Leadership is a murky subject. I hope these posts help provide the “cubbies” needed to store your thoughts and insights into the discipline. Understanding leadership is not so much an academic exercise as it is an expression of God’s image in our lives. Only in the past 70-80 years have we tried to scientifically analyze what people have assumed and applied for millennia.
To summarize my reflections on leadership over the past few years:
God designed each of us to lead.
The world is no divided into leaders and followers and it is not divided into leaders and managers. We all lead. We all follow. We all manage.
Context and opportunity determine when we lead and when we follow; when we lead and when we manage.
The question is, do we lead well or poorly?
Each of us can become a better leader.
The cement that bonds leaders and followers is trust.
A leader cannot force a follower to trust him or her. The leader can only create a context where he or she is easily trusted. Leaders create a context for trust to grow by consistently demonstrating good character and high competence.
Followers extend or withdraw trust as they perceive their leader’s character or competence over time.
Leaders are passionate about change – actually, improvement. They see and strive for a better future.
Leaders articulate the vision for a better future.
Leaders align resources to achieve the vision.
Leaders organize people to achieve the vision.
Leaders say no to things that might distract them from accomplishing the vision.
Leaders motivate others to follow them.
Leaders embody the vision and values they espouse.
Leaders communicate well.
Leaders use power well.
Leaders face challenges and overcome obstacles.
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