This is part of a presentation that deals with basic principles of leadership. It looks at certain changes that occurred in leadership theory over the last decades, and ends with a discussion on relational leadership models.
WELCOME! A very warm welcome to everyone who is here, we thank you for joining us. We really trust that you will benefit from this leadership seminar in ways you never even expected, and we are all looking forward to see what God will reveal to us during these next few days. The purpose of this first presentation is to look at leadership from a biblical perspective. Leadership has become a very popular topic over the last couple of years. Each year scores of books are published on the subject and seminars focusing on leadership are being held all over the world. However, for us as Christians, it is important to always refer back to our Operation Manual – the Bible! What does God say about leaders and leadership? What does He say about the role and responsibility of leaders? We will therefore look at biblical principles of leadership and see how we as leaders can apply these principles and guidelines to lead in the way God wants us to lead, and at the same time increase our effectiveness and impact as leaders. Keep in mind that all the leadership principles that we will deal with, apply to Church leaders – those who hold positions of leadership in the organized church – but they also apply to Christian leaders who have ministries in the so-called “secular” world: teachers, businessmen and –women, government officials, and those practicing professions of all kinds.
In this presentation: Now for the sake of clarity and structure, we will use what Paul has written in Ephesians 4 to focus on a number of specific topics and principles regarding leadership. We will do this under the following headings: -What is LEADERSHIP? -AUTHORITY of a leader -PURPOSE of leaders -CHARACTER and SPIRITUALITY -SUMMARY
DEFINING LEADERSHIP If we asked ten of you to write a definition of leadership on a peace of paper and we would compare what you have written, I am quite sure we would get some very different answers. Although most of us understand that leadership has something to do with leading and with being followed, people of surprisingly different understandings of exactly what that means. It would therefore be sensible to start off by first establishing what exactly leadership is.
EGYPT PYRAMID Cartoon: It is sad but true that deep in the back of their minds, this is how some people view leadership. The leader is sitting on top of the huge granite block – even adding the weight – while his poor followers are struggling to move it in order to build the pyramid. Not only is he completely misunderstanding the purpose and work of a leader, but he is clearly underestimating the abilities of his followers. If you have a close look at their faces, you will see that they are clearly very skeptical about his attempt to motivate them by telling them that they are all equal members of the team! This top-down / boss & slave concept of leadership is also in total contradiction to what the Bible teaches about leaders and followers, as we will see just now. However, just look at what Jesus said about how leaders should position themselves in relation to their followers: &quot; It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;” (JESUS) – Matthew 20:26-27 (NASB) So if this is not what we mean when we talk about leadership, what is leadership then?
Definitions: Before we look at leadership from a biblical perspective, let’s first look at a couple of general DEFINITIONS of leadership from various experts on the subject. This will help to ensure that we have a common understanding of what we refer to when we talk about leadership: James C. Hunter, founder of JD Hunter Associates LLC and renowned leadership expert, says “Leadership is a skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically towards goals identified as being for the common good”. 3 Andy Stanley, popular author of several books dealing with leadership, defined leadership as “Leaders provide a mental picture of a preferred future and then ask people to follow them there”. 3 Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star general in the US army during the Second World War who later became the 34th US president, believed that “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to o something you want done because he wants to do it”. 4 And finally Richard L. Daft, author of several highly-rated academicals on leadership, change and organizations, stated that “Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes” 5 .
Common Factors: If we analyze these definitions, we find a number of COMMON FACTORS from which we gain a fairly clear understanding of what leadership is: RELATIONSHIP – In the first place, we see there is always a relationship between the leader and the follower. This relationship is not always good or positive or long-lasting, but it forms the foundation for all leadership. A relationship implies that there are always at least two parties involved – leaders and followers. This means that we cannot really lead ourselves, which in turn implies that if a leader doesn’t have any followers, he or she is not leading… Another point to keep in mind here is that the dynamics of this relationship can change. An individual who is the leader in a particular situation, can become the follower under different circumstances, and vice versa 6 . INFLUENCE – The next common factor we find in all good definitions of leadership, is that someone is being influenced . This implies that we are not talking about a passive relationship, but a relationship where the one party influences the other to perform an action. The leader influences the follower to do something – to affect a desired result or outcome. However, when we talk about influence in the context of leadership, it is very important to bear in mind that this influence is not a one-way street. While the leader is influencing the follower to perform an action, it remains a relationship and therefore the follower is also influencing the leader 5 . CHANGE – As already stated, leadership is a relationship where one party is influencing the other to perform an action. This means that both leader and follower are not satisfied with the status quo – their current situation – and desire to change it. Leadership thus involves creating a desired change . GOAL – In good leadership, the desired changes are not imposed by the leader, but reflect goals or purposes sought by the leader and follower. The purpose of the change is therefore to reach a goal or future desired by both parties in the relationship 5 . Good leadership therefore strives to achieve a positive goal that would be beneficial to the leader and follower. On the other hand, manipulative leaders will seek to mislead their followers in working towards a goal which they think will benefit them, while actually only benefiting the leader. PEOPLE – From all the above it is clear that leadership is a people-focused activity, which distinguishes it from administration and management. Richard Daft explained that leadership thus occurs “among people” and is not something which is done “to” people 5 .
2. AUTHORITY of a leader So now we have established that leadership is a relationship between people which seeks to bring change aimed at reaching a specific goal shared by all parties. Now we need to ask ourselves what is the driving force which enables one party or person in the said relationship to influence the other? In other words, we want to establish what is the source of a leader’s authority or power.
Source/level of influence: A number of authors dealing with a leader’s authority or source of power do so from the perspective that power is a personal characteristic or set of characteristics10 which some individuals have and other don’t. These characteristic enable them to influence others to accomplish a goal. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, developed a model which deals with Five Levels of leadership that an individual could reach as a result of certain characteristics or capabilities: These levels are 11 : (1) a capable individual; then (2) a contributing team member; (3) a competent orchestrator; (4) an effective leader; and finally (5) an executive . John Maxwell, author of numerous books on the subject of leadership, has a similar approach with five levels which ascends in the sum of influence the leader has at each level. Maxwell emphasizes the point that leadership as a skill can be developed, which means that a leader can learn skills and abilities which would enable him or her to rise to the next level. His Five Levels of Leadership starts with 12 : (1) leadership by position (where titles and position forms the base of the leader’s power); then proceeds to (2) leadership by permission (where relationships position form the base of the leader’s power); then (3) leadership by production (where the leader’s achievements in the organization influence people to follow him); then (4) leadership by people development (where people follow the leader because of what he did for them); and finally (5) personhood (where after a lifetime of service people follow the leader because of who he is and what he represents). Richard Daft, author of The Essentials of Leadership 13 and other books which deals with leadership, management and organizational development, also identified five sources or bases of power. However, he makes a clear distinction between sources of positional power and sources of personal power. The first three sources are all considered to be types of positional power which is derived from the person’s position or rank in the organization: (1) Legitimate Power is the authority a person has as because of the formal position he or she holds in the organization. Followers comply because they accept the source of power as legitimate. (2) Reward Power is related to the authority a person has to reward followers. Leaders basically control an organization’s resources and how they are distributed. As such, they can use their reward-power to influence the behavior of followers. (3) Coercive Power is the negative side of legitimate power and the opposite of reward power. It is the power a person has to punish followers or to recommend punishment. A leader with coercive power has the legitimate right to demote or lay people off, to criticize, and to reduce or withdraw rewards. The last two sources of power are both “personal” – power that comes from the individual leader himself and not from the position or rank that he holds: (4) Expert Power refers to skills and/or abilities that followers value and need 14 . It can be expert or technical knowledge or abilities regarding the task itself, but it can also be the ability to construct a team by uniting other individuals who has such knowledge or abilities. (5) Referent Power comes from the leader’s personal characteristics or personality that commands the follower’s loyalty and commitment. It is based on the identification of the follower with the leader, and on how much the follower likes, admires, respects and wants to be like the leader 15 . Most leader’s will at different times, as demanded by different situations, make use of all the sources of power mentioned by Daft. However, a leader who only makes use of positional sources of power, are highly unlikely to make any impact beyond that which his or her position or rank dictates. On the other hand, leaders who develop and use their personal sources of power will be able to influence people far beyond that which is prescribed or expected by the leader’s position. This ability is particularly valuable in today’s global environment where companies are changing from the old inflexible mechanistic hierarchical structures to more flexible horizontal structures.
PURPOSE of Leadership (Why do we have Leaders?) Talking about the purpose of leaders or leadership might seem like a simple and even unnecessary exercise. After all – we have already established that leadership is a relationship between people which seeks to apply influence to bring change aimed at a purpose shared by all parties! However, right now, our entire world is going through sweeping and far-reaching changes as a result of constant advances in technology, communication and the availability of information. Many believe these current global transformations to be more acute than anything humankind has experienced since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution some 500 years ago 17 . In this rapidly-changing global environment in which we live, we are constantly challenged to adapt the way we work, do business, communicate and even witness in order to remain effective. To be able to do this in an ever-changing world, we need competent leaders, and this implies that the demands on and purpose of leadership has changed and will probably continue to do so. 17 Now we are going to look into some of these changes in the purpose or functions of leaders or leadership and then see how and if we can relate that to biblical leadership principles and purposes.
Changes of Purpose: Richard Daft identified three major shifts in the purposes or functions of leadership as a result of globalization and other radical changes which occurred and are still occurring during the last decades18. These changes, which relate to the nature, execution and purpose of leadership, are: (1) From STABILITY to CHANGE & CRISIS MANAGEMENT (2) From CONTROL TO EMPOWERMENT (3) From COMPETITION TO COLLABORATION (4) From UNIFORMITY TO DIVERSITY (5) From SELF-CENTERED TO HIGHER PURPOSE (6) From HERO TO HUMBLE Important: A crucial point to take note of here, is that each of these changes, which we will discuss in detail now, has been contributing to making leadership more “personal”. By this I mean that these changes have increased the significance which the leader’s character and spirituality have on the development of their followers and organizations. We will refer to this again as we proceed. For the purpose of this presentation, we are going to focus only on the last five changes as the first one – the change from Stability to Change and Crisis Management, is actually the subject for an entire presentation in its own. We are therefore starting with the Change from Control to Empowerment.
From CONTROL to EMPOWERMENT The first large, centrally-owned companies which came into existence in Europe and America as a result of the Industrial Revolution for or five centuries ago, were characterized by inflexible organizational hierarchies, strict control, structured and detailed job descriptions, and powerful, often authoritarian leadership. Leaders or managers wielded all the power while workers were expected to do what they were told, and not to think about it too much 33 . Although there are still organizations today where elements of these old centralized-power structures thrive, most have realized that it is no longer effective. In a fast-changing global environment, most employees are no longer just keeping machines running eight hours per day. Information, rather than tangible asset such as machinery and buildings, is progressively becoming the main financial bases for today’s economy. Human knowledge has thus become the crucial dynamic for production, which means that success depends to a large extend on the intellectual competence of employees 34 . This has caused a major turnabout in the way leaders and organizations view employees. It became clear that control and rigidity suppressed employee commitment, morale, innovation and motivation, which in turn produced weak outcomes for the organization 34 . The new challenge for leaders is therefore to guide followers in a positive manner that would motivate them, increase their commitment to the organization and make their knowledge and skills readily available to the organization. A very important part of this new leadership purpose or role is to increase employee involvement, which includes employee participation in decision-making processes. Of course, this would be contra-productive and ineffective if employees are not sufficiently trained and equipped for this participative responsibility. In a nutshell, we can safely say that the leadership shift from control to empowerment comes down to leaders becoming coordinating motivators and equippers of their followers. By focusing on the follower’s personal development, which includes his or her well-being, level of training and commitment to the organization, the leader builds the company by building people. Transformational Equippers How does these new equipping leaders who are focusing on the development of their followers compare to the biblical model of leadership? Let’s read Ephesians 4:11 and 12: “ And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” (NASB) We see again that it is God who gave or provided leaders to the Church, and then Paul explains the reason why God gave us these leaders: “ for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ ;” The New Living Translation (NLT) describes it even clearer: “ Their (the leaders) responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ ”. OVERLAY: In 2 Corinthians (10:8) Paul also explains that the authority he as a leader has received from God, is to develop his followers: “For even if I should boast somewhat further about our authority , which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame.” (NASB). Very clearly, Paul is saying that God gave leaders to the Church so that these leaders can equip believers so that the believers can do ministry! The biblical model of leadership is that of equippers – leaders who are focusing on the development of their followers, and not on their own positions or titles or even on doing all the work themselves. Let’s just compare the tasks and functions of leaders (equippers and followers (ministers) briefly:
Leaders and Followers According to the Bible, leaders are meant to empower their followers by focusing their energy and time on equipping the followers. Followers, on the other hand, are supposed to focus their energy and time on their own ministry – on actually doing the work! As such, a leader is successful when someone else who he or she has developed and empowered, fulfills a need. A follower is successful when they themselves fulfill a need or complete a task. It should be a leader’s passion and purpose to get everyone involved in active ministry. A follower’s passion should be to use his or her own gifts and skills in ministry. If a leader is successful in developing others, including other leaders, he or she will eventually work themselves out of their position when they are replaced by new leaders. However, when a follower leaves a position, it may leave a “hole” in the ministry or organization. A leader should therefore be primarily concerned over other people’s fulfillment and development. A follower should primarily be concerned over their own personal fulfillment and development. Now what is the ultimate purpose of this model where leaders are actually equippers who are developing and preparing their followers for their work or ministry? See what Paul writes: God gave leaders to the Church… “… for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith , and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love .” (Eph 4:12-16) According to what Paul writes here, the Body of Christ – the universal Church consisting of all true believers of all time – can only reach full maturity and come to fulfill it’s full potential, if leaders equip followers and followers actually do the work by applying the equipment (spiritual gifts) God gave them. Somewhere in history the Church seems to have lost the plot a little on this one. Instead of following this biblical model for the church 24 , we somehow decided that a few individuals should do all the ministry work, and perhaps to make them feel better, we gave them titles and positions and called them church leaders! However, this is changing. Many churches across the globe are returning to the biblical model with its “priesthood of all believers” 24 . At the same time, so-called “secular organizations” (a fundamentally unbiblical distinction made only as a result of our equally unbiblical dualistic worldview, but more about that on another day) are discovering the value of follower-focused, empowering leadership.
From COMPETITION TO COLLABORATION Closely related to the change towards empowering leadership, has been a change towards collaboration and partnership, as opposed to the old model of competition and conflict. In the past, organizations not only encouraged competition between themselves and their external competitors, but they also encouraged internal competition hostility. Now, horizontal, as opposed to older vertical organizational structures, are breaking down boundaries between departments or units. Many organizations have grasped the value of knowledge management, which means that instead of keeping information for oneself, it is shared so that everyone can benefit from it. Compromise, cooperation and sharing is recognized as strategies to reach goals faster. 25 This change towards collaboration is not only affecting the purpose of leadership within organizations. Globally, there is a growing tendency to also reduce boundaries between organizations. Long-term or single-project networks are formed between organizations with each specializing in specific functions or tasks 26 . With this shift towards greater collaboration, leaders are required to manage and coordinate the interaction between different units or departments, as well as the sharing of information. The leadership role has changed from being an aggressive general to a coordinator that seeks collaboration from which everyone will benefit. In this changed setting, being able to get along with individuals and groups with sometimes radically different worldviews and values has become a key leadership requirement. Different members with a common goal The correlation between the leadership function of facilitating cooperation, unity and partnership, and the biblical model of leadership is quite clear. In Ephesians 4:3-4 Paul appeals to his readers to: (Be) “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit.” (NASB) We will say more about this symbol of the Body of Christ in a moment, but here it is just important to notice that the Church of Christ – consisting of all true believers from all denominations and cultures and backgrounds over all time 27 – is a single unit with a single purpose in spite of its extreme internal diversity, and that it is the task and responsibility of leaders to preserve the unity ! The critical importance of attaining unity and working together is perhaps best emphasized by the prayer of Jesus Christ, probably the greatest leader ever. Understanding how important it was for his diverse group of followers to work together as a unit, Jesus called on God the Father: “… that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity ,” - John 17:23-24. (NASB) What does it mean when we say that the Church, consisting of all its millions of members that look different, talk different, eat different, think different and behave different; who in turn belong to hundreds of thousands of denominations that worship different, pray different, preach different and often behave different, are all a single unit? It does not mean the Church is or should be like a Kentucky or McDonalds franchise where everything looks and tastes the same whether you are eating in Nelspruit, Washington or Beirut! It also doesn’t mean that all denominational and other boundaries and differences in approach to ministry or spirituality should just fade to form a single, homogenous entity. That would take us right back to the pre-Reformation era. What it does mean is that the Church is a large and diverse organism consisting of many different parts. The unity is based in the fact that for this Body to function properly, the individual parts are inter-dependant – each need the other and should support the other – to fulfill its shared purpose.
Inter-dependency: To understand this concept of inter-dependency we could look at it like this: DEPENDANCY: All the parts are united, but one part is doing all the work or taking all the responsibility. The other, less-important parts are completely dependant on this “Great Man” leader 28 or part of the Body and have completely lost their individual identities. INDEPENDANCY: Here all the parts function independently. There is no unity, they often compete with each other fiercely and each has only its own selfish goals and purposes in mind. INTER-DEPENDANCY: This is the biblical model of unity. There are different parts, each equal in importance and each with its own gifts, focuses and identity. They work together as a unit because they are inter-dependant: they realize that they need each other in order to fulfill their shared goal. This model can be applied to explain the differences in the Body of Christ as a whole where the Body, although in essence a unity, consist of different denominations and groups. However, it also explains the inter-dependency between individual members (believers) of the Body who are each equipped with different spiritual gifts. In both cases, as indicated by Paul’s letters and Jesus’ prayer for his disciples, it is the responsibility of leaders to attain and maintain unity among the different parts.
From UNIFORMITY to DIVERSITY In the past, organizational structures were designed to attain uniformity, division and specialization. People with similar training, skills, abilities, values and worldviews were commonly grouped together in separate departments such as accounting, sales and marketing, or communication. The belief was that such homogenous groups could get along and communicate easier 18 (p. 12) and could focus on common goals or purposes more effectively. However, in a fast-changing environment, uniformity makes adapting to change very difficult. To stay effective, organizations are now intentionally bringing diversity into the organization. In this manner, a diverse pool of talents, personalities and abilities are grouped together to form a flexible unit which is able to adapt to rapid changes in a multinational environment. To do so effectively requires leaders who understand the value of diversity and who are able to lead people with different abilities, skills, personalities and worldviews. A Body with many different parts: Now what I find very interesting about this is the correlation between the organization as a unit which consist of diverse parts, and the biblical principle of the “Body of Christ”! Look at how Paul describes the oldest organization on earth – the Body of Christ – in Ephesians: “… the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love .” –Eph 4:16 (NASB) The concept of a Body that is made up of many different members is repeated in several other places in the New Testament. Each time it is made clear that the various parts of the Body have different skills and functions. However, each part needs the other for the Body to perform properly, and even the lowest or least important part is necessary for the Body to operate effectively. OVERLAY: “ And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects (gifts), but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good .” 1 Cor 12: 5-7 (NASB) “ But now there are many members, but one body .” – 1 Cor 12:20 (NASB) “… so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly .” – Rom 12:5, 6 (NASB) “… the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;” 1 Cor 12:22
From SELF-CENTERED to HIGHER PURPOSE In the highly individualistic and ambitious capitalist Western society, success had traditionally been measured in personal achievement. This also applied to leadership as leaders were often rated according to their individual achievement and successes. However, a major shift in leader mind-set has been occurring since the start of the 21st Century. The focus is changing from a self-centered egoistic mindset to a values-based, “higher purpose” approach 18 . Leaders are now increasingly stressing the importance of accountability, integrity, and personal responsibility. The focus is shifting from serving the leader’s own interest to serving the interests of employees, customers, and the organization itself. Where so-called “successful” leaders of the past were often arrogant and openly set on serving their own best interest by doing whatever it took, leadership now requires values such as fairness, integrity, mutual respect, honesty, kindness, morality, credibility and accountability 19 . Leaders with Values: Although Daft refers to this leadership shift as a shift from Self-centered to Higher Purpose, it might have been more accurate to refer to it as a shift to Values -based leadership. This boils down to leaders not merely “doing what it takes” to get a desired result from their followers, but to lead by example. To “walk the talk” – in other words, to be guided by moral principles and to adhere to these principles and do what is right irrespective of the situation. Ironically, this is exactly what God had been expecting of leaders since the beginning of His journey with human beings! Jesus urged his followers to lay aside their own individual ambitions in order to follow Him “ If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me .” - Mathew 8:34 (NASB). In the New Living Translation his words are translated as “ put aside your selfish ambition ”. Paul understood the importance of laying aside his own individual aspirations and rights in order to be an effective leader in the Church. He often emphasized the importance of living as a visible example of the biblical values which he taught. For this reason he urged Timothy, one of several young leaders he was developing: “ Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe .” – 1 Tim 4:12 (NASB) Another of his young protégées, Titus, received similar advice: “ In all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach ” - Titus 2: 7 (NASB) However, he did not only expect other leaders to lead by example, he himself modeled the principle to the point where he could challenge his followers: OVERLAY: “ Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us .” – Php 3:17 (NASB) To the Thessalonians he declared: “ For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example … . With labor and hardship we kept working … in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, that you might follow our example.” – Th 3:7-9 (NASB). Paul, as leader of all the churches outside of Israel, understood that people were not just listening to what he said, they were watching to see if the way he behaved was aligned with what he was preaching. Paul sacrificed personal rights as a leader to be more effective in modeling the values and truths of Christ.
From hero to humble The sixth and last shift that has been occurring in the purpose and function of leadership has to do with the “great man” 28 , larger-than-life Hero-leader of the past being replaced with a humble, hard-working “behind the scenes” leader. These new brand of leaders’ strategy is to develop their organizations by developing and empowering their followers. They often place the needs and interests of their followers above their own. From a Christian perspective, the growing tendency towards this leadership style is particularly of interest since it seems to be in close alignment with how Jesus instructed leaders to behave: Matthew 20:26-27 (NASB) “ … But whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;” Because we have already looked at the practical implications or outcomes of this new “equipping” role of leadership when we talked about the shift from CONTROL to EMPOWERMENT, we will now just briefly look at a few important characteristics of two leadership models and see how and if they fit into the biblical concept of leaders as servants. Transformational and Servant Leadership There are basically two leadership models or theories which fit the description of a humble leader who focuses on equipping and supporting his or her employees in stead of on their own rights, privileges and power. These two - Transformational Leadership and Servant Leadership – has been two of the most prominent leadership theories to emerge in the last decades of the 20th Century and are in essence “relational” approaches to leadership. As implied, both these concepts of leadership focus on the relationship and interaction between leaders and followers 29 . In Transformational Leadership, the leader “transforms the personal values of followers” by creating an “environment where (trusting) relationships can be formed” in order to forge a common goal or vision 30 . In this manner, followers are motivated to put personal interests aside and focus on what is best for the organization. This leadership style is very effective to achieve radical change over a relatively short period of time. Although Transformational Leaders are thus engaged in a relationship with their followers, their ultimate goal remains to benefit or improve the organization 31 . Servant Leaders also focus on followers. However, their primary motivation is concern for the overall wellbeing of the followers, and not to use the leader-follower relationship to achieve better results for the organization. The servant hood of the leader could also be extended to customers, shareholders, and the general public 30 .
Relational Leadership The most accurate way to compare the biblical applicability of these two relational leadership styles, is to compare them with the way Jesus led. Motivated by love: Jesus came to earth because God loves people (John 3:16) and in 13:1 we see that Jesus truly loved his followers: “…having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end .” (NASB). Servant Leaders are also motivated by love for their followers 32 . Transformational leaders could be motivated by love for their followers, but it is not a given. They could also be motivated by love for God, or even only be motivated by results. Motivated by results Accomplishing the task for which the Father sent him, was part definitely part of Jesus’ motivation. We se this in Luke 4:18, and John 4:34 – “Jesus said to them, &quot;My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work .” (NASB). Servant Leaders may work towards achieving results, but it is not their primary motivation. Transformational leaders, however, are strongly motivated by results. Sure of authority Jesus was very sure of his identity and authority. Not only had God the Father confirmed his identity as His “beloved Son” on at least two occasions, but we also read in John 13:3 – “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, …”. (Paul also understood his authority in Christ; see 2 Co 10:8) Because they rely on personal power and not positional power to influence followers, both Servant- and Transformational Leaders have to be confident in and certain of their own authority. Lead by example Jesus often urged his disciples to follow his example, and later Paul did the same. After he had modeled practical servant hood by washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus urged them: “ For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you .” - John 13:15 (NASB). Both Servant Leaders and Transformational Leaders put a strong emphasis on leading by example. This does not only apply to the practical side of the work, but also to living the values and principles they expect others to apply. For instance, they would inspire trust among followers by being trustworthy – doing what they say they will do and being totally honest with their followers 32 . Equip followers Jesus spent most of his time and energy during the three years of his public ministry to prepare and equip his twelve apostles for their ministry. As we have already seen, Paul also placed a high priority on the responsibility of leaders to equip their followers (Eph 4:12, 2 Co 10:8, 2 Tim 2:2). Servant Leaders may or may not be focused on equipping their followers. Although their focus is to help followers “become hole” (they care for the individual’s total well-being, which includes body, mind and spirit), 32 this does not necessarily mean to train or equip them for work-related tasks. Transformational Leaders, however, places a high priority on developing and equipping followers to become more effective. Serve followers Jesus served his followers on several occasions, and he could therefore truthfully encourage them: “ let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant .” - Luke 22:26 (NASB) Paul understood this and seems to always view himself as the servant of those he led. In Romans 15:25 he declared: “…but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints .” (NASB). Servant leaders and Transformational leaders both serve their followers, even if the main focus and form of the servant hood may differ. To conclude we can safely say that Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership both has a strong biblical foundation. Leaders applying these principles have the potential to make a very real impact on their followers and organizations. However, it is not only Christian leaders who have lately been realizing the value of these leadership theories. What are the implications if non-Christians – leaders who have non-biblical and even contra-biblical worldviews – use these leadership styles to influence their followers and organizations?
Conclusion – Character and Spirituality The implications of everything we have talked about regarding the changes in the purpose and approaches of leadership, are colossal. In the past, organizational leaders’ influence and impact was largely limited to their positional or hierarchical power in the organization. It was the norm to expect leaders to get the work done within the parameters of their prescribed power and influence, and little more. However, as we’ve seen, leadership had now become much more personal. In a fast-changing global environment, they have to acquire new skills of influence to persuade followers to help them make the changes needed to reach their goals. These new skills are mostly related to building trusting relationships with followers and external parties such as stakeholders and clients. To do this in a sustainable manner, leaders’ own character, values and even spirituality is becoming a prominent factor in developing their organizations.
Character, Values and Personal Ethics Character, or the visible characteristics of an individual, can be described as the “learned parts” of personality and they can be altered throughout one’s life 35 . Similarly, personal values are not inherited, and although most people’s values are more or less established by early adulthood, our values can continue to change throughout life 37 . Really great leaders now understand that their ability to establish values and develop their followers by being visible, living, personal examples, are ultimately directing the future of their organizations 36 . By setting the example of values-based living, leaders are continuously influencing the values of their followers and shaping the culture of their organizations. Followers are not only encouraged to live by these same values, but to also modulate them in their relationships with customers and other external parties. Some of the results are that organizational culture is strengthened; staff turnover decreased; and employee effort is increased 38 . Trusting relationships are formed and the overall result is that the credibility and integrity of the leaders, followers and the organization itself is established. Of course, to achieve this, the leader’s own moral development has to be at a stage where he or she is able to translate values into behavior. If this is not the case, developing leaders can strive to develop “higher” moral principles so that their daily conduct reflect important ethical values 39 . Leader’s Spirituality and the Workplace Closely related to the impact that the leader’s character and personal values has on the development of the organization, is the impact of the leader’s own spirituality. Where spirituality in the workplace had been frowned upon a decade or two ago, research indicate a great increase in the acceptance of workplace spirituality 40 . Some refer to this development as the “spirituality movement” where organizations are “making room for a spiritual dimension that has less to do with rules and order and more to do with meaning, purpose and sense of community within the organization 41 . Research indicate that by not only allowing, but enhancing spirituality at work, leaders can enhance worker’s performance 42 . On the other hand, over 150 studies has shown a clear correlation between spiritual values and practices and effective leadership 43 . Leaders with strong spiritual values, which are often related to religious convictions, are simply more effective. Final Conclusion What does this mean from a Christian perspective? I propose we are living in a time where the Church has the opportunity to play a major role in leadership development which will in turn impact follower behavior and organizational development. As we’ve seen in this presentation, many of the recent developments in leadership thinking is right in line with core biblical leadership principles. In the past, the Church had often neglected some of these principles such as the responsibility of leaders to be equippers rather than ministers. However, as Church we have the people, the authority, the equipment and the calling to make a very real impact right now!
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principles of Manie Bosman April 2009
In this presentation: <ul><li>DEFINING leadership </li></ul><ul><li>AUTHORITY of a leader </li></ul><ul><li>The PURPOSE of leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: CHARACTER and SPIRITUALITY </li></ul>
1. DEFINING 'leadership' WHAT MAKES LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP?
“ Believe me, fellows, everyone from the Pharaoh on down is an equally valued member of the team.”
Definitions: “ Leadership is the skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically towards goals identified as being for the common good ” – James C. Hunter “ Leaders provide a mental picture of a preferred future and then ask people to follow them there” – Andy Stanley “ Leadership is the art of getting someone else to o something you want done because he wants to do it” – Dwight D. Eisenhower “ Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes ” – Richard L. Daft
Common factors: <ul><li>Leadership is a RELATIONSHIP </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership is INFLUENCE </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership effect CHANGE </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership has a GOAL (vision) </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership is PEOPLE -orientated </li></ul>
2. AUTHORITY of a leader WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF A LEADER’S POWER?
Daft Maxwell Collins Legitimate Power Position Capable individual Reward Power Permission Contributing member Coercive Power Production Competent orchestrator Expert Power People development Effective leader Referent Power Personhood Executive Source / level of influence / power : Authority / Power Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
3. PURPOSE of leadership WHY DO WE HAVE LEADERS?
Changes in purpose: <ul><li>From stability to change </li></ul><ul><li>From control to empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>From competition to collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>From uniformity to diversity </li></ul><ul><li>From self-centered to higher purpose </li></ul><ul><li>From hero to humble </li></ul>
Leaders that build competitive global organizations by serving, equipping and developing others. From control to empowerment:
<ul><li>Concerned over own fulfillment & development. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned over other’s fulfillment & development. </li></ul><ul><li>May leave a “ hole ” in organization when leaving. </li></ul><ul><li>Work themselves out of a position (duplication). </li></ul><ul><li>Passion is to use own strengths in work. </li></ul><ul><li>Passion is to get everyone involved in pursuing vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Success when they fulfill a need themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>Success when someone else fulfills a need. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus their energy and time on their own work. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus their energy and time on equipping others . </li></ul>Leaders & Followers : “ Followers” “ Equippers ”
Leaders who facilitate cooperation and sharing of information to benefit all. From competition to collaboration:
Dependant Independant Inter-dependant Inter -dependency:
Higher flexibility and adaptability in units with diverse skills, backgrounds, talents, and worldviews. From uniformity to diversity:
Values-based leadership with emphasis on integrity, personal responsibility, respect, honesty, fairness, accountability, etc.. From self-centered to higher purpose:
Hardworking servant-leaders who place the needs and interests of their followers above their own. From hero to humble:
Relational leadership: Relational Leadership Servant Leadership Transformational Leadership Motivated by love Motivated by results Sure of authority Lead by example Equip followers Serve followers
4. CONCLUSION - Character & Spirituality IMPACT OF LEADER’s CHARACTER & SPIRITUALITY
Character & values: Spirituality: Finally: <ul><li>Character can be altered </li></ul><ul><li>Values are learned </li></ul><ul><li>Leader’s example change people & organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Increased spirituality in workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Workplace spirituality increase performance </li></ul><ul><li>Leader’s spirituality impacts effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>It’s time to ACT ! </li></ul>