Listen and Live

As leaders we like to talk. A lot.

Talking is what leadership is all about, right? Casting vision, aligning, motivating others, setting direction – all of these activities require words, conversations and interactions.

If we’re talking all the time, we’re not really having conversations, we’re having monversations.

Last week during a set of leadership meetings our team was escorted out of the conference room and into a secluded, private space. Four men led us through some prayerful interaction and reflection, in which none of us were expected to speak. This was a lectio divina, a divine reading, where a short passage of Scripture was read aloud four times. We were asked to meditate and listen for a word or phrase that caught our attention. The phrase that grabbed me?

“Listen, that your soul may live.” (from Isaiah 55:3)

Attentiveness, awareness, compassion, empathy, wisdom, and genuine service of the one being listened to. How much more of these can I gain as I learn to listen more as a leader?

How has listening helped your leadership?


By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at

5 replies on “Listen and Live”

Ken, I too have become aware that talking too much is a characteristic of many of us as leaders. In meetings, we feel we have to carry the verbal load. In one-on-one, we speak … and speak … and speak. There have been several times when I’ve been in the presence of a top leader and wish they would listen more. Then, I’ve wondered how many times those on my team wished the same about me…

This is some of the best leaderhip advise I have read in years. I will take it to heart and try to live it. Thank you.

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