Why Not Try This? – Six Lessons I’m Learning in Leadership

by John Jackson475478863

1) Leaders are learners…Those who are not are not leaders for long….

  • We live in an information society so leaders need to “traffic” in the currency of today’s world
  • Skills for the 21st century: Personal Mastery, Developing Vision, Communicating Vision, Shepherding Vision (Jim Harrington, DM of Union Baptist Association)
  • Arrange your life around your leadership gift…you will stand before the nail-pierced Savior and be asked, “what did you do with the gift I gave you?” (Bill Hybels)
  • Our people are learning; we must be as well!

2) Leaders are visionaries….This doesn’t mean they see only the future and not the present. This means they see the future AND connect the present to it…

  • Vision is a “realistic, credible, attractive future for your organization(Nanus, Visionary Leadership)
  • Vision is “a clear mental image of a preferable future, imparted by God to his chosen servants, based upon an accurate understanding of God, self, and circumstances”(Barna, Without a Vision, the People Perish)
  • “The right vision is an idea so powerful that it literally jump-starts the future by calling forth the energies, talents, and resources to make things happen” (Nanus)
  • Christopher Robin, in “Winnie the Pooh”, says “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up”
  • “There are two parts to leadership…one is the vision casting and the other is implementation..you have to implement things that match your vision..And remember, the thinking that got you to where you are today, will not get you to where you need to go”(Ken Blanchard, quoted in NetFax)
  • There is no necessary conflict between leadership & management…All effective leaders manage…the key question is what do effective leaders manage?

3) Leadership involves risk…Risking for a clear and compelling future is part of the leadership calling….

  • “when churches take risks and make changes-and reposition their ministries for greater impact-they grow. Those who aren’t making changes, just seem to be stuck. They aren’t seeing the levels of growth and vitality they desire”(J. David Schmidt in study of 450 churches on behalf of the South Carolina Baptist Convention)
  • “Leadership is cultivating, in people today, a future willingness on their part to follow you into something new for the sake of something great”(Daniel Brown)
  • “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all who profit by the old order, and only luke-warm defenders in all those who profit by the new order. This luke-warmness arises partly from fear of their adversaries, who have law in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have actual experience of it” (Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513 A.D.)

4) Leadership lifts everyone to new heights…and challenges the status quo…..

  • “Men will never cast off their dearest pleasures upon the dreary request of someone who doesn’t ever seem to mean what he says” (Richard Baxter)
  • Align fresh recruits with gifts and passions..must insure a good experience and be sure we are not “using people”. Ask questions..was it worth your time? Did you enjoy it? Did it breath life back into you? Do you look forward to doing it again? If we needed to adjust your role, what would you like adjusted? (Bill Hybels)
  • Leaders create more leaders. Leaders want others to experience the satisfaction of full throttle fulfillment
  • What 20% of what you are now doing will you stop doing this year(because it is no longer effective) and what 20% new enterprises will you launch?
  • Drucker…”What will you stop doing as a result of what you have learned today?”

5) Leadership is about influence…and if you don’t, you are not…

  • People do what people see…modeling, mentoring, and monitoring lead to multiplying influence
  • Getting people to embrace and seek a vision that requires them to break through familiar ways of thinking and acting requires trust
  • “Leadership is a way of thinking about institutional heirs, a way of thinking about stewardship as contrasted with ownership” (Max DePree in Leadership Is An Art)
  • Turning an audience into an army, pew sitters into players, building a “prevailing church” (Bill Hybels)

6) Leaders have integrity, authenticity, character, and depth….

  • “Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18)
  • ABC’s of consistency: Approachable, Believable, Convictional (John Maxwell)
  • “I commend you to God and to the word of grace that is able to build you up and give an inheritance” (Acts 20:32)
  • Personal transformation precedes corporate transformation. Brokenness precedes blessing. Repentance precedes renewal.
  • “Effective ministry flows out of being” (J. Robert Clinton, Fuller Seminary)
  •  You can teach what you know…you can only reproduce who you are

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