A Petition for the SDC

**Disclaimer: some may find this blog controversial; if so, I ask for your forgiveness in advance.

If a leader sought you out to learn more about LDHR, where would you focus? What would you emphasize as an LDHR priority?
(Take a moment to ponder this challenging question before continuing to read.)

My answer: Cast vision and train for a robust Staff Development Cycle (SDC). Why?

The Global LDHR priority on the SDC in recent years still resonates with me:


Here we clearly see the team leader’s personalized and missional engagement with each team member. As a team leader, I want my interactions with my teammates to help them succeed in their ministry and enjoy the team and work. The SDC offers clear direction in achieving these goals.

Another reason I point to a strategic focus on a robust SDC is its relevance in the LDHR Framework: Strategy, Development, Care, and Processes.

Where would you place the SDC in the LDHR Framework?
(Take a moment to ponder this question before continuing to read.)

As you navigate the site, you will find the SDC under Care. This placement makes sense as the SDC ensures the team leader’s individualized and regular attention to each team member’s current situation, motivation, and overall health. But what about Strategy, Development, or Processes?

The SDC is a clear process that guarantees accountability for a team leader’s involvement with each team member. But this process also focuses on the person’s development in the Personal Development Plan (PDP) and Key Development Assignment (KDA) sections. But then again, the Critical Mission Objectives (CMOs) focus on each person’s strategic contribution to the team’s mission. The CMOs flow from the team’s Strategic Planning Process (SPP) in the Critical Mass and Critical Path Steps/tactics section (who does what).


The difficulty in placing the SDC in the LDHR Framework clearly shows its significance in leadership development. Few if any other initiatives potentially fit in every quadrant of the LDHR Framework.

So, which quadrant in the LDHR Framework is the best fit for the SDC?

The answer is clear, and I need your help to move the SDC from the Care quadrant to the Strategy quadrant. The critical player for a robust SDC is a team leader who is motivated and well trained in leading meaningful Position Focus conversations. The SDC is the team leader’s best friend in ensuring each team member’s strategic contribution to the team’s mission. Strategy tugs at a team leader’s heart. Platforming SDC first as strategic will capture the attention of more team leaders.

So, join my petition to move the SDC from Care to Strategy in the dropdown. I ask for your support, but even more I desire your input and answer to this critical question: Where would you place the SDC in the LDHR Framework and why?

Please interact with me in the comments below. And if you don’t agree with “strategy”, I forgive you.

Ben Sparkman

Ben Sparkman has been on staff for 36 years, 25 years in East Asia, and 11 years with Global LDHR in Orlando. He is married to Linda, and they have four children. Ben’s primary focus is BPMT, among other Leadership Development initiatives. He enjoys playing tennis, watching college sports, and drinking chicory coffee.

6 thoughts on “A Petition for the SDC”

  1. Ben, I agree with you.
    My understanding is that Strategy (which is desired outcome of partnering with mission leaders to help achieve our people objectives) involves or includes
    Care: ensuring that each staff feels a sense of belonging that motivates and inspires longevity.
    Development: which ensures that we understand the specific needs for each individual staff’s leadership development that will foster through them movement building and
    Process: which is consistently looking for ways to make the experience of staff life better and more fulfilling.
    In other words, If we focus on the individual as opposed to the philosophy of staff development then we need to consider the strategy for the care of each person the processes that will make their lives better, and how we can offer the best tools and opportunities for their personal development.
    We are therefore looking at what I believe is the Strategy component of the Leadership Framework for individual and movement growth.
    So the cycle should incorporate each area as part of the overall strategy and thus SDC should be in the Strategy area of the Leadership Framework.


      Thank you, Carol. I had not thought about Strategy with people objectives along with mission objectives, but I can see your point. Thanks for your continued commitment to our staff….and mission.

  2. Thank you Ben for this issue about SDC.
    When you look at SDC, it helps to develop staffs. We find the term development in the PDP, we find the term development in the KDA.
    So in my opinion SDC should be under D in our framework.


      Yes, Fityang, I can see the SDC as Development, too. That again shows its contribution to our mission and leadership


    Great thoughts there Ben! I see your perspective that SDC is a Strategic formula that enables every Staff go through the Process of Care and Development

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