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The Top Posts of 2016!

I trust you have had a good and profitable 2016. Here are the top 5 posts from my blog for this past year. Thank you for helping to make this blog a success. I hope your leadership was strengthened this past year–and may you excel still more in 2017!

Delegation vs Empowerment

To delegate means to choose or elect a person to act as a representative for another. To empower someone means to give power or authority to someone else. Do you hear the difference?

A Leader’s Prayer-Psalm 25

King David penned Psalm 25.  We are not sure when he wrote this psalm.  Therefore, we are uncertain about the circumstances of Psalm 25.  David speaks of his enemies in verse 2 and verse 19.  But David had many enemies and they were a consistent part of his life and leadership.  What most intrigues me about this psalm or this prayer from David lies in verses 4 and 5.  David the leader asks to be led.

Two Types of Courage

Merriam-Webster defines courage as the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous. Real leadership deals in the currency of courage on a daily basis. Yet there are different kinds of courage. Some forms are more valuable than others.

3 Marks of Leadership Maturity

One aspect of leadership I have been pondering is how Christ-centered leadership matures. As I have looked back over my own leadership life it is clear that there have been seasons marked by immature leadership–leadership that was more focused on self than on Christ and others.

The Principle of Focus

There are many things to which you can give your leadership energy.  The tendency is to fall prey to the urgent, which as Mr. Covey reminds us does not always include the most important priorities.

Top 10 Posts for 2014

medium_96228072Here are the 10 posts that you made the most popular during 2014. Thank you for helping to make this past year such a success for me and The Leadership Crossing blog. Lead purposefully and effectively into 2015.

Delegation vs Empowerment  “To delegate means to choose or elect a person to act as a representative for another. To empower someone means to give power or authority to someone else. Do you hear the difference?”

Winston Churchill on Leadership  “Winston Churchill was certainly one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. But it was not without trial nor failure. His leadership character was forged in the crucible of suffering and fatigue.”

3 Types of Leadership Decisions  “This is the 2nd post on the topic of leadership decisions. In the first one I discussed the nature of leadership decisions and offered some diagnostic questions to help you in thinking through every leadership decision you make. In this post we will look at three types of leadership decisions.”

3 Marks of Leadership Maturity  “One aspect of leadership I have been pondering is how Christ-centered leadership matures. As I have looked back over my own leadership life it is clear that there have been seasons marked by immature leadership–leadership that was more focused on self than on Christ and others.”

4 Critical Questions for Strategic Planning  ““Strategic planning” has become buzz terminology in the past ten plus years. There are several varieties of strategic planning approaches. All are designed to help teams and organizations focus on the most critical aspects of reaching a desirable future.”

Monty’s List of 7 Necessary Leadership Qualities  “Taken from his Memoirs, here is a list of what Monty believed to be seven necessary qualities for a military leader. I would suggest they would stand well for any leader, and certainly spiritual leaders who realize they are ultimately in a spiritual battle.”

A Leader’s Prayer-Judges 5  “The period of the Judges in the Bible was a tumultuous one. During this time, Israel as a nation entered into cycles of sin that constantly required a deliverer  in the form of a judge.”

Courage and the Next Leader  “In this case Joshua is succeeding an icon in the man Moses. Yet it was Joshua’s task to take this million plus people  across the Jordan River and into Canaan. Four times in eighteen verses Joshua is exhorted to be courageous. You would need a healthy dose of courage too if you were leading over a million people into a hostile land.”

Finishing Well  “Recently, I was part of an energizing time of leader development with all of the staff of our church here in Austin. While I was upfront making a brief presentation on the framework that we would be using for development, a critical question was asked by one of the participants. I had made the comment that I think it is difficult to finish well as a spiritual leader. The question was asked, “How does one finish well?”’

The Principle of Focus  The key to complexity is not simplicity, but focus. “I have often made that statement about leadership and stand by it.  I usually preface that statement with the idea that if you are not dealing with some level of complexity then you are not really leading anything of significance.”

Top 10 for 2013

small_2482826832013 has been a good year. It has been a year of learning and growth. This season of life has been a challenge to adapt to some new styles of leadership. I am grateful for all those who have walked beside me in this season and have shown patience. I am hopeful for 2014 and the opportunity to keep growing as a leader. I trust you are motivated to keep learning too.

Here are my ten most popular posts from 2013. Thanks so much for your contributions to this blog and adding so well to the leadership conversation.

Delegation vs Empowerment  “To delegate means to choose or elect a person to act as a representative for another. To empower someone means to give power or authority to someone else. Do you hear the difference?”

3 Types of Leadership Decisions  “Sometimes leaders look at decision making like a game of rock, paper, scissors. We use the same approach in every situation and we leave it up to chance. But there is a way to think through the type of decision that should be made for the best possible result.”

Howard Hendricks on Leadership  We lost a great Christian statesman this past year. Here are just a few of his thoughts on the art and science of leadership.

21st Century Leadership: 7 Questions for Evaluation  “Here are seven sets of questions to help you in determining if you are adapting to 21st century leadership.”

Creating a Leadership Culture on Purpose  “I often hear organizational leaders talk about the need “to create a leadership culture.” That statement always strikes me as a curious one. Every organization has a leadership culture. The question is not whether you have one, it is what type of leadership culture do you have?”

Keeping a Leadership Journal  “Whenever I can, I encourage leaders to maintain a leadership journal.  While I lived and led in Italy, I served as director of leadership development for our organization. One of my first budgetary actions was to buy a leather journal for every leader within our organization. I exhorted them to keep it near them so that they could record leadership gems whenever they came upon them.”

9 Questions to Help You in Leading Yourself  “We have to pay attention to ourselves to be better leaders. This exercise is only meant to get you started-but don’t wait, begin!”

3 Marks of Leadership of Maturity  “What does mature leadership look like? How is it experienced? What are it’s marks? There are three aspects which demonstrate a move from immature to mature leadership.”

Self Evaluation in Leadership  “Self leadership is a critical component for all leaders. True leadership greatness in the Kingdom of God is a journey towards humility. This requires some key disciplines to know how we are doing on the journey and where we can make progress.”

Practical Tips on Delegation & Empowerment  “Quality empowerment results in the making of a leader. See my prior post for some of the particulars in discerning between the these two leadership functions. For this post I want to focus on practical ideas in actually delegating to or empowering someone.”

Here’s to a blessed and profitable 2014. Lead well.

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My Top Posts for November

UnknownHere are my most popular posts for the month of November. There is a mix of tried and true and some new offerings. Take a look for the first time-or again.

Delegation vs Empowerment  Once again, this was the most popular post this past month. This topic continues to be of great interest and has been in every “Top Posts” since I first began to publish these summaries. It is the difference between simply getting work done and raising up more leaders.

Three Marks of Leadership Maturity  I recently highlighted this post from my archives and there was immediate interest around the world. We must continually be growing as leaders. What are the marks that someone is actually making progress? This post seeks to begin to answer that question.

Leadership Proverbs  This post simply provides a survey of some of the proverbial sayings in the Bible related to leadership. The book of Proverbs, written largely by one of the most renowned leaders in the Ancient Near East, has been used by God through the ages to point us toward His needed wisdom.

5 for Leadership (10/10/12)  This particular 5 for Leadership was very popular in October and November. There is a great article on the future of leadership development. I linked to such authors as Michael Cardus, Dan McCarthy, Mark Miller, Gretchen Gavett, and Matt Mikalatos. Two of the topics are excellent on teams.

What To Look For In The Next Leader  This post reflects on a message that one of Cru’s senior leaders delivered to a group of national leaders in development. It provides four critical considerations for anyone building an enterprise and in need of more leaders.

There are the most popular posts for this past month. Thanks for making this blog one of your avenues for learning.

3 Marks of Leadership Maturity

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One aspect of leadership I have been pondering is how Christ-centered leadership matures. As I have looked back over my own leadership life it is clear that there have been seasons marked by immature leadership–leadership that was more focused on self than on Christ and others.

What does mature leadership look like?

How is it experienced?

What are it’s marks?

There are three aspects which demonstrate a move from immature to mature leadership.

Mark #1  Being able to share power
Leadership is about power and influence. Young leaders can quickly become confused about the center of power and its purposes. There are really only two alternatives: either power centers around the leader, or the leader learns to give power away. Young leaders often want to control and be served. These are marks of the leader being at the center of power. But servant leadership is about making others the focus, therefore empowering others for success. Power sharing also reveals itself when you have shared leadership. In our organization we usually employ two team leaders for every team, a man and a woman. A leader’s ability to come to the table as equals and truly honor the other leader demonstrates maturity. A good leader also recognizes the wealth of ability in the room and seeks to empower anyone who can advance the mission. Immaturity requires the other leader to be subservient to them.

Mark #2  Leading towards your team’s needs, not simply your own
This is similar to number one except it goes beyond where power is located and begins to steward that power toward someone else. An immature leader can be overly concerned with their own needs or their own organization. A mature leader begins to look at the true make up of those entrusted to them and they become students of their strengths, gifts and abilities. They begin to provide what each member needs to see them succeed. They provide structure, resources, counsel, developmental opportunities–all in the name of making them better.

Mark #3  Being able to appropriately lead up
Leading up is about response to authority. Immature leaders complain about the leaders over them, rather than respectfully engaging them. Immature leaders diminish those in authority over them to others, instead of communicating respectfully about them. Mature leaders are able to trust God fully for those He has positioned over them.

What are your thoughts on this important topic? Let’s all move towards greater leadership maturity!

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