5 for Leadership (3/22/12)

Here is this week’s 5! This week I have linked something old and something new. I love going back to trusted thought leaders, but also like finding fresh perspective. Hope you find something that challenges or refreshes you.

7 Most Powerful Lessons From Life & Leadership I saw the link for this post on Twitter and really liked the brief, yet significant lessons, that Chery Gegelman portrayed on the Lead Change Group blog. What are you learning so far in your life and leadership?

6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers This is an article out of Inc Magazine and written by Paul Shoemaker. Paul makes the statement, ” . . . adaptive strategic leaders . . . do six things well.” That should lure you into his insights. I really like the clarity and conciseness of this article-take a look.

5 Steps To Becoming More Interesting-and A Better Leader This is from Mike Myatt. I have referenced Mike a few times before and I always gain from his perspective. In this post, Mike offers up solid principles to being a leader who truly attracts followers.

Work Life Lead: Cross Generational Respect More and more I am working with leaders that are younger than me. Obviously, one reason is that I am getting older-but another reason is that more and more Millennials are taking on leadership roles. This is a good post on engaging in cross generational leadership. This comes from Dr. Ed Brenegar and I found it on the Weekly Leader.

10 Good Reasons to Get A Mentor This post is from Rajesh Setty-who is new to me. I like the practicality of this list. It makes sense and is motivating towards seeking out someone a step or two ahead on the journey. See what you think of his list.

Is Jesus Enough Here is is bonus from Tim Stevens on his blog Leading Smart. This is a very brief, but compelling post. Leaders often get caught up in finding other centers for the core of their identity. Tim highlights some thoughts from Brian Bloye on whether Jesus is enough-regardless of what happens in your leadership life. This is worth some reflection.

There are the five for this week. Thanks for taking a look.

Leadership Development for Young Professionals

I ran across an article online today that I thought would be good fodder for further thought.  This comes from Bob Wheeler at Formula4Leadership.com.  Bob highlights two cultural factors in organizational leadership:  structures are clearly getting flatter; and young professionals are gravitating toward smaller firms-or at least into smaller units within larger firms.  When you combine this with some of the uniquenesses of the Millennial generation, there is an interesting dynamic at work.  Often, younger leaders have to quickly take on team leader roles.  Many times they have to lead people that are older than themselves.  There can be some unique pressures and some unique training needs.

Here are Bob’s suggestions of critical leadership development areas for today’s young professionals.  I would love to get some feedback on this-leave a comment below.

  • Teamwork
  • Assertiveness
  • Communication skills (including receiving feedback)
  • Leadership styles
  • A basic understanding of organizational culture and procedures

Here is a link to Bob’s blog.

The Posture of a Spiritual Leader

Today I was reading John 8 and was struck by some sayings of Jesus.  If we count Jesus as a preeminent leader and we are to emulate Him in all facets of life, then these sayings bear on our leadership lives.

Jesus was speaking to a mixed crowd of devoted followers and religious zealots.  As he is being questioned about his identity and purpose, he makes three very curious statements.  The first of these is found in v.28, which reads, “So Jesus said to them,’When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.’”  Jesus identifies himself as Messiah with the title Son of Man.  This comes from Daniel 7:13.  But remarkably he also clearly states that his authority is a derived authority.  He tells these religious leaders that his authority comes from the Father alone.  There is no claim of any authority that stems from his own works, title or efforts.

The second saying is found in v.42.  As the crowd questions Jesus link to God the Father he says, “I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.”  Not only did Jesus not claim personal authority but he also claimed that his will was totally submitted to that of the Father.  He was a “sent one.”  In obedience, he did the will of his Father regardless of any human emotions he was experiencing.  This attitude of submission shows up in the Garden of Gethsemane as well–right before Jesus heads to the cross.  As the God man, Jesus shows us what humble submission looks like–lest we think that we show up anywhere and do anything by our own will and power.

The third saying is found in v.49-50.  The Jews around him are still confused as to his true identity.  They somehow believed that Jesus was a Samaritan and had a demon.  Jesus responds, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.”  Jesus clearly states that when it comes to his identity he does not seek his own glory–but the glory of the one who sent him.

Do you see the three points worth emulating?  These three principles form the foundation for the right posture of a true spiritual leader.  And I would question any spiritual leader who does not embrace these three principles.  Here they are in plain language:

1. I do nothing on my own authority.  All authority is derived authority.  As a spiritual leader, I have nothing except that which God has granted to me.

2. I came not of my own accord.  As a spiritual leader, I do nothing of my own accord.  I daily submit my will to the will of the one who sent me.  When I show up to lead, I show up as a servant of the one who sent me.

3. I do not seek my own glory.  As a spiritual leader, I always seek to glorify the one who sent me.  To live for my own glory is counterintuitive to my very nature as a spiritual leader.

If these are the principles that Jesus lived out and put on display for us, then they are worth our emulation and practice.  Only by the grace of the gospel are we able to reflect these well.  Lead in the posture of our Savior.

Saint Patrick-The Person Behind The Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of those strange holidays we mark without truly understanding the meaning behind it.  Culture largely celebrates with alcohol and green.  But there is a story of a man that God used greatly to draw a people to Himself.  It is a story of inhumanity being turned toward salvation.  It is a story of courage to face your fears.  It is a story of obedience to calling.  It is a story of leadership.  It is a story we need to contemplate today.

I don’t usually do this-but for this post I will link to another web site for telling this story (biography.com).  I will get you started.  Follow the link and finish the story.  You will be encouraged.

St Patrick was a Christian missionary. Two authentic letters from him survive, the only universally accepted details of his life. When he was 16, he was captured in Britain by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland. He escaped, returned home and became a bishop. He later returned to Ireland, but little else is known. By the seventh century, he was credited as the patron saint of Ireland.

Here is the link for the rest of the story.


5 for Leadership (3/15/12)

Here is “5 for Leadership” for the 3rd week in March. I hope you will be informed and encouraged.

One Thing Every Young Leader Needs To Hear This is a post from Ben Reed and was found on Millenialleader.com. This is a web site aimed directly at the Millennial generation of leaders and quite insightful. Ben is a pastor in Tennessee and offers some good thoughts for young leaders-and one phrase of encouragement they must hear. By the way, Ben’s web site is worth a look too and the link is at the bottom of the post.

Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs This is an oped piece from the NY Times. The author is Greg Smith who has been an Executive Director with Goldman-until today. This is worth the read and has been trending on Facebook and Twitter. I love how it speaks to leadership culture and integrity.

6 Characteristics of Spiritual Leaders I often highlight what Michael Hyatt writes. If you missed this post this week-here’s a second chance. Hyatt distinguishes between spiritual leadership and other forms of organizational leadership and then offers six functions or traits of a true spiritual leader.

Good Churchmanship This comes from Tim Challies, who is well known in reformed circles. I really enjoy his blog and is one of the few to which I subscribe. Tim is a thoughtful writer and I really like this post that compares sportsmanship with churchmanship-and what has been lost with both concepts. This is a good read for the leader and follower.

The Empire of Entitlement This final post is from Pete Wilson who is the pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville. Pete writes a great exhortation about the dangers of our culture of entitlement-and how it can really threaten our leadership. He highlights Deuteronomy 8 and reminds us well that there is one God-and it is not us.

There are 5 for this week-lead well!