a “Directing” style of leadership. Motto is “Leader decides.”

A “D2” (low commitment and low competence) needs high direction and high support since they are in the “quitting” stage. This is “S2” style is a “Coaching” style. The motto is “Let’s talk, leader decides.”

A “D3” whose commitment and competence have increased needs a “Supportive” style of leadership with high support and low direction. Motto – “Let’s talk, you decide.”

And finally a “D4” (high commitment and competence) needs a “delegating” style. The “S4” is a low direction/low support style which empowers others to “run with it.” Motto is “You decide.”

OK -in my opinion, most of these behaviors come pretty naturally if you truly care about those you are leading. If you’ve developed a relationship with them, then you can sense a lot of this stuff. It’s certainly a good model to understand and having this knowledge will give you a way to evaluate your efforts, but it really all comes down to relationship.

This understanding of leadership could also be beneficial to parenting. Kids need to have a different type of relationship with their parents as they develop. In the first few years (1-5years) a lot of directing is needed. Between the ages of 6-12, they probably need more of a coaching-style of relationship with their parents.  The parents still make the decisions, but begin having discussions to help their children understand why they are making those choices. As teenagers (if parents have done well with the other steps), parents could begin to play a more supportive role where they allow kids to make some decisions based upon the talks they have together. It’s important to recognize that this stage has “low” direction not “no” direction. In certain cases, the leader/parent must still make the decisions. By the time they leave home, (like it or not) kids will be responsible (or not) for their own actions. If a parent has been successful in leading his children as God would call him to, he would probably be comfortable delegation or even with sending his child out on his own.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be the leader and parent that You’ve called me to be. Allow me a special ability to discern where people are so that I can lead them in the way that will most benefit them. Help me to be more intentional about training others so they can lead. Grant me favor in the eyes of those I lead so that I can grow deeper relationships with them in order to bring them to new places and to understand what challenges they need or what support they need. Give me a vision which is worthy of commitment – one which honors You at every turn. Glorify your name through my life and my influence upon others. AMEN.

Monkey Business

I just read a great article called “Management Time: Who’s got the Monkey?” by William Oncken Jr and Donald Wass. (It can be found in the Harvard Business Review Nov-Dec 1974 issue.)

Anyway, they describe how  leaders fail to manage their time. They describe a fictional situation in which the boss is walking down the hallway and one of his employees strides up to him and says, “Hey, we’ve got a problem. . . .etc.” The boss knows enough to get involved, but not enough to make a decision on the spot. He thanks the employee for bringing it up and tells him he’ll get back to him about it.

This interaction seems to be no big deal, but think about it: The employee has just orchestrated a situation in which the monkey on his back has jumped to the boss’ shoulders. Now, the boss has an extra burden and more than likely, he has allowed a few other employees to do the same – pretty soon, he’s got multiple monkeys on his back. The authors are very clearly advising the boss to not allow such manipulation. They make a great case for empowering those employees to make the decisions and move forward with minimal interaction from the boss. He should focus primarily on those things he’s gifted in.

Here’s my question though: We’re studying Jesus’ model of leadership. He turned everything upside down. The normal top-down hierarchy is flipped with the leader at the bottom serving those he leads. As I look at Jesus, I see a man who was able to take the things which burdened others (their monkeys) and simply remove them from their backs. I’m not sure He took them on Himself – maybe He just knew that some monkeys weren’t worth anyone carrying. Of course there are other times when it does seem like He carried someone else’s monkey (like when He stooped to wash the disciple’s feet).

As a servant leader, who carries the monkey? How can a leader serve without getting bogged down or becoming unfocused from the vision? How can he remain attentive to the things God has gifted him to do while still carrying monkeys? or should someone else carry them? When does he serve and when does he lead? Of course leading is serving, but shouldn’t he also be an example of getting down and dirty in the mundane services too?

Just some thoughts.