A few weeks ago I posted a Leadership Question of the Week on courage. Now I want to discuss the other side. As I mentioned in that pose, I often see leaders lead in fear. I see it in contemporary life. I see it in the Scriptures and I see it in me at times. So the question has been put in the title: What are the causes, dangers, and implications of fear based leadership? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Why Vision Is More Important Than Strategy-This is another gem from Michael Hyatt. Michael reflects on his time of taking over the top spot in Thomas Nelson Publishing. Through his own journey you will see some very practical ways to gain vision and the importance of keeping that vision in front of those you lead.
7 Ways To Lead With A Limp-Ron Edmondson offers up seven principles for leaders who feel like less than a leader today. As leaders we all fail and make mistakes-how do you allow those moments to refine you and help you lead? See what Ron has to say.
The Current State of Leadership-Research Findings-This is a post back from August of this past year. It comes from The Practice of Leadership blog. It is a fascinating glimpse into a major research study that was done this past year on effective leadership. You will definitely be interested in some of the findings.
Caring For The Commons-This is a guest post on the Great Leadership blog. This post takes a look at the moral decisions that all leaders make on a daily basis-those types of decisions that actually impact the well being of those you lead. Kiel and Lennick talk about “moral intelligence” as vastly more important than cognitive intelligence. Take a look.
Lonely Leadership-This post comes from a women’s leadership blog called Gifted for Leadership. This is a Christian blog and Esther Feng writes this post on the need for true community and what it takes to get there. This is worth reading no matter your gender-because we can all end up in isolation and experiencing lonely leadership.
There are the 5 for this week. Lead well!
The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. Harry S. Truman
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Warren G. Bennis
Leadership is influence. John Maxwell
Leadership is intentional influence. Michael McKiney
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. Ken Blanchard
Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. Norman Schwarzkopf
Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. Bill Bradley
Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand. General Colin Powell
I am reminded how hollow the label of leadership sometimes is and heroic followership can be. Warren Bennis
The first responsibility of a leader is define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. Max DePree
My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence. General Montgomery
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. Jack Welch
. . . whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Jesus Christ
This past Monday we had our family dog of nine and a half years put to sleep. She was a Golden Retriever named Taffy. My wife bought her on the side of a highway near Bastrop, Texas as a puppy-on a whim. She quickly became a dominant thread in our family tapestry. She tapped our pocketbook too much, she made us mad with her adolescent antics, and she stole our hearts. She didn’t retrieve very well and she once ate most of a lasagna off of our countertop. But she helped my seven year old daughter overcome her fear of dogs and she never veered from providing us with a rousing reception upon coming home-even if we just went to the mailbox. She obeyed two commands-“Come” and “Sit.” Looking back, she was our “sacred object” that got us to Italy and home again over the past five years. In her, God provided an emotional constant to the stormy experiences of life and ministry in a foreign land. But about six weeks ago we discovered she had cancer. She went through a major operation just before Thanksgiving-there was just too much-it had spread too far. We are grateful as a family that she made it this long and through the holidays. We needed her and I think she needed us. It has been a challenging time of transition to life back in the States.
The pain of losing our dog has caught me off guard. I have teared up at random times. I have felt kind of lost and empty. Why? She was just a dog. Maybe she represents the culmination of other losses. Both of my parents passed away during our first year in Italy. They died four months apart, also of cancer. And I am only child. I had only passing moments to truly process my loss back then. Fresh loss is forcing me to reconsider other losses.
I have been reading Genesis in the Bible this month. Genesis means “beginnings.” Chapters 1 & 2 describe God’s creative activity for the beginning of life as we know it. The ultimate purpose for humankind is also established. We are to reflect God’ s image and steward the rest of creation. But in chapter 3 everything changes. We move from being image bearers to becoming image builders-because of sin. Fear, shame and hiding become regular drivers of human behavior. And death enters the world. We were not meant to taste spiritual and physical death. We were not meant to suffer loss. But now we do. It’s a devastating reversal of the created order. And we especially mourn the death and loss of those who were close to us-those we loved. Death and loss steal relationship and replaces it with seemingly unanswerable questions. That’s why I miss my dog. That’s why I miss my parents. I have lost relationships that I treasured.
Death and loss should also serve to make us wonder what is wrong with the universe. These impostors should actually cause us to consider God because we are hard wired to sense that we were meant for more. Genesis 3 also begins to reveal God’s rescue plan. He is not only the Creator-He is the Redeemer. The rest of the Bible unveils the magnificent storyline of God chasing after people to rescue them from sin and death and loss. The end of the book reveals a re-creation that is a believer’s future certain hope. In that future reality, death and loss are destroyed. Relationship with our Creator is fully restored. Do you understand? Do you hope?
I will feel the loss of my favorite dog for a longtime. I will experience new losses. But I know the end of the story. There is hope in One who died on my behalf. And He says, “Come.”
Here is the 2nd installment of “Leadership Question of the Week.” I have been asked many times if I believe that anyone can become a leader? I see organizations that seem to live out this philosophy-that all who will, can become leaders. I have sat under teaching that clearly stated that only certain ones are suited or chosen to be leaders. Some will refer to leadership as a unique spiritual gift. What do you think? Comment below and add to the conversation.
Simple Leadership in 2012-This post is from Thomas McDaniels who writes a blog called The Favored Life. Thomas is the senior pastor of Lifebridge Christian Center in Longview, Texas. He is often seen as a pastor to pastors. Check this post out-he provides some great perspective as you head into the new year.
12 Ways Leaders Can Increase Their Leadership in 2012-This piece of perspective is offered by Scott Williams. Scott’s blog is called Big Is The New Small. He has served as a pastor and currently leads a firm called Nxt Level Solutions. Scott and his family live in Edmond, Oklahoma. His blog and tweets are thoughtful and wise. This is another great post for some practical advice for leading into the new year.
My Top 10 Theology Stories of 2011-I linked this because Christian leaders need to be keenly aware of the current issues, even within their own domain. Collin Hansen provides some interesting topics to consider as we look back and look ahead. This was posted on the Gospel Coalition web site-take a look and consider the trends towards the new year.
From Defeated Pessimist to Realistic Optimist-This comes from the Leadership Freak. Dan Rockwell is a quality blogger on the topic of leadership-and you have to love someone whose blogging byline is “Helping leaders reach higher in 300 words or less.” Check out these 10 pithy principles on getting to optimism.
The Chance of a Lifetime-In case you missed it, here is a good beginning of the year perspective from Seth Godin. He definitely sees the cup as half full.
I hope this first week of 2012 finds you ready and willing to lead!