Healthy Leaders


The 5 x 4 Grid (from Design Games)

Malcolm WebberMalcolm Webber

Recently, I was asked this question: Should you use the 5 x 4 grid as a design tool? In other words, when doing design, should we simply “fill in the 20 boxes” where the 5Cs and 4Ds intersect?

Absolutely not! The models are made for man, not man for the models! Here are the correct uses of the 5 x 4 grid:

But it should not be used to create an actual design for leader development. The concert pianist practices on scales, but would never simply play the scales in a performance. The 5 x 4 grid is the “scales” of healthy leader development design.

As stated in the introduction, effective leader development design is a science and an art. It’s not just a science. It cannot be treated as a mere science.

The brilliant jazz musician first masters the disciplines (the science) and then proceeds to break all the rules. That’s why he’s great. But he can’t break the rules until he’s mastered them.

The 5Cs and 4Ds are tools; they are basic disciplines. We must master them. But if they start to dominate and dictate our final forms of leader development, our learning experiences will be dead, ritualistic, formulaic, poor caricatures of real leader development. They will be no closer to what Jesus did when He built leaders than traditional classroom education.

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