5 for Leadership-November 21st


Liz West on Flickr

5 for Leadership is a collection of weekly posts focused on the topic of leadership. This week there are posts covering leadership gratitude, first-time leaders, knowing when your leadership time is up, an interview with Max Lucado, and what millennial women think of leadership sacrifice. There is plenty to ponder.

Millenial Women Question: Is Leadership Worth The Sacrifice?

“The real question is: do Millennial women really not want to be leaders? Or, have they recognized how great the sacrifices female leaders must make, and how many obstacles there are for them in the business, and chosen other paths?” This post comes from the Switch & Shift blog and contains a great infographic.

Take An 80-20 Approach to First-Time Mangement

“As an individual contributor, your focus is on doing the work, getting projects done, and meeting deadlines. But when you switch into a manager role, it means that you have to help others get the work done and ensure that they have the support, resources, and encouragement they need to be successful, both as individuals and as a group.” David Witt contributes a great post for anyone new to leadership or improving in their leadership–on the Blanchard Leadership Chat blog.

5 Leadership Questions with Max Lucado

This is a podcast on the Christian Leadership Alliance website. I think you will really enjoy this interview with pastor, leader, and author–Max Lucado.

10 Ways A Leader Knows It Is Over

“Leadership is temporary.  Our responsibility is to steward it well while we have it.  The fact our leadership responsibilities will one day conclude is a sobering reality that is in the back of all our minds.” This post is from Brian Dodd on his blog, Brian Dodd on Leadership. Brian takes some points from a recent USA Today piece on Peyton Manning and makes some great leadership applications.

What Is Leading With Gratitude?

“Each of us has many things to be grateful for in our imperfect personal and professional lives. Although it may be easier to look at what is not working, it is more empowering for leaders to identify what we are thankful for. As Thanksgiving approaches for many of us, let’s explore ways to show our gratitude.” Terri Klass shares 10 great ways to show leadership gratitude on her blog Terri Klass Consulting.

There are the 5 for your Thanksgiving week. Take some time to truly reflect on your leadership journey this week–and give thanks!


Leader Development or Leadership Devlopment


The leadership culture has changed.

We live in a “postheroic” era.

People attribute authority to those they trust . . . those with proven integrity.

Titles no longer matter as much as character.

People want to be inspired into action, not driven.

The top three leadership traits that are needed for a “postheroic” era are the abilities to network, collaborate, and have influence without authority.

But these are not traditional leadership skills that universities teach. These topics rarely form the core subject matter of the next leadership conference.

These skills have much more to do with social capital than human capital.

Some thought leaders have begun to differentiate between leader development and leadership development.

Is there a noteworthy difference–or is this semantics?

Maybe both.

David Day, a scholar at the University of Western Australia, makes the case that there is a need to consider both kinds of development for the 21st century leader. He separates leader development from leadership development and says both are necessary.

Day makes the distinction in the following way:

Leader Development

  • Focus on Human Capital
  • A Model of Individual Personal Power, Knowledge, and Trustworthiness
  • The Competence Base is Intrapersonal
  • Necessary Skills:
    • Self-Awareness
      • Emotional Awareness
      • Self Confidence
      • Accurate Self-Image
    • Self Regulation
      • Self-Control
      • Trustworthiness
      • Personal Responsibility
      • Adaptability
    • Self-Motivation
      • Initiative
      • Commitment
      • Optimism

Leadership Development

  • Focus on Relational Capital
  • A Model of Relational Commitments, Mutual Respect, and Trust
  • The Competence Base is Interpersonal
  • Necessary Skills:
    • Social Awareness
      • Empathy
      • Service Orientation
      • Political Awareness
    • Social Skills
      • Building Bonds
      • Team Orientation
      • Change Catalyst
      • Conflict Management

Most would agree that all of the above competencies are needed to effectively network, collaborate and and have influence without authority. Leader development focuses on the individual and can be accomplished in an individual training context. Leadership development focuses more on the team and is better accomplished in a cohort or team context.

Consider these principles for your development of leaders:

  • Development needs grounding, a base from which to establish character and integrity.
  • Development is best done in the context of the mission–the actual work of the organization.
  • Holistic development requires both “hard” trait oriented skills and “soft” people/social oriented skills.
  • Leader development can be done in a one on one training context.
  • Leadership development is best done in a cohort/team environment.

In a “postheroic” era a premium will need to be placed on leadership development with a grounding in the leader development necessity of self -awareness, character and integrity.

What are your thoughts?

(photo credit)

5 for Leadership-June 27th


This week in 5 for Leadership we have two posts on leading teams, one on the importance of leadership development, one on the importance of leading yourself, and one on the top complaints followers have about their leaders. There is a good lineup this week–take advantage.

Leadership Development Investments  “A new U.S. study of nearly 400 organizations by Lee Hecht Harrison has identified that 54% of employers plan to increase investments in leadership development in 2015. Only 5% of employers plan to decrease investments, and a further 41% reported leadership development investments will stay the same.” This is a very insightful post that includes the top 10 leadership competencies to focus on.

Why a Leaders Must Lead Himself First  “Culture tells us that one does not need to lead himself before he can lead others.” Joseph Lalonde provides three great reasons to lead yourself first.

The Top Complaints from Employees About Their Leaders  “If you’re the kind of boss who fails to make genuine connections with your direct reports, take heed: 91% of employees say communication issues can drag executives down, according to results from our new Interact/Harris Poll, which was conducted online with roughly 1,000 U.S. workers.” This is a great post from the HBR that highlights both followers desires and seven steps to take to gain their confidence.

How To Develop A Great Ministry Team  “I first began to understand the importance of teams as a seminary student. I did a study of the 100 largest churches in the United States, and I asked them a series of questions related to staff and ministry. This may come as no surprise, but the study showed strong churches have a strong team spirit. They do this by combining two things: a common goal with good communication.” Rick Warren provides some very practical insights for success in leading teams.

5 Signs Your Leadership Team Is In Trouble  “I once heard John Maxwell say that “team work makes the dream work.” However, as I survey the leadership landscape, I believe the reason a lot of dreams are not working is because a lot of teams are way more dysfunctional than dedicated.” This is from Perry Noble back in March. This post serves as a great compliment to the one above it. Read both for a full perspective.

There is 5 for Leadership for this final weekend in June.

(photo credit)

Leadership Is About Removing Obstacles


Last week was a rich time of learning as I participated in a Doctor of Ministry intensive. One or our professors for the week was Dr. Jason Carthen (check out his web site). He introduced us to the Path-Goal Theory of Leadership.This theory was popularized by R. J. House and T. R. Mitchell. This is not a new concept, but it was new to me. As he described the role of the leader according to this theory I came to realize another aspect of servant leadership that is critical.

While the Path-Goal Theory is not exact, it often includes three basic steps: determine the employee and environmental characteristics, select a leadership style, and focus on motivational factors that will help the employee succeed.

One practical application of the Path-Goal Theory is the removal of obstacles by the leader that might stand in the way of any follower. This is a crucial role for any leader to play. If a leader truly sees that one of his or her primary functions is to raise up more leaders, then this aspect of the Path-Goal Theory should be a daily mandate.

But how does one practically go about removing the obstacles of followers, and thus empowering them to become potentially great leaders. I think there are three specific steps each leader can take.

1. Through Greater Personal Development  As a leader we can first seek to remove obstacles by providing great personal development. This usually begins with a 360 review process that will lead to a personal development plan. Every emerging leader needs this type of feedback rich environment to ensure their ongoing development. The personal development plan needs to be specific, largely focused on a a person’s strengths, and with specific measurable goals. It should also be accompanied by some monetary investment towards outside training programs that will add to the emerging leader’s skill development.

2. Through Providing Adequate Resources  Another key way to remove obstacles from your emerging leader’s path is by providing adequate resources in fulfilling their assigned responsibilities. A leader is in the unique position of steward. A leader needs to constantly think about what their followers need to get the job done. Those resources might include funding, tools or more people for their teams. Don’t ever forget that the most important resource you may provide on a daily basis is hope. Emerging leaders need a variety of resources to succeed and grow. Be sure that they have them.

3. Through Acting As A Sponsor For Those You Lead  A final way in which a leader can help remove obstacles from the path of an emerging leader is by providing sponsorship. Every emerging leader will one day need a good word provided on their behalf. This may be a word to a senior leader. This may be a word to a potential partner. This may be even a word on behalf of the emerging leader to that leader’s team. Sponsorship is an asset and a blessing that every established leader can gift to an up and coming leader. I guarantee you had someone act on your behalf somewhere along the way.

The Path-Goal Theory is about helping those that follow you, and have the potential to be good leaders themselves, by removing the obstacles that stand in their way from becoming truly great leaders.

Who do you have your sites set upon? What obstacles can you identify that are standing in their way of success? What are you going to do about it?

(photo credit)

5 for Leadership (2/14/15)

3915604902_f66d2bf6e1Here is a fresh 5 for your Valentine’s Day. We have posts on Tim Tebow, leadership inquiry, leadership truths, leadership trust, and happy habits. Take some time and become more informed as a leader.

Trust & Leadership  “The key to a leader’s success is the relationship they develop with their constituents. This relationship is always based on trust. Without a deep sense of trust, a leader cannot have any relationship with constituents.” This comes from Will Lukang on the Lead Change Group blog.

7 Inquiry Methods You Must Master  “For most adults, inquiry is a route to information. For teenagers, questions are a rhetorical way to emphasize their point. For toddlers, questions serve to drive their parents batty. There’s also a more nuanced role for questions.” This provides an interesting paradigm for influence–from David Fields. Take a look.

Did You Learn These 9 Critical Leadership Truths?  “As I was visiting my children’s school*, I was struck by 9 critical leadership truths that were being promoted. What impacted me was the fact that as a leadership coach and consultant, I am often talking about these very same qualities and skills with my ‘adult’ clients.” This comes from Andrew Bryant and was found on Linkedin Pulse.

7 Essential Habits of Happier People (How Many Do You Possess?)  “Happiness: everyone wants it, yet relatively few seem to get enough of it, especially those in their early forties. (That’s about the time many of us start thinking, ‘Is this all there is’)” Jeff Haden offers some worthy reflection–this too coming from Linkedin Pulse.

Out of the NFL, Tebow Builds His Lasting Legacy  “The incredible fourth quarter finale to this year’s Super Bowl, complete with a bobbling catch and unlikely interception, made me wonder what’s become of a Christian brother with a knack for fourth quarter heroics: Tim Tebow.” Here is a leader who continues to make a difference in the lives of others.

There are the 5 for this week. Read more than one of these posts and consider.

(photo credit)

5 for Leadership (1/24/15)

medium_2115303614Here is a new 5 for Leadership with some excellent posts on MLK, Winston Churchill, leadership priorities, simple leadership and the future of leadership. There is something here that will enhance your leadership . . . I promise.

3 Leadership Lessons from Winston Churchill  “This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death. We might draw many lessons from Churchill’s life, and not all of them salutary (his views on religion, women, and alcohol come to mind). Nevertheless, Churchill was an inspiring and effective leader in a time of crisis, and it is appropriate to consider what he might teach us today about leadership.”  This comes from Gavin Ortlund and contains some great insights and foundational principles for leadership.

What Are Your Leadership Priorities? 5 Areas to Target  “During a recent 360 feedback interview, the client I was working with said something that caught my attention. I’ve been thinking of it since then, and it’s having an impact on what I am identifying as my priorities and targeted behaviors for this year. My client said there are five things you can never be too good at and always need to develop.” This is from Linda Miller on the Blanchard Leader Chat site.

Simple Leadership  “If you are anything like me, the never-ending books, articles, biographies, and latest best practices of leadership are both overwhelming in their volume and confusing in their analysis. So allow me to cut through the unnecessary esoteric complexity of today’s often convoluted approaches to leadership and share a profoundly simple yet powerful system for effective leadership. There are six essential skills of simple leadership.” This is by John Barney on the Business Timezone Blog.

Imagining the Future of Leadership  Linda Fisher Thornton participated recently in the #LeadWithGiants Tweetchat. Here is her lead in: “During the Tweetchat, inspiring global voices weighed in on big questions, including these:

  • What will the future of leadership be like?
  • What is the best case scenario for the future of leadership?
  • How will we individually and collectively reach that best case scenario?”

MLK and Jesus: No Romanticized Kings  “Next to Jesus and the Apostle Paul, no leader has influenced me like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and legacy we honor annually during this time of year.” Natasha Sistrunk Robinson shares a striking post in honor of MLK Day from her blog, A Sista’s Journey.

There are the 5 for this week. I hope your 2015 is off to a great start. Lead well.

(photo credit)

5 for Leadership (9/6/14)

small_101655312Here is a new 5 for your football watching weekend. Take some time and add depth to your leadership perspective.

Empowering Your Team To Take Initiative  Empowerment is a word being tossed around a lot lately. This post does a good job of adding some clarity to this important concept.

Lead With Your Feet  “Whether you move across the room to shake a hand or travel around the globe to partake in local cuisine and share in the culture of a partner, the significance and impact of a firm handshake and face to face interaction cannot be overstated.” Kent Landreth give us some very practical and timely advice about cutting the virtual cord and getting out among your people.

The Best Leaders Are Insatiable Leaders  “It takes a real sense of personal commitment, especially after you’ve arrived at a position of power and responsibility, to push yourself to grow and challenge conventional wisdom.” Bill Taylor highlights the power of a monumental speech and the desperate need of every leader.

Groups Vs. Teams: What’s The Difference  “Although you likely have been part of both groups and teams in the past, do you understand the difference? What are the key distinctions between a group and a team?” This post from Justin Irving gives us some great definitions, contrasts, and needed principles for knowing when you should want a group or a team.

How Pastors Get Hired Today  “Applying for full-time vocational ministry positions does not mean what you probably think it means. The days of dropping a hundred resumes in the mail (or e-mail) are gone.” This is a very insightful post on the Gospel Coalition Blog for any and all in full time Christian ministry.

There are the 5 for this week. Roll Tide!

5 for Leadership (8/30/14)

small__168206195Here is fresh 5 for your Labor Day weekend. We have posts on intolerance, leading above the line, how to keep moving forward, the inner leadership circle of Jesus, and words that can change lives. Take a few minutes and click your way through. And have a great Labor Day!

The Jesus Inner Leadership Circle  “Jesus had an inner circle of leadership. It sounds exclusive. And it was. But you should have one too.” Ron Edmondson points us to several reasons why we should have a inner leadership circle and principles for developing one.

Coaching Conscious Leadership  “The first mark of conscious leaders is self-awareness and the ability to tell themselves the truth.  It matters far more that leaders can accurately determine whether they are above or below the line in any moment than where they actually are.  Distortion and denial are cornerstone traits of unconscious leaders.” John Agno defines above the line and below the line leadership and why it matters.

How To Change Lives With Two Words  “Tell people they’re inadequate long enough and they’ll believe it. Undermine their confidence with constant correction, tweaking, and complaints and they’ll pull back.” Dan Rockwell tells us how to instill belief and confidence in others. Take a look!

Be A Pioneer: Five Power Tips For Moving Onward  “Somewhere around the junior high school years, our U.S. history classes cover the compelling stories of trailblazing people venturing west—crossing the plains ISO (In Search Of) new country and treasures. As I remember studying those narratives, I marveled at how these explorers relied on their smarts, determined to know more and go beyond the boundaries.” Deborah Parker share some great principles for resilient leadership from a historical context. 

Spiritual Leaders Fight Against Intolerance  “We live in a world that is increasingly intolerant, one in which violence, untruthfulness, hate, mutual criticism abound, and people constantly and deliberately do hurtful things to others.” Dr. Leonard Doohan helps us spot intolerance in others and ourselves and provides us with ways to reject intolerant behavior.

There are the 5 for this Labor Day weekend. I hope you have a refreshing one and that something in this post actually adds to your leadership refreshment.

(photo credit)

5 for Leadership (8/16/14)

small__5333201756Here is a new 5. There are posts on leadership lessons, leadership initiative, young leaders, race, leading staff you don’t like. There is something here for you–take a look.

6 Ways To Lead Staff You Don’t Like  “Some of you will be deeply offended and leave this post right after the next sentence. While you should love everyone on your staff, it’s ok if you like some people more. In fact, its important for you to realize that you are eventually going to end up with someone on your team that you don’t really like.” This is a guest post on Brad Lomenick’s blog written by Todd Adkins. This is practical and real.

Why Wait For Permission? Just Go!  “Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to lead, grow, or move in your organization? What if you already have all the permission you need?” Michael Hyatt shares some freeing insights about being who you are and leading where you are.

On Race, The Benefit of the Doubt, and Complicity  I don’t agree with Rachel Held Evans on everything, and she would not agree with me, but this is a well written piece on racism that needs to be read. The tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri has brought this evil back into our view. Rachel has some very good practical steps that all of us who are a part of the majority culture need to heed.

8 Reasons Young Leadership Is Essential To Your Organization  “If you listen to many leaders over 40, the complaints come quickly: They don’t work hard enough. They seem to want it all, now. They have a hard time distinguishing between work and play. They have an entitlement attitude. What on earth happened to grammar, spelling and etiquette?” Carey Nieuwhof provides some compelling reasons to lean into young.

My Leadership Lessons As Executive Director  “This is the second time I have done this with an organization – served as the Executive Director during the startup phase. I’ve learned many lessons along the way, but these rise to the top as most important.” This is a great read from Jesse Lyn Stoner. 

There are the 5 for this week-enjoy!

5 for Leadership (8/2/14)

small__4284694062Here is a new 5 for the first weekend of August. We have posts on the importance of story telling, inner city leadership, leaders and social media, top leadership advice, and the best posts from July. There is something here for you to inspire your leadership.

We Asked Top Leaders To Share Their Number One Advice, and Here’s What They Said . . .  “When I learned about the LDC (Leadership Development Consultation) Conference I was intrigued. I was excited by it’s vision statement: ‘Be inspired to pursue God’s highest in leader development in the nations.’” Paul Sohn has posted some outstanding insights to leadership. 

Leadership Now 140: July 2014 Compilation  Here is a treasure trove of posts from this past month on the topic of leadership from some of the best leadership development minds–all captured in one place on the Leading Blog.

How To Tell A Great Story  “We tell stories to our coworkers and peers all the time — to persuade someone to support our project, to explain to an employee how he might improve, or to inspire a team that is facing challenges. It’s an essential skill, but what makes a compelling story in a business context? And how can you improve your ability to tell stories that persuade?” This is one of the most popular reads on the HBR Blog. 

7 Keys To Becoming A Leader People Like And Want To Hear From On Social Media  “Any idea what other people think of you when they see you online? I promise you, they have a reaction. They really do. And most of us have no idea what it is.” Carey Nieuwhof gives us some great insight on how to think about our online presence as a leader.

Historic Inner City Conference Stirs Change  “More than 300 people associated with the Inner City ministry of Cru gathered July 22-24, 2014 for Creating Options Together. Cru staff members and representatives from partner ministries shared ideas and listened to each other to find effective ways to disciple inner city residents.” Check out some of the recorded responses. This is an important effort and there are some profound truths shared. 

There are the 5 for this week-enjoy.