New Leaders Take Charge – Myths (part 5)

New leaders need to be “strong, in-charge types” who let people know they are on the job. This is similar to the myth that leadership is for heroes. However, this one has an upside, just so long as the leader doesn’t believe it! For example, my father was a 30 year Naval officer (Legion of … Continue reading New Leaders Take Charge – Myths (part 5)

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Leadership is Charismatic – Myths (part 4)

Many people buy into the idea that leadership must be charismatic. They equate a good leader with someone who enthralls others, who can whip-up feelings/emotions of a crowd and use their personality to get others to follow. In a scene from Lord of the Rings, the hero Aragorn lines up his army outside the bad-guy fortress … Continue reading Leadership is Charismatic – Myths (part 4)

Biblical Leadership – Myths (part 3)

Biblical Leadership is a myth? Well…kind of. At least the way it's usually portrayed. Often people writing about Biblical leadership take a “Let’s do leadership like Moses, or David, or Jesus, or Paul,” kind of approach. That is not a study of Leadership but of leaderships.  Let me be academic here for just a minute. … Continue reading Biblical Leadership – Myths (part 3)

Leadership is for Heroes – Myths (part 2)

Must Leadership be heroic, with good leaders coming to the rescue? This popular image of leadership is a combination of John Wayne self-sufficiency, James Bond expertise, and Winston Churchill determination. (The lack of women in these images is a topic for another post.) Do leaders stand alone against the crowd? Are they the people who bring solutions … Continue reading Leadership is for Heroes – Myths (part 2)

Leadership and Vision

The leader’s vision should drive the organization. True or false? While leadership’s vision is supposed to guide the organization down the path, it just isn't that simple. No matter how much we try to get our people to “buy-in” to our finely crafted and polished vision, their own personal motivations and values will always be … Continue reading Leadership and Vision

Leadership Expectations

Do the people you lead expect you to calm things down, provide stability, and return things to normal? Isn’t that what leadership is supposed to do? In most churches this is the main responsibility of the pastor/leader. After all, the very title of pastor conjures up visions of green fields full of happy sheep frolicking … Continue reading Leadership Expectations

Theology, Leadership and Community (part two)

So…what’s the culture of leadership like at your place of worship? How do authority, position, and church office fit together?  Many leaders these day hang their hats on Servant Leadership, a concept where “the servant-leader is servant first…” (Greenleaf, 2007, p. 27). Success, according to that way of thinking, is measured by how much a person … Continue reading Theology, Leadership and Community (part two)

Theology, Leadership, and Community

What is the culture of leadership like in your place of worship?  Paternalistic leaders steal accountability and ownership from the people they lead and place responsibility for decisions in the hands of management. In the corporate world that’s called patriarchy (Block, 1996). In the church we call it “shepherding.”  I know, I know; shepherding is … Continue reading Theology, Leadership, and Community

Leadership & Theology?

Why write about theology when discussing leadership?  Georgia Sorenson, writing on James MacGregor Burns, observed that he changed modern leadership studies, which historically focused on effectiveness by insisting leadership has moral dimensions, in fact, that leadership as a relationship, has a moral core of motivations (in Couto, R. (Ed.) 2007, pp.24-25). Since then, the bulk … Continue reading Leadership & Theology?

Leadership Misunderstood

The widely regarded founder of modern leadership studies, James MacGregor Burns, observed, “Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth” (Burns, 1978, p. 3). Why is this so?  Too many of us think of the leader as the “hero.” This colors our understanding of leadership. We grew up entranced by … Continue reading Leadership Misunderstood