Atlantic Caribbean Union

ACUM hosts Leadership Development Program

By: Dr. Lavonda Smith

On Wednesday July 11, 2012 leaders from a cross-section of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) met at the headquarters on Gladstone Road for a “Leadership & Development Program” where attendees were informed of various aspects of leadership.
The session began with an inspiring devotional led by Pastor Peter Kerr, who noted that God chose Moses as a leader who offered encouragement.

The first session “Perspectives in Effective Leadership Behaviour” presented by Dr. Leon Wellington, gave six essential aspects of effective leadership behavior. These aspects are: directional, cultural, regulatory, managerial, structural and procedural. The underlying message of Dr. Wellington’s presentation was for leaders to maintain their clarity of the overall mission, as well as clarity of the legal status of the organization. Dr. Wellington further noted the importance of maintaining denominational relationships, while documenting decisions in a timely manner. Lastly, he reiterated that building a sense of trust is necessary to demonstrate humility.

The second session “Perspectives on Effective Leadership” was also led by Dr. Leon Wellington who began with the thought- provoking question, “Are Leaders Born or Made?” Dr. Wellington contended that some persons are born with inherited tendencies to leadership, but, those tendencies alone will not make one a good leader. Hence, the question that requires an answer is, “What are the characteristics of an effective leader?” It is evident that there is a wide variety of characteristics that creates an effective leader. Leadership develops from the inside out and involves being, knowing and doing. The effective leader must plan, as the non-existence of a plan can lead to definite failure. Most importantly, as a leader of a spiritual organization, God and prayer must be the central component of all plans, because God alone brings success.

Lastly, the effective leader realizes that change is constant. Leaders can either embrace change or become engulfed by it. Moreover, it is vital that leaders carefully reflect on the impact of change as it can occur on the surface or at the foundation of an organization.

Also presenting was Dr. Lowell Copper, General vice- president of the General Conference. Some of the topics covered included “The Leadership Model of Christ”, “Managing Change and Dealing with Resistance”, and “Understanding the Church and its Organizations”. The leadership at both the churches and schools throughout the Atlantic Caribbean benefited greatly from the experience of both presenters. The leadership development program is an ongoing initiative of the office of leadership development of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist.