Friday, November 14, 2008

The Best Leaders

a Biblical thought...
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)

a Book thought...
We need to create spaces in our lives and in our churches that allow the freedom and comfort level necessary for people to ask their questions, try things out, and talk with others who are going on the journey. Places where honest dialogue and relationships can develop. (p80 Logan & Miller)
a Dave thought... by John Maxwell

The Best Leaders Give Their Best to Their People By...

People naturally follow leaders they respect as being more advanced than they are. For this reason, personal growth is directly proportional to influence. If you desire to gain followers, then pay the price of getting better.
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."~ Albert Einstein
Serving others is an attitude issue. Unfortunately, many leaders operate under a king-of-the-hill mentality. They attempt to pull down anyone above them in order to secure the top spot for themselves. In doing so, they clutch at power, grapple for control of company resources, and strive to dominate others. Seeing relationships as win-lose propositions, they ultimately burn bridges and isolate themselves.
Growing leaders have something to share; serving leaders have something to give; modeling leaders have something to show. As V.J. Featherstone said, "Leaders tell, but never teach, until they practice what they preach." The best leaders embody their values. Their passion exudes from every pore and demands respect.

The Best Leaders Get the Best from Their People By...

The smartest leaders realize the limitations of their wisdom, and they listen to their people in order to capture invaluable insights. However, leaders don't just listen to gain knowledge, they also listen to give their people permission: permission to challenge the process, permission to test assumptions; and permission to take risks.
Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand. To touch a heart, a leader has to be open to disclosing his or her identity by sharing personal stories and owning up to professional weaknesses. Mysterious or aloof leaders may be successful decision-makers, but they won't get the heartfelt loyalty that comes from authentic relationships.
Gifted teachers have a way of making students out of disinterested bystanders. The best leaders have an infectious thirst for knowledge, and they take pride in cultivating knowledge of their craft and awareness of their industry. A leader's teaching ability depends upon ongoing personal growth. As Howard Hendricks said, "If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow."
The best leaders understand the differences between training people for tasks and developing people to be better leaders.
Sustained motivation comes by creating the right environment for your people and by doing the right things consistently to nurture them. Consider a flower. It cannot grow in the Arctic; it requires a climate conducive to growth. Yet, even in the right environment, the flower must be planted in hospitable soil, exposed to sunlight, watered, and freed of weeds.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Eleanor Burne-Jones said...

Nice book thought, but after five years back in the army I can't imagine a local corps being a place where any meaningful conversations like that could happen at all, never mind be actually facilitated.

For what he imagines, army churches would need to experience a profound change both to their culture and the way they do things, from sermons from the front to Bible studies where there's no real engagement. It's possible in many churches here( of all denominations) to be a member and attend for decades without ever having more than a light social hello and goodbye, and a passing mention of the weather.

It's my conviction that one of the powerful 'draws' of churches with emphasis on charismatic spirituality is that that spiritual tradition facilitates more personal engagement between members. It's not so much that the Holy Spirit is present more in one tradition than the other, but that God's presence is able to be articulated in the context of human relationships and practical discipleship in churches more in one context than another. I think this lies beneath the steady flow of people here out of tired, inherited churches and into new streams and new forms of church. It isn't just to sense the power of God moving, it is to be part of the 'conversation' it generates.