Catalyst: The Iceberg

20 12 2007

iceberg.jpgIMAGE: “The iceberg represents your leadership. The 10% above the water represents your skill. The 90% below the water is your character. It’s what’s below the water that sinks the ship. Much of our influence comes from qualities we can’t see on the outside. It’s below the surface: self-discipline, emotional security, core values, and sense of identity.” Habitudes #1, Tim Elmore

SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:43-45

LEARNING: When I started Epic, I put all my energy in the field of “above the water line” skills that needed to be developed and tasks that needed to get done, often at the expense of the inner spiritual journey. Leadership first and foremost about allowing God to lead us and allowing Him to change our character from the inside out. The area that I am working on is “Emotional Security.” The challenging thought for me this week is that I need to slow down and first be willing to face that stuff under the waterline that I try to avoid as I speed though life. I need to block out time to be completely honest and hear my identity in Christ through one verse a week (

From the Crypts of Westminster Abbey, an Anglican Bishop:

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.

But, it too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.

What’s Your New Learning Leaders?




9 responses

26 12 2007

God is working on my sense of identity. As a mother of three grown men, my role has diminished from their complete dependence, to their occasional need or worse yet their feeling of obligation. I am learning that this is a season for me to release myself from my expectations of what a mother should be to her child and allow God to show me my true identity in him is so much more. Letting go of control (or the fantasy of control) is not something that happens overnight, it is a process. God has been showing me during this process that I have been placing my value in being a mother and he wants to move me to a place where I see my value and identity in being HIS child.

27 12 2007

My biggest “under the waterline” shortfall is definitely focusing on my relationship with God. With all of the other relationships that I have in my life(family, work, church friends, other friends, and everyone else) it seems that God comes last all too often. This holiday season reminded me even more how overwhelming life can be, with all of the visiting and parties.

For me, I need to remember that if I can make God #1 each and everyday, he will allow me to build even stronger relationships with everyone else. If I don’t focus on the most important relationship in my life, all of the others will suffer. It seems that if I can talk to friends and family everyday, I most certaintly can find the time to talk with God everyday as well.

29 12 2007
Denise Hillbom

As I reflect on the Iceberg Image I see a clear picture of my growing character. Looking back, the first third of my life was all abut me and I had nothing below the water line. The next third I began to develop some sort of something under the water line and then I met Jesus. Seeing my sinfulness in the reflection of His character broke me and moved me to a passion to be like Him. As I look ahead to the last third of my life (God Willing) there is still much work left in developing a Christ like character. He is currently showing me I need to be better at loving. By loving more, I will be in tuned to the needs of others and can follow through with serving others as He would serve. This is a daily challenge for me, and I failed miserably this holiday season. Thank you God for your Grace, I get to try again tomorrow. I hope as I am in my last days there will be nothing left of me above the water line and any iciness left of my character will have melted and I will be totally submerged in Christ’s character as I enter eternity with Him.

2 01 2008
Tim Kade

Great stuff! What I am challenged with is how do we develop spiritual disciplines or habits that will force us to go below the waterline each day, so that we don’t get stuck in the quagmire of the urgent or our natural tendency to control, worry, be self-centered or whatever we are currently preoccupied with. Habits that would position to hear from Christ and allow Him to lead us each day. For those of us that are not structured, it’s really challenging. I’ve committed to read through the “In Christ I am” statements each morning. It’s funny..I’ve talked about them for years, but at this stage in my journey they are not words on paper, but promises from Christ I can’t live a day without.

2 01 2008

Busy, busy, busy… I think Satan just wants me to be busy. Too busy to read my Bible, too busy to be involved at church, too busy to invest in other peoples lives. The busier I am the more “cut off” from other people I become. I feel God wants me to trust him – to relax and know that He’s in control. When I can do that I can focus on what’s important: God’s work, God’s will and other people. Satan wants me to be chased by worry and turn away from God. By focusing on God and what’s under the water line I stay rooted in Jesus and find peace. And with peace comes the desire to allow God to work through me, interacting with other people, to accomplish His will.

3 01 2008

In response to Tim, a thought that hit me about creating spiritual disciplines is that we have to know ourselves well enough to know where we fit and where God can use us to make an impact. Once we really understand that, and start giving him the control to work in us for the purpose he created us, “discipline” is no longer the right word because that sounds to much like work and when we are in our Chazown in is anything but work, it is addicting. One more thing, we need to take the focus of of what we can do and just surrender to what God wants to do in us, because whenever I try to do something my way, I usually mess things up, get stuck in the quagmire and so on. I think God wants to do the work he just wants us to be available.

3 01 2008
Amy Hoekstra

When I took time to examine my under the water line character, I found that I am strong in my core values and sense of identity. The character trait I most need to work on is my self-discipline. Like many others mentioned, I need to make time to spend with just me and God. I do not have an excuse for not spending that time with Him. Out of all the periods in my life thus far this is my least hectic. I simply need to make Him a priority in my life. I am determined in these next couple months to spend daily time with God and make it a habit.

4 01 2008
Tim Hoekstra

While examining my beneath the waterline Character, I found that Self Discipline is probably the one trait that I struggle with the most. I tend to find myself doing a lot of reacting to things around me, but very little acting first.

Most of my time at Work, for instance, is spent responding to e-mails and solving problems. As a result, I rarely find myself getting ahead in my work. If I receive very few e-mails on a given day, I call it a slow day and go home on time or early instead of doing those tasks that often seem mind numbing or excessively time consuming in order to get ahead. Those things get put off and done close to deadlines when I often have little time to do them instead of earlier as time allows.

The same tends to happen in my personal life. As a result, I have difficulty finding time to spend developing my relationship with God. I’ve said it many times to others, but I think I struggle with it more than most people whom I’ve talked to. I need to start out making my devotional time a discipline, and then it will become a habit. Soon after, it will become a necessity for me to get through my day because I will crave my time with God. If I don’t do that, I will just keep putting it off until the deadline, and unfortunately there really is no solid deadline to spending time with God.

5 01 2008
Larry Tomczak

I find myself focusing below the water line. I have been blessed throughout my entire life, with a great spouse, family, job and life style. For the past four years, I have found the rewards that God provides. This has encourage me to serve the Lord in anything that I can. My current strength has been in the technical areas for Worship and Childrens. The more that I serve, the more rewarding I receive. I have also learned to put my trust in the Lord in all that He can do.

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