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Replant Bootcamp
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Hey Bootcampers we hope you are doing well!  Bob and Jimbo had some time together in his hometown of JAX and got an opportunity to record a few EPs in his closet office. It’s no mystery that the bootcamp boys have personality, but leading a church requires more than the strength of personality.  This EP is all about leading beyond the force of your personality.

Here are a few insights

  • Our personalities might get in the way of our leading well
  • Leading by personality is not sustainable
  • Your personality is good but it’s not the end all be all, you need others who will lead along with you
  • People may feel railroaded by the strength of your personality

Here are some solutions

  • Self aware – be aware of your passion and force
  • Socially aware – how is this effecting everyone on the room
  • Self regulation – how do I pull back when necessary


We’d love to hear from you!  Drop us a line, leave a comment or voicemail on the bootcamp hotline!

If your web presence needs updating we encourage you to connect with our great sponsor, One Eighty Digital. They have the know how and expertise to get your web presence up to speed and connecting with your community.

JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back at the bootcamp. Bob, I hope you’re ready for the next episode. Still here in my closet of an office at First Coast Churches. it’s a beautiful closet though, and I, I like it. And even, the days when I come outta the closet,

it’s a good day. ,

Bob Bickford: Jimbo, this is, you have, this is, this might not be widely known, but you have an aesthetic flare about you.

Like I come in here. This represents order and. It’s visually pleasing and all these books, I’m surrounded by all these books and it feels intellectual. Okay. And it feels to me it’s inspirational. Nice to be in here.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Maybe with the, the most inspirational closet you’ve ever been in.

Bob Bickford: No doubt about it.

It is the most inspirational closet and it, it doesn’t feel like a closet so much. It just, it does, it feels like a. Kind of a.

long hallway. That’s been cornered off and turned into an office.

JimBo Stewart: No, I actually

love my office here. I’m grateful that I have it. If, if I didn’t have it, I don’t know where all these books would go.[00:01:00]

cuz there’s nowhere they could go in my house, that’s for sure.

Bob Bickford: I know that’s one of the, the things that, is true for me when I, stopped pastoring the church that I did in Webster Groves. I had all these boxes of books and I, I gave some of ’em away to our good friend Mike Bird and some others.

And Jimbo, now they’re kind of squirrel away in my office upstairs. Which you’ve been in? they are downstairs, in the, main living area down there, which you’ve been in. And then they’re behind, the bedroom downstairs. So they’re, they’re just everywhere and they’re in.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah.

Bob Bickford: And I’m thinking, why didn’t I order books on Kendall


JimBo Stewart: ago?

Yeah. I

gave a

ton away. And this was actually, this is probably about a third of what I had in my pastoral office at Redemption. So if you’re in the Northeast Florida area and you ever need to borrow, a commentary or a book on something, man, let me know. I’d be glad to, to lend my library to you.

Bob Bickford: Yeah, just doing a quick survey.

You’ve got two good to great books by Jim Collins. and so I think you could probably let one of those

JimBo Stewart: go.

[00:02:00] Yeah. So I, there, there are some books that I intentionally have multiples of for that very purpose that if the occasion were to arise and you’re sitting in that chair and we’re having the conversation and I think, you know, Bob needs to read Good to Great.

and I’ve got two copies. I’ll just give you one of them. Yeah. That’s kind of the thinking behind my multiple copies that I have of certain things.

Ma’am. You know, I, I’m glad you appreciate it. I’ve been. , I have kind of a large personality, and even I’ve been told somewhat enigmatic personality, like, it’s kind of hard to figure me out.

Bob Bickford: Yeah. I, I don’t know if enigmatic, they’re, you’re layered, Jimbo. and you have some stories. I, you know, I, I think one of my favorite things to do is when we are, grabbing dinner some somewhere, and by the way, just, I wanna let all, all the boot campers know I am a Yelp Elite for 2023.


do. There we go.

JimBo Stewart: Congratulations. Thank

Bob Bickford: you.



years in


row? Five years. Jimbo. Five years. I’m a. Level, Yelp Elite. So, but one of my favorite things to do when we’re out, at a new place to eat is I will think of some obscure thing that I’ve never [00:03:00]done. And I will ask you if you’ve done it and you go, oh yeah, I’ve done that


JimBo Stewart: It’s true. I, I’ve experienced a lot of things in my life and, and I’ll

be honest,

especially at a younger age, I would experience a lot of things just so that I could experience it.

Like I, I

just would go. I just wonder, you know, what that’s like. And so I would try it out and, you know, just to see,


to have

the knowledge of experience.

Bob Bickford: Some of them are illegal and we won’t talk about them. Yeah. some of them are just downright hilarious and some of them are, I can’t even imagine.

what happened. And we still, you know, we still have the narrative of your visit to LA that we’ve never unpacked. And,

JimBo Stewart: that could be a whole long form

Bob Bickford: podcast.

I know we could compete with Trevor W’s, long form podcast. We might, we might ought to

JimBo Stewart: that



it down.

my fear though is that, we would be outing someone out of witness protection and

I’ll just leave

it at that.

and that’s the only reason I haven’t gone more public with that


I’m not

lying when I say that, but [00:04:00] look, hey, as a guy with a strong personality, here’s what

I have

realized, Bob, with a strong personality,



the ability






energy and momentum into a new initiative.

And here’s what I’ve also learned and realized

that is






Bob Bickford: Yeah. You know, I think we are both fairly strong personalities.

Yeah. In different ways, in unique ways. We’re similar in, in a lot of ways. Mm-hmm. as well. But I think I learned, particularly when I was an associate pastor in Dallas, that. My positive enthusiasm and belief that we can do just about anything that we want to can make people feel run over.

JimBo Stewart: I

remember the first time I took a personality profile and it listed as a challenge that I was too optimistic. And I remember like legitimately being puzzled by that. Like how is that even possible?

How can



how can


be too

[00:05:00] optimistic?






Bob Bickford: Well, let me say this, and this may apply to you. Let’s say Jimbo, that you are in Louisiana and you want to drive to California and you’ve got the hoop T of hoop cars and you.

Ah, I’ll just go by the auto zone and I’ll get some coolant and, uh, couple cases of oil. And I, I know the car’s not running great, but I think we can make it.


might be too much optimism.

JimBo Stewart: I mean, I,


probably have a couple stories that sound pretty

Bob Bickford: similar

..I, I,


imagine .


JimBo Stewart: you


so, no, I get it. I mean, I later realized that too much optimism can be a thing. And, you know, we

were talking at lunch today. The danger of leading by force of personality. and so I’ll start us off and then I’d love to hear some from you.

Just even if you go back to the last week’s episode where we talked about the vision adoption cycle and the emotional cycle of change and kinda that year three enigma of why do things


of fall


[00:06:00] And

as part of that, in regard




adoption cycle,


have observed


my own

life and


as well as the life and leadership of others, that when you lead with a really strong force of personality, you actually press the gas and you can speed up that whole process, which is not a good thing. You can, you, you can get much quicker to the, anti adopters and never adopters. Then you really need to get to those and that can start to blow up.

Bob Bickford: Yeah, I, I think that. , there comes a point where you go too fast and the organization can’t handle it. Mm-hmm. , right. So, one of the things I love to do with my daughters, Jimbos is we’ll find funny memes or clips on Facebook and we’ll send those primarily these days, it’s just me sending them.

those memes, they’d rarely send some back. Occasionally. Yeah. But one, one of my favorite ones is to find somebody on a bicycle or a motorcycle, uh, particularly a middle-aged mom on a motorcycle that’s going too fast. And Jimbo, here’s what’s gonna [00:07:00] happen. A fence is gonna get broken down. She’s gonna fly over the handlebars, and I’m gonna watch that and I’m gonna laugh uproarious.

I’m gonna just, oh yeah. Cackle, right? Oh yeah. What’s the problem? It’s not that she couldn’t ride a motorcycle. It’s not that, you know, she doesn’t know how to ride a bike or some balance or something like that. She was going too

JimBo Stewart: Yeah.

Bob Bickford: And it’s dangerous to go too fast.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got a couple good stories that

relate to

that as

Bob Bickford: well.

Of course.

Of course you do. But the organizationally, that’s, that’s the same thing. And one of the things that I struggled. In, years of leadership in multiple settings was seeing the right destination, but pursuing it too fast.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah. I

think certainly you’ll, you’ll run it too fast of a pace, which does not allow you to shepherd.

Well, referencing last week’s episode, kind of those middle adopters, late adopters that can. Be brought on board to the vision. It just takes some time, some, some shepherding, some wisdom, leadership, and patience. here’s


reason I think we have to be careful of not [00:08:00] leading by force of personality.


not sustainable

cuz you cannot maintain that amount of energy forever and.



does grow




of personality,



outgrow your abilities. And all

of a sudden

you will,


force of

personality, groan something that you don’t have the competency or the organizational structure, to really handle.

And then the wheels really start



Bob Bickford: Yeah. You, you do a talk on leaderships and, leadership and life cycles, and we may have even done some podcast episodes on that. And I, think we’re kind of getting into that territory in the sense of when you’re starting something, you need a particular kind of skillset and you also benefit from a particular type of personality, when you’re seeking to help something become more mature.

Same thing, right? When it’s stuck. Same thing and. Often we unconsciously find ourselves drawn to a particular opportunity that fits with our [00:09:00] personality preference, our skillset, and also that mirror images, the organization. The organization. We, we see an organization that needs what BRE bring to the table.

Mm-hmm. and vice versa. And so we show up there. But you’re totally right. There’s gonna be a, time in a season.

your strength and skills alone will not help that organization or the church or whatever continue to move forward. Right? You may be the spark, but Jimbo, every spark that Bri that builds a fire, needs a fire ring.

JimBo Stewart: Mm-hmm. , go. Go a little further on that.

Bob Bickford: Well, we love, like in my backyard, we have a fire pit. Yeah. And.

 Cut into the ground, there’s a metal fire ring that contains it, and so we can have that heat and energy. We can have that spark. We can have that flame and we can throw wood on that fire. Yeah, as long as it’s bordered by that fire ring.

Mm. Right. And if it’s, if it gets out of that, then it’s gonna get into the yard and it’s gonna get into the [00:10:00] trees and get into the fence and, you know, possibly get into the house. And so that’s just a real simple analogy to say that there are structures and there are also people who serve to help us kind of, contain the force of our personality and directed in helpful ways.

Right. So you do a lot of conversations about the V L P S, like the, the visionary, the operator, the processor, and the synergist, right? And so all of those personality or those leadership types are needed to help an organization in various ways, in various seasons of life. So same thing with personality.

If we only have visionaries or we, let’s say we only have high Ds or high eyes, we might get a lot of stuff moving, but we may not get a lot of stuff done. Right. We may be reinventing the vision and the mission of the organization over and over and over again. Yeah. Or if we’re high eye, we’re the funnest place to work, but we don’t do much other than just have a lot of fun.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah. So as a visionary leader, which is often gonna be the strong leader or, that high d [00:11:00] execution, let’s just get it done. again, you just lead

at a


that people are not able to keep up with you. And, also I would say a third danger is

you end.







your personality. When you’re tired and you can’t give the energy, or when you leave and you retire or


or you


or any

of those things, all




it’s not sustainable when you leave, it will collapse if it is built solely on your personality and your, gifting and your abilities, even if you’re super gifted, and I think we’ve all seen this, right?

A really gifted guy. Pastor’s a


for 35 years, and the church

is healthy

and it’s growing,

and lots of

cool things


happening, but when he leaves, man, it just falls apart.

Bob Bickford: Absolutely. And it’s really hard to follow a guy like that, right? Because it doesn’t matter, who you are and what, and what skills you have, you’re not that guy. Right? And so [00:12:00]you, you have basically cemented yourself into that position of leadership and the organization has for years learned how to dance, do that dance.

Mm-hmm. . So you remove that person, you remove that leader, and there’s a. . Right. and it’s hard to fill because the structures and the process and everything built around it is not flexible. Right. Because that person’s been at the center of it all.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah.


when you become the

center of everything,

the other





all of a sudden you have to have your fingerprint in everything. Mm-hmm. , uh, you mentioned in last week’s episode, in a lot of bylaws as the pastor, you’re the ex officio member of every committee,





attend all

the meetings, but you don’t really get



or set

the agenda.

When you lead

by sheer


of personality, then






of those

meetings, even if structurally you’re not supposed to, which doesn’t really


for other voices to bring a different flare and

a different perspective

to things. And even he, even if you’re right, [00:13:00] 95% of the time and you’re just, man, your intuition is so good that you just man, you get



over and over and over again.

There is those other times you’re not going to get it right. and so leading


she force of personality. I would say another

danger is it just doesn’t leave room for other people to lead in the ways that they’ve been gifted.

Bob Bickford: Absolutely. There’s a lot of turnover in organizations like that, particularly, when there. divergent personality types. Right. You mentioned in a conversation we were having in between, podcast recording you mentioned that a visionary and a a processor, they have to really love each other in order to work together for a long time.

right? Same, same way. If a visionary is the ultimate visionary and he doesn’t allow anybody else to have a vision within that vision that supports the overall church, so think about like a ELE leader. If you’re multis staff, maybe an associate pastor, somebody like that who’s, who sees things a little bit differently and can get things moving and going in ways that you can’t because they’re unique if they don’t have space [00:14:00] to innovate and to lead.

They’ll end up leaving. And so what happens then is it doesn’t matter who you are, there will come a time when your personality and your vision will not be fresh. Yeah. And will not have the answers for your church, your organization. And so you need a balance of other perspectives and other people.

And so that’s why it’s so important. To not just lead by your personality, because then the church becomes. your church, right? Mm-hmm. in the sense of, it’s, it’s really influenced by you. We all know it’s Jesus church, right? And, and he’s the head of the church. But as the under shepherd of that church, if you exercise your personality, and your leadership so forcefully and so integrally, then you don’t make space for other people.

And that’s not biblical.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I

mean, so the




imitate me as I imitate




could see how you could take


verse and, take




and go, yeah, well, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m saying

imitate me


as, as I imitate

Christ. And, but look,


at the,

look [00:15:00]


the rest

of what

Paul writes. . Right. And, and I would

even say, look

at how Paul


with Apollos right there, there seem to be maybe some differences, maybe even potential beef tension. Mm-hmm. between Paul and Apollos a little bit.

And at least people in cor in the Corinthian church were



dividing themselves into

camps somewhere the Paul



somewhere the Apollos

camp. and and yet

it seems Paul always spoke graciously. Yeah. In, in, in an encouraging way about Apollos. But you also see. And our, one of our favorite passages to go to when it talk

about leadership,

Ephesians four,





job as apostles

and prophets and evangelists and shepherds and teachers is to equip the saints to do the work of ministry.


really that

ministry has to be shared. and when you

lead by sheer



personality, not only does it really not

make room

for other leaders to be equipped, you’re probably not equipping, you’re, you’re probably delegating and dumping and, and just

going, Hey,

here’s [00:16:00] the vision

I have. I

need you to execute it.

I need you to make it happen.




it when they don’t feel like they have an opportunity to be heard.

and when you’re leading with,

this is one

of the lessons I had to learn with a strong personality.

What I

realized is, even if in my



hearts, my 100% authentic intention was for everyone in the room to be heard,



came in just at full tilt Jimbo, then


with a

little bit milder personalities just aren’t gonna speak

in and I,



in my

ministry, I was not aware of that. I did not know that I was


people just by sheer force of personality. And, and so I




learn how to,

especially if I’m the largest

personality in the room or


I’m the.

in charge

in the room, then I need to be a little quieter. I need to be a

little more,

reserved. I need to probably speak last. Mm-hmm. and when I speak last, I [00:17:00] can’t. Just passionately argue for my point last. Cuz then everybody



everything else that was said. And


goes, well,

I mean,

we all got to


our thing,

but then Jimbo, really what he said matters.

Right? And so it requires some humility and truly valuing everybody in the room what they have to say, what they bring to the table to dial your

personality. I’m


telling you,

not be


but maybe that large personality is even a little bit of Im. , in recognizing that and being able to go, Hey,

how do

I, how do I

recognize that?



be socially

aware, and then self-regulate. That’s what emotional intelligence is, right? Emotional intelligence is self-awareness, social awareness and self-regulation. And so be self-aware of how you’re received by other people. Why you feel like you

have to speak with such passion about something, such personality so hard, socially.




that affecting

everybody else in the room? That’s a part, part of this. And then regulation. How do I pull that back? How do I,

how do




that I’m not [00:18:00] taking up all the air in the room so that others



a part of this process?

Bob Bickford: Yeah. I, I was, serving on staff of the church one time and our senior leader, conveyed himself in such a way that he was the smartest guy in the.

and what he said was always better than what we had to offer.

JimBo Stewart: Mm-hmm.

Bob Bickford: And it wasn’t always that way, but it got worse over time.

and what I would say is I’ve seen this happen long. Longevity and age sometimes work against you being open to hearing other voices.

 Who have important things to say.

And so as a staff member, we would come into, you know, brainstorming sessions and planning sessions and planning meetings. And the dynamic is for, for a season, we would offer suggestions or perspectives and

they would get shot down, right? or they would just lay there. You ever, you put something out there Right.

And nobody responds to it. Yeah. Right. And so the dynamic was we all learned that we [00:19:00]had to show up, get in the brainstorming session meeting, and he would ask a question, and then we would just have like a staring contest who’s gonna offer something? Right. And so whoever offered something, you know, most of the time it wasn’t anything that anybody picked up.

And then what we eventually ended up doing was what the senior leader wanted to do. Yeah. And so it was, you know, we’re all on our phones, texting one another, going, who’s gonna talk? Right. Who’s gonna say something? And, you know, , all that sort of stuff. And it was just a very, very difficult season in ministry in terms of team.

Right? and I remember, he got challenged on that, that’s what he did.



that’s how he responded. And he refused to see it or couldn’t see it. And it ended up being, no, you all are wrong.

I’m right. and I do listen to you all . Yeah, well it was interesting and it was challenging.

And subsequently, it was a place where I, I determined, you know, Lord was leaving me [00:20:00]somewhere else and so I ended up leaving and then the staff turnover. Just escalated after I left. And it was not because I left, but I think the writing was on the wall and the patterns were fixed. It was like, we don’t want thinkers, we just want people who do what I say.

And so it was a very difficult season for me trying to figure out how can I make a run at this? To try to try to help the, the lead guy see that this is the pattern we’re stuck in and couldn’t, couldn’t make it happen. And what I saw is, when I. came on staff at that church. It wasn’t like that, but over time it just got like that more and more and more and more.

And so I’ve seen guys, you know, we sometimes think this is a immaturity issue. Mm-hmm. , like, I’m just not aware of this. But I think also it is kind of a founder’s issue, right. Or a, leading voice issue. Like I’m the guy who knows best here and all y’all don’t know as much as I do and I’m the enlight. and so I, think we have to guard against it when we’re young in ministry, but also as we’re old in ministry as

JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think part

of it

is just, it’s hard


know. what it’s [00:21:00] like to be on the receiving end of

Bob Bickford: Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: It’s just


to know that. I mean, you don’t know what it’s like to be on the other side of a disagreement with you or even a brainstorming session with you or critique of your, like





that feels like and sometimes it’s kinda like

you ever,




there’s something that






somebody and then you


Oh wait. , I do that

same thing.


Or like,

you especially


it in

your kids,


your kids do this thing




annoying to you. Yeah.


then you


yourself do

it and


like, oh man.


how often





to other people?


they’ve just

never said

anything. Cuz I don’t know


it’s like

to be on the receiving end of me.

Mm-hmm. .



self-awareness. We’ve done other podcast episodes that maybe will be linked those in the show notes that, I mean,


is one of the.

Foundational soft skills for a good leader is figuring out and it

takes work.

Here’s what you have to [00:22:00] understand. You are not smart enough or insightful enough to







on the receiving end of you.




some work and then personality profiles help talking. But asking people and making sure that you’re actually listening and giving them an opportunity to really speak freely, can help you know what it’s like to be on the receiving end.

Bob Bickford: Yeah. Such a huge skill and so vitally necessary. So if we were going to take that journey of self-awareness, I think we’ve heard, Bob Bumgarner say some questions before that talks about, developing self-awareness at, at, of an informal memory of that, of him asking. and maybe he was even on a previous podcast where he, he would simply ask a set of questions like, what is it that I do that makes your.

really frustrating or hard. Mm-hmm. . Right. And is there something that I could change about my leadership style that you think would. Speed and value to what we’re doing. Right. is there an annoying phrase that I use that just causes you to

wanna lose your mind or [00:23:00] resign your job immediately and go work at QuickTrip?

Right. They’ll just, I mean, you could sit, probably, you could sit down and brainstorm a bunch of questions, or Jimbo, even better yet, you could probably ask your wife or your kids.

JimBo Stewart: Yeah,


that’s, that’s

so key,

man. You gotta have feedback from other people. And so, that’s where I think even if you just look at a personality profile, take it and then read the challenges side of it and then ask like, cause I remember

when I read


too, optimistic thing, I asked my wife, I said, , is that a thing?

Like, am I


optimistic? And she said, a thousand percent. You’re




And I was like, and I really

ha I,

and then here’s

the deal.









needed help.



order, you can’t see your blind spots. . Right. And so I needed help to know what to do with that. And so, now that

requires some

humility and vulnerability and, and self security to know, to be able to be willing to be examined in that way.

Bob Bickford: Yeah.

JimBo Stewart: but man, it’d be so valuable.

Bob Bickford: Yeah. I would say this, I was talking to a pastor recently and, we were talking about he’d received some, criticism. And it was [00:24:00] hard, and he was weighing it. And so he took that criticism to people he loved and trusted and said, you know, is this true of me? Right?

And they said, no, not so much. Right. And so I said, okay, great. Very well. Then I said, here’s my suggestion. Take that criticism and take it to the Lord and just ask him. if there’s any validity or any small truth that he wants you to be aware of. Yeah. Right. Sometimes we have a difficult grace that’s given to us by our critics.

People who love us, people who are for us, our spouse, people who are in our past, or people who are our biggest fans in terms of maybe even leaders within the church. They will see us through a particular lens that diminishes our flaws and maximizes our.

Our critics, however, maximize our flaws and diminish our but sometimes they can focus in on a place in our lives and our leadership that the Lord really wants to bring to our [00:25:00] attention.

So before you dismiss the critic and the criticism, bring that to the Lord. Ask them, Lord, is there a, a grain of truth in this that you are giving me the difficult grace of hearing right now?

Mm-hmm. .

And if so, what do I need to?

and how can I sit with this and how can I bring it to you to be shaped into who you want me to be?

JimBo Stewart: That’s such a good word. All right. Listeners, don’t lead by sheer force of personality. gain some self-awareness. Lead with a team and not by yourself. That’s sustainable.

It’s healthy, it’s biblical, and it’ll help you grow as a person, as a leader, as a father of Jesus, as a husband and a father.


Enthusiasm, How to Lead, leadership, Mistakes in leadership, Personality

Jimbo Stewart

Replant Bootcamp Co-Host

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