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The Nature of Leadership
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The Nature of Leadership

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  • 1. Lesson 2 The Nature of Leadership Activity 2.1 I would like you to reflect for a while on your childhood and early working years: Make a list of the leaders you followed? What was it about each of these people that inspired you to follow them? What, in your opinion was the prevailing leadership philosophy that impacted you in your upbringing? List the strengths and weaknesses of such a way of thinking? Activity 2.2. How do you view those in authority? How have your past experiences played a part in developing this view of authority figures? How has your view of authority influenced your approach to leading?Warren Bennis: “ We need to move to an era in which leadership is an organizational capabilityand not an individual characteristic that a few individuals at the top of the organisation have.”I. What are some common tensions that business leaders face? A. Principle-based leadership VS Localised contextual leadership approaches. B. Vision VS current reality. C. Facilitation of leadership development VS Accountability for results. D. Detailed Knowledge of corporation VS hands off empowerment. E. Maintenance of stability VS leadership and leverage of change. F. Clarity VS Management of ambiguity.©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 7
  • 2. G. Maintenance of competitive edge VS employee satisfaction and well-being. H. Experience VS Education VS Competence. I. Counsel VS Personal Gut-feel judgmentII. What are some common problems with business leaders today? A. Many leaders have limited leadership to a particular personality type, usually the charismatic personality. B. Many leaders have limited leadership to a position. C. Many leaders are greatly skilled in a discipline but ineffective at leading people. D. Many leaders are effective in gaining followers but ineffective in developing leaders. (Exo 18:13-17) E. Many leaders are ineffective at replacing themselves. F. Many leaders are blinded by their desire to climb the corporate ladder at all cost. G. Many leaders do not have a balanced lifestyle. H. Many leaders think in terms of making money in the short-term at the expense of building organizations that last.III. What are some signs of an unhealthy leadership environment? A. An environment where people are reprimanded for authenticity (Telling it as it is) B. An environment where leaders stay silent or lie about things that matter. C. An environment where leaders can not give reasons for corporate cultural practices. D. An environment where leaders fear challenging the status quo. E. An environment where leaders are out of touch with customer needs and don’t move beyond preserving the inherited institution. F. An environment where feedback focuses on failure rather than a learning culture being created. G. An environment where the performance culture is judgmental and not participative and supportive.©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 8
  • 3. H. An environment where leadership goals are continuously unclear resulting in succumbing to the long entrenched expectations of followers. I. An environment where leaders are not being fueled by purpose but only by needs. J. An environment where leaders are unaware of the quality of their employees, followers and future leaders. K. An environment where people are discouraged from thinking for themselves. L. An environment where people do not grow as persons (in skill, in intellect and relationship etc). M. An environment where people do not see God as their source of promotion.IV. What is the difference between good leaders and great leaders in business? Activity 2.3 Do you have in you any of this false humility? Describe some situations where you have you shied away from having people follow you? What belief structures in your mind led you to this resistance to influencing people? What do you think was Satan’s strategy in this? Have you repented (changed your mind) with regards to these beliefs? If not, spend time with God at this point and write down what you hear him say to you.John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.Anyone with followers is a leader. But legends are different. I define a legend as leaders wholeave a legacy. Their influence lives on. Legends are great leaders. They stand out because theyhave that edge that differentiates them. In a number of key areas legends differ from leaders. Ihave identified seven key dimensions in which legends differ from leaders.©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 9
  • 4. From Leaders to Legends Dimension Leaders Legends1 Managing Relations Leaders are always moving ahead, Legends are clear about who they which is necessary for followers. give their best to. They have very However, it is possible to be a leader clear relational standards and and still a man pleaser. One can be a priorities. They are willing to change leader and still manipulated. These the nature of their relationships. people end up winning battles but not They understand that if your eye the war. They end up popular for a causes you to sin, pluck it out. They period but not achieve greatness. are so consumed with their cause that they will not allow themselves to get distracted by high maintenance relationships which don’t take them to their destination. They are able to say no. They are not man pleasers. You can’t manipulate them. They don’t have a strong need for approval from men.2 Managing Ambiguity Leaders will often struggle with The mind of a legend works ambiguity. We sometimes only see a differently. Legends can entertain single dimension in a leader. They are ambiguity. We can see this in God’s bold, or they are intelligent etc. nature. There is the kindness and severity of God. Jesus came with grace and truth. Legends somehow have multiple dimensions we see in them. For example, Jim Collin’s Level 5 leaders have a self effacing humility whilst at the same time embracing a bull-dog tenacity. Legends will often have interesting combinations e.g. great intellect coupled with the ability to learn from a child. Great talent coupled with extraordinary humility. Great humour and ability to laugh at themselves combined with extraordinary contemplative ability.3 Managing Choices Leaders make choices. These however The summation of their legendary are not always consistent with their status is seen in choices they make. cause. In order to get followers they They consistently make choices sometimes compromise their values. aligned to their values and vision. This is not compromised. The nature of their wisdom is that they know what to do next. It may involve tough, unpopular choices, but they make them. This ability to make the right decisions when it matters, ends up distinguishing them.4 Managing Time Leaders can manage time well, but that Legends manage their purpose. In so does not necessarily mean they are doing they manage their time well. doing the right thing. This is because their activities and daily habits are aligned to their cause, their vision and values.5 Managing Weakness Leaders often try to be great all- Legends have learned to be honest rounders. They are often in denial about their weaknesses with no©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 10
  • 5. concerning their weaknesses. The result shame. They put their strengths to is that they put a lot of effort into being work and manage around their average. weakness. They hire according to their weakness. They understand that we are not called to socialize or team build along the lines of least resistance. They do not see themselves more highly than they ought. They can end up attracting the best in the world and they become the greatest cheerleaders.6 Managing Failure Leaders are often experts at covering up Legends acknowledge failure but their failures. They might react by have a way of learning from it and overcompensating for their failures putting it behind them and without acknowledging them. Others embracing the future. Paul describes dwell so much on past failure that they this as a mark of maturity. A do not embrace their future. righteous man can fall 7 times but Discouragement gets the better of them. still get up. This type of perseverance is necessary for shift from leader to legend.7 Managing Learning Leaders acquire lots of knowledge but Legends are passionate learners. don’t always learn. Learning is the They do not limit their learning to acquisition of knowledge resulting in a formal environments but have change of mind and change of behavior. multiple sources of learning. They Passion for knowledge is not the same are extremely inquisitive, and adjust as a passion for learning. their behavior based on their findings. They understand that the organizations which are the most competitive are the ones which learn fastest. V. How do you gain credibility as a leader? Kouzes and Posner suggest that credibility has three aspects to it: Integrity, Competence and Inspiration. You will find that your reasons for people following you will probably be able to fit into these three categories. A. Integrity B. Competence C. Inspiration. It’s important to remember that BOTH Integrity and Competence are important in leadership. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Psalms 78:72)©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 11
  • 6. Activity 2.4 Reflect for a while on your level of integrity. Are you an example of authenticity? – This can be summed up in the word candour; “what you see is what you get?” When we discuss candour we see that there are levels of truth; with God, yourself and others: Integrity: How truthful are you with God? How truthful are you with yourself? How truthful are you with others? (In word and presentation) Competency: What competencies/skills do you have which you can sharpen? What is your action plan for increasing your competencies? How can such an endeavour increase your credibility? State with whom. Inspiration: Why do you think Jesus was so inspiring? What does the bible say about why people were amazed by Him? What can you do to become a little more inspiring?Having said all these important things about leadership, in the next lesson we will look atservant-hood. If we talk about leadership without talking about servant-hood we have missed thebiblical approach to leadership development no matter how stimulating our theories sound.Please note a number of things here. When the mother of James and John asks for her sons to bepromoted, Jesus says to her; you do not know what you are asking. Many believers today areasking God for spiritual promotion but He is asking them the same thing “Do you know whatyou are asking? Are you able to drink the cup I have drunk.” In the next lesson we will explorehow to create a servant-leadership culture in the workplace.©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 12
  • 7. Appendix I – Leadership ResearchI asked a group of approximately 102 participants from 40 companies (many Blue Chip) to divide into 13 groups and give 5 keystrategies/leadershifts (Changes in leadership approach) necessary in South African business leadership. This took place on 14/15September 2008. The following were the responses I received.Group 1 • Boundaryless (no silos) • Positioning right people • People seen as an asset not an expense • Performance ownership program (POP). Parking bay issues. • Live and die for values (uncompromising customer service, integrity, winning through teamwork, professionalism, passion for brand, effective communication, long-term customer relations)Group 2 • Communication (feedback) • Empowerment (with accountability) • Implementation (not just good ideas) • Clear purpose and direction • Fairness and transparency (with diversity)Group 3 • Reduce power distance (interact beyond problems) • Encourage ownership (knowing the bigger picture) • Getting feedback • Integrity • Behaving how you want others to • Showing commitmentGroup 4 • People are important and must be seen as an asset • Knowing your team so you can influence them (profiling) • Knowing your powerbase (using influence and not position power/pulling rank) • Authenticity (being an example) • Vulnerability (not being afraid to expose your weakness, although do so with discretion) • Knowing how to play chess (positions of people etc)Group 5 • Strategy formulation (multidirectional not top down) • People empowerment (not centralized, not delegating) • Breaking from mediocrity (celebrating innovation) • Role clarity (not jumping lines of command, role ambiguity)Group 6 • Break away from patriarchal contract • Break away from hierarchical approach • Create feedback culture (including implementing feedback) • Celebrating and including all in your success • Leaders stepping back so team can enjoy success • Establishing brave leadership • Moving from a blame shifting culture©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 13
  • 8. Group 7. • Clarifying vision (knowing your values) • Grooming your leaders • Integrity (benefiting the company and not just you) • Growing in leadership and not just management • Long-lasting legacy sustainable after you leave • Mutual respect in team setting (caring) • Maintaining and building trust • CredibilityGroup 8 • Accountable (not blaming saying it’s not my role) • Having strength analysis (being passionate) • Being able to adapt and fit your environment/surroundings. • Knowing where to cut your losses the last one standing. • Give credit where it’s due. • Increase in risk taking. Have more risk takers. • Do the insights colour profiles. (Personality/behavioural profiles)Group 9 • Choosing the right people o People whose values align with the organization o Then motivation followsGroup 10. • Empowering culture • Embracing real growth and not just change • Decisiveness • People lower down the organization need to know the Y factor (Big picture, Making vision stick)Group 11. • Responsibility • Risk-taking • Communicating the vision • Right people in right places • Working to people’s strengths • Integrity of input • Feedback and communicationGroup 12. • Education (continuous learning) • Ready to change • The big picture, overall goals (knowing what to share or not to share)Group 13. • Non-punitive environment (exploring why people mess up) • Encouraging ownership • Creating a positive culture or else the culture creates itself by default • Leaving a legacy • Diversity • A people oriented culture©2009 - Paul Nyamuda, City Life Church 14

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