January 27th, 2009

One hundred Hickory leaders gathered in Corinth’s Fellowship Hall Monday for our first “Corinth Leaders Forum.”  All but a handful are members of Corinth.

They were there to brainstorm trim tabs.

The first order of business was to hear John Moretz tell us what some of us knew and others of us feared.  The downward economic cycle we are facing is deep and unlikely to turn around quickly.  Like it or not, we face a “frugal future.”

John also reminded us that in tough times, people turn to “family, friends, associates, churches, and charitable organizations” to get them through.

Then it was time to talk about trim tabs.

Why?  As I said in Sunday’s sermon, “Leadership is influence. Leaders understand the past, they live in the present, and they anticipate the future.  Leaders start things, they change history, they create opportunity, they make a difference.  Leaders think about what’s possible if we stop thinking about our misery or the way we’ve always done it before.”

In other words, leaders create trim tabs.

Gary Ledford introduced the concept of trim tabs to our Leadership Retreat earlier this month.  Aviators and shipmen know about trim tabs.  On a plane, the trim tab is the small, hinged part of the wing.  On a large ship, the trim tab is a small part of the rudder that turns a rudder as high as ten stories tall, which in turn moves the whole vessel.  A Stephen Covey video introduced the concept to our leaders.

The Apostle James used other metaphors in James 3:3-6 – bits in the mouths of horses, tongues, and sparks.  Paul used yeast in 1 Corinthians 5:6 to make the same point.  Small things can have great impact.  Like trim tabs.

So the task of the one hundred leaders in the Fellowship Hall was to imagine some trim tabs that could have great effect in these challenging times.  Here were some ideas that emerged –

§  Entrepreneur network – support and ideas for those starting small businesses

§  Budget and finance seminars – teaching the basics of money management and financial planning

§  Job skill seminars – helping workers acquire needed proficiencies for tomorrow’s careers

§  Corinth group health insurance and/or lending company – for those who need help from the body of Christ

Where can you be a trim tab?

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