I’m writing the last paper for my class in Leadership and Administration. I’m concentrating on Transformational Leadership Theory.
Here’s the crash course for you!
30 years ago Transformational Leadership got some traction and it focused on something nothing else had: Followers.
What motivates and develops Followers created a paradigm shift in Leadership Studies that continues to be researched and written about quite a bit.
(The image shows 5 factors Transformational Leaders employ.)
The 4 Main Components that define Transformational Leadership
The four key components in play:
- Intellectual Stimulation – In Transformational Leadership the leader challenges the status quo, encourages creative solutions, and leads followers toward exploring new ways of doing things while offering new opportunities to learn and grow.
- Individualized Consideration – In Transformational Leadership the leader offers support and encouragement to individual followers that help to foster supportive relationships among the team, and endeavors to help followers keep the lines of communication open to more easily share ideas. There is also recognition of team members’ unique contributions.
- Inspirational Motivation – In Transformational Leadership the leader has a clear vision that is articulated to the followers. With this clearly articulated vision followers may share and experience similar passion and stay better motivated to see the vision through to completion.
- Idealized Influence – A Transformational leader serves as a role model for her followers. She exemplifies the values she hopes to engender. This builds trust and respect for the leader. (This had been called “charisma” but has grown more nuanced.)
 Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations by Bernard M. Bass (1985)
The Book that started it all:
Updated and expanded in 2005
So I curate a Leadership Blog at a graduate school…
This means sometimes I write for it myself, and sometimes I find great guest writers who write for us or allow us to repost previously posted articles.
I scope out the inter webs for insightful and practical articles for anyone in a leadership position…from a small group leader, to a parent, to an influential thinker and writer, to a minister, to a business owner. Anyone who influences someone else is in a position of leadership.
[BTW-send me your links of leadership articles or pitch me your ideas. I'd love to have new voices posted at the Deeper Leader blog!]
There’s a lot of information out there, but there’s a big blind spot too.
I’ve noticed something. Not too many male leaders list women authors, leaders, and thinkers in their blogrolls or refer to them in posts. You don’t see that women influence them. What about Christian male leaders? It seems twice as bad.
Michael Hyatt’s “Intentional Leadership” blog is a favorite of mine. I LOVE it. But have you noticed that not one video on his homepage sidebar features a female leader? Does he even realize the omission? Should he maybe be more intentional on this part….I think yes!
(and so should I! I need to question who I read and why. I have a blind spot too.)
Let’s mind the gap.
As I prepare articles to begin announcing our 1st annual Women in Ministry: Conversations with Leaderships forum (June 12) I realize the glut. It’s massive.
So, what’s up?
• Is it that men don’t give it much thought? (an innocent blind spot that is likely borne of “male privilege“?)
• Is there a hidden bias or disregard for female leaders, and even among female leaders themselves?
and do men feel less manly if they read women authors? Any of that going on?
• Do men think, “Sure, I support women, but women leaders speak mainly to women and not to me”?
Let’s ask some hard and honest questions while at the same time not blaming, dividing and separating from each other. Let’s move the conversation forward!
I, for one, am going to assume the best from my male writers and friends. I’m going to put my trust and hope in the idea that if we bring the imbalance to greater attention and awareness maybe we can chip away at the disparity and both genders will be richer for it!
• What about you?
Are the top ten blogs or books you read written by a balance of men and women? If, so why or why not?
Are you taking the time to learn from someone else’s purview?
• How do we do better at offering others the chance to hear insights from the whole breath of the human species?
• What can we do about the blind spot?
LINK UP & Join Forces?
If you’d like to participate in the conversation, write an article and leave the link in the comments section. I’ll put the word out about your post too!
Andi Cumbo is tackling this and a few others. Will update soon!
Too often lumped as a quality of weakness, Meek Leadership has secret powers!
So what is the word “meek” about and how can it be so influential?
My leadership professor, Tim Valentino, wrote some comments I’d like to share with you.
(You can read more of Tim at his blog)
Leadership and Meekness?
The biblical word for this is “meek” (praus). A related word is “gentle” (prautes).
The semantic range of this word cluster includes the following: humble, gentle, considerate, unassuming, courteous, and restrained. In some contexts it means, “the absence of pretension.” By way of contrast, it’s the opposite of harsh, arrogant, or braggadocios.
As used outside the New Testament, this word has in it the idea of “lying low.” It was a word originally used, for example, to describe a low-lying river—one that cut through a valley. A river, of course, is a powerful thing, but a low-lying river is one that doesn’t impose its power on you. You have to go out of your way to go see it because it’s unobtrusive.
It’s important to keep in mind, I think, that “meek” does not mean “weak.” Unfortunately, these two words rhyme in English, but they are not synonymous. Nor does this word mean timid, shy, bashful, cowardly, indecisive, or unwilling to serve. Perhaps the best definition comes from William Barclay, who defined meekness as “power under control.”
Again, as used outside the Bible in the first century, this word referred to:
• Tame animals (cf. an elephant with its foot on a circus lady)
• Soothing medicine (cf. buffered aspirin or anti-anxiety drugs)
• A gentle breeze (cf. not a tornado, but wind that is refreshing to the body)
All of these items can have tremendous, destructive power, but “meekness” brings them under control to serve a good purpose. Significantly, Jesus, who has all authority in heaven and earth, quintessentially displays meekness. He said in Matthew 11:29:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus, of course, was a great leader. He was also meek. Apparently God thinks the two should go together.
Questions to ponder:
§ Do you know anyone who is powerful yet meek?
§ Do you know anyone who is authoritative yet gentle?
§ Could your leadership be described as “meek” in the sense used here?
§ How would our work environments improve if our leaders were meek?
I’m reading Leonard Sweet’s book “I am a Follower”.
It turns leadership on its head, which feels a bit ironical to have it as a textbook this 9 weeks in my Master of Arts in Christian Leadership course. But, then again, I didn’t expect to learn leadership ordinarily. We’re working from the ground up here. We aren’t learning to be bosses, we’re learning to be like Jesus, and influence others in the fashion of God’s Kingdom, not man’s (courtesy of the Sermon on the Mount, I might add)
It’s a challenging message for us.
Here are some noteworthy bits I’ve gleaned:
1. Jesus wasn’t looking for leaders…he was looking for followers. Instead of worrying about finding and keeping followers, we follow him.
2. The seduction to apply a secular business model has infected churches but has been a remarkable failure. Spiritual depth doesn’t come from this model. (Willow Creek’s self-assessment is an honest but damning example.)
3. God’s strength is made perfect in human weakness, and this will be illogical in a worldly model. God’s power is how we do well.
4. God will prune us, for our own good, so we may be more fruitful and glorify him more.
5. Strategy and planning common in many church models today can superseded the focus on the work of the Holy Spirit.
6. There is a going myth the technology and innovation are answers to our leadership and church problems.
7. God calls us to do something bigger than ourselves.
8. The Church’s obsession with leadership reflects our cultures values which usually center in ego and self-interest.
I will follow up with more from this intriguing and entertaining book. The man does not shy away from plays on word.
(Sign up in the sidebar to get the followup to this post.)
Some quick Housekeeping:
This year I won’t be posting 3-4 times per week, most of the time.
Since February 2009 I written 815 posts. I’ve put in the time. (Before that I had a Blogger blog (several actually), and a before that I had a Xanga blog (remember them?), and before that in 2004 or so, I sent weekly email articles to about 200 people, when word “blog” hadn’t made it to the vernacular. It adds up to thousands of articles.)
Plus, I’m at a season where my posts should be fewer. All this makes email delivery or a RSS feed situation optimal, because when I do post, I’ll have landed on some cool things I simply must write about. So, fill out the Feedburner button fields in the right column, and never miss a beat.
3 Rough Patches on the Way to Success (courtesy of Henri Nouwen)
As promised back in November, I’m sharing some of the gleanings from my required course work reading. The first book is a short, sweet work chock-a-blocked with wisdom by the beloved Henri Nouwen.
In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership (Click title for book info. Bonus: It costs just a few bucks. ) In this book Nouwen makes short work tackling common 3 pitfalls we routinely encounter.
The title is a misappropriation because his advice is so helpful for anyone “on a quest” or trying to make their way. Be it an artist, blogger, writer, or just about anyone following a dream will encounter the very same issues Nouwen covers as he targets “leaders”.
He uses his own life and success in academics and leadership as the impetus and a background of practical knowledge and captures crucial insights on the things that most often beset us.
Nouwen was a revered scholar and professor at Yale, Harvard and other impressive-sounding places. Though everyone was telling Nouwen he was doing well, he noticed something deep down. Something just wasn’t right. Then, he realized his success was actually putting his own soul in danger.
“I was living in a very dark place and the term “burnout” was a convenient psychological translation for a spiritual death.”
I’ve been there! Have you?
He came to a point of spiritual dryness and removed himself from the life he knew as a talented academic and choose instead to live with, care for, and minister to the severely mentally disabled. He covers this quite briefly in the book. (In other books he mentions just how nuts people thought he was for the decision.)
What came from that choice is arguably his most memorable and lasting work. A host of profound and transformative pieces. To many some are bona fide Christian Devotional Classics.
To handle the topic of Christian Leadership (which I’ve mentioned may be cast more widely for many of us as success), Nouwen describes the particulars of Jesus as he was tempted in the desert. The lures and trappings of leadership (read: success) typical in this world are cast in sharp relief with the divine call of Christlikeness in one’s life.
It is a striking model for Christians to follow. Jesus was tempted to abandon his Kingdom mission in favor of acquiescing to the temptations offered up by Satan who promised success in the course and manner of this world.
Nouwen also riffs off intimate conversations Jesus has with Peter. They involve calling, leadership, vocation, and Jesus-style success. The heart of these exchanges give us insights to our own path to success and finding our purpose or way in the world.
The three temptations are labeled by Nouwen as the lures to be relevant (necessary, a cure for the world), spectacular (popular, skilled, apt), and powerful (influential or in charge).
Have you ever wanted those things as you reach for your dreams? (Who hasn’t, right?)
Jesus’ response and subsequent choices are worth noting. Not only that, they bring solace for the journey.
The temptations experienced by Christ are shown as the archetype for the human experience in the realm of success (and any sort of leadership). The three kernels of wisdom include–
1. being prayerful instead of craving relevance
2. serving rather than desiring popularity found through skills and competencies
3. being led rather than focusing on power (leading/influencing)
It’s all very counter-cultural.
Nouwen lays out concise and clear arguments for these three and also includes which spiritual disciplines make the Kingdom way plausible (think of discipline here as “training” or “taking your vitamins”).
In a time were celebrity and influence (and even infamy) is the jackpot, just as much in Christian spheres as in secular ones, Nouwen speaks with a fresh and prophetic voice of wisdom that brings us to a path of peace.
In our strivings it’s easy to miss the presence of God, and even the mission of the Kingdom. It’s a quick trip to succumbing to temptations common to humans and not being people of Christlikeness. This book soothes the soul.
# # #
If you’re interested in delving further into spiritual formation, creativity, and learning for a full year, the private online community/learning group called The Cadre is forming right now. (100% free, and I’m not selling anything.) It starts February (2013), and there are about 8 spots open. Click “The Cadre” at the top of the page to learn more, or contact me.
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(photo source: http://evolvenetwork.com.au/wordpress/index.php/5-steps-to-bring-success-into-your-life/)
Happy news, my friends!
The project for January and February 2013 is to do something creative and then post it at the facebook site:
(writing, art, multi-media, you decide) This is also a project for the THE CADRE. For more on that click the Cadre Page tab.
The FIRST Sparky Guide is now on AMAZON (here).
In this concise digital book I share how I began remembering, controlling, and even waking up within my dreams (lucid dreams).
The techniques require some diligence, but anyone can learn how to do it–sometimes in just a few days or weeks. Even if you don’t think you dream at all!
Being able to control or become conscious in your dreams supercharges your creativity, helps you problem solve, upgrades your concentration, relieves anxiety (including liberation from nightmare or unpleasant reoccurring dreams), offers empowerment that translates into waking life, and allows you to experience things that would otherwise be impossible or unlikely.
I admit, flying is my favorite activity when I lucid dream. It’s hyper realistic and utterly exhilarating.
I’m so excited to share this with you, and I can’t wait to hear how it helps you!
(Check back frequently on this site’s most fluid Main Page for the latest articles.)
Check the blog for regular installments on…
• Spiritual Growth (formation)
• Leadership Development and Education
• And items of interest the will Spark you Creative Muse
Join the Sparky Club for enthusing (infrequent) communiqués.
More stuff SOON!
Among the ways to discover your unique voice as a writer, or as any Creator or Communicator, is leveraging your role of kingmaker.
Too many people start defining who they are by going the opposite way. They communicate what they are against, or who they are not like. This is short sighted. Developing your voice must be more extensive and significant. It’s easy to be contrary, but finding a niche includes being influential by going deeper and become proficient in a certain area.
Some bristle at shifting the focus elsewhere thinking it will diminish their own position, and hurt their efforts at success. But, done correctly kingmaking solidifies one’s spot as an maven in a specialty. It helps define you while and by helping others.
Malcolm Galdwell, the author of Tipping Point, speaks about the importance of mavens in how trends develop and ideas take root. A maven is a person who possesses key information and keen insights about why a service, a talented person, or product, etc. stands out above the rest, before others have caught on. Mavens want to help and educate.
In short, they influence the early adopters and secondary influencers. Trend setters listen to mavens, and pick the hit. They have connections to large networks of people which in turn starts something novel. The mainstream begin to incorporate what the trend setters and early adopters have latched on to, and suddenly a new fashion, or company, or service takes hold at a grassroots level. Google, Toms shoes, and Pinterest took off this way.
To be a kingmaker, first you need some initial credibility. You must have some knowledge and insight that proves you make good picks in a certain area. Curiosity is the fuel of a maven.
The more narrow your niche, the the easier it will be to specialize. This attracts more people then you might think. Having a broad range dilutes your message.
So, for instance, if you love music and know a good deal about a certain style, don’t divide your time and spread yourself thin as a kingmaker in a different category, like cars or cupcakes. Don’t leave your niche, except rarely.
The good news is that to broaden your influence, you don’t have to be keen to all the breaking trends. You don’t have to worry about missing out. And you don’t have to be the person who gets something going because of great networking and many connections.
You can develop your niche by what you know. Then, you only need a few people to pay attention. You influence the influencers. To get them to listen establish your area of expertise, and then be generous with your expertise to prove yourself. Make recommendations, explain why and what you like about your picks, and why your picks make sense. Be reliable.
For instance, Michael Hyatt niches in the area of leadership. He’s a leader, but he also recommends people, resources, and services to help leaders. He doesn’t give out all the information himself, nor does he promote just himself. He’s become a go-to person on the topic through expertise and by “making kings” thereby solidifying his prowess in the field in general.
Keep at it, and narrow your focus. As you develop in your area, you’ll gain the credibility to make kings from people in the same niche. You’ll gain allies and respect in your niche.
What is your niche? And who or what have you recommended in your area of expertise?
The thought crossed my mind that some people could see me naked Saturday, if there is The Rapture. So, really that’d be judgment Day for sure. I should have lost more weight.
It saddens me that some have sold all their things because of believing Harold Camping. I sort of wish he would get beamed out of here on Saturday, so he won’t ruin more lives. And I hope he’s wearing clean underpants.
Only certain kinds of leaders hope to control the mind of their followers. The ones who thrive on gaining power or influence. Creativity and imagination cannot be undermined when we lead. Notice how God is a leader who will not control our minds. God allows that we think freely, and use our personality to cooperate with his work and grace in this world. God is all good. God is ridiculously not power hungry. Bizarre to think about, yet so true.
The best leaders use the minds, gifts, and talents of those they lead for the greater good of all involved. The desire to power is nothing but a trap that leads to disaster. But, how do power hungry leaders control our minds?
Mind Control is a funny thing. Well, an odd thing. Certain people are more susceptible, but influence over one’s thoughts and actions happens when that power is handed over. The absent-minded or the feeble minded may be foolish and permissive with what they possess. Nevertheless, in every case I can think of, the reigns of one’s mind are relinquished, not taken.
Do you have a strong will and mind?
Not so fast! In a VERY common way, many of us let others control our mind too frequnetly. I promise you, your mind has been controlled. Consider this: We may dwell on anger, frustration, or bitterness as we allow others to control our moods, and therefore our heart and mind. We give their words and actions power–because we acquiesce our control. Some influence on the outside gains access over a part of us, inside. We allow it to be so. Hijack is a great word for this! The fruit of the spirit called self-control is developed to fend off this very thing.
Can we be self-controlled in a way that gives over a bit of control to a trustworthy person for the goal of greater good (in our lives and with those around us)? Certainly. AND We Must. Wisely.
Growth will not happen if we seek complete control. It’s a freeze ray, and will cut us off from life. Hyper-control=bad. How do we strike a balance?
And now for the biggest challenge you’ll have all week. Let me control your mind. I should explain: Put yourself in a place to receive spiritual guidance. Contact me with something spiritual, emotional, mental, or situational that you are struggling with, and I will pray about it and together we will see where God is, in all of it. We’ll communicate a bit, and see where growth can happen. We will relinquish the part of our control we have let arrest our growth. Yet, we will keep our self-control in that we will be wise with what we have in body and mind. Option B: Do this with a trusted friend, and let us in on your process.
Will you take my challenge?
What are your thoughts on leadership and mind control?
(Don’t miss future posts on leadership and mind control. Enter your email in the field in the left bar to be notified when something new is posted.)
Servant leadership is a common theme within Vineyard churches with the emphasis on function rather than position or title. With mega-churches to simple church networks covering the spectrum of faith communities in the Vineyard, how the function works out will vary depending on the size of the church. I have reservations with churches adopting business models of leadership. The church is not a business with a CEO but the Body of Christ with Christ as the head.
The life of Jesus is the oft cited example of servant leadership. Some have raised the question though of service over leading [TheJesusVirus.org] Authority is often the issue under consideration regarding matters of leadership. Jesus puts it to rest as far as hierarchy goes: not so among you, the greatest is the servant of all. He presents the upside-down view of the Kingdom of God regarding authority.
Kingdom authority is different than the leadership offered in the business world. The world system is (often) beastly with no worries of serving others (although this is changing on some fronts). Those within the Body of Christ are called to submit to one another and to Christ. This would seem to include those in leadership.
Now with this level playing field of mutual submission, what of Hebrews 13 and other references to leadership? If we interpret these passages in light of the example of Jesus Christ, I believe authority and leadership will look different from commonly understood. Consider the following:
1. Recognize those in leadership as gifts to the church. (Eph 5) We often recognize the manifestation of certain grace gifts (charisma) in practice so why not recognize those people as gifting the church?
2. Reflect on their influence. As I’m seeing leadership, influence and persuasion are key. The words shared by them are not ultimate but should lead us to contemplate on the final Word, Jesus Christ. The ultimate authority is in Christ and any other authority is derivative of Him and reflecting His character.
3. Look to their example. In a few places the Apostle Paul encourages an ‘imitate me as I imitate Christ.’ I’m sure such imitation will not be 100%, yet we should be able to see something of Christ reflected and modeled in their life.
3. Help them and befriend them. Often in traditional churches, those in leadership face crushing loneliness and spiritual fatigue. If the opportunity presents itself, be a friend and support them as a friend, not as a leader. Allow them to be a simple brother or sister in Christ.
4. Reserve judgment. Too often when someone in leadership falls for whatever reason we tend to rush to judgment. Remember, they are frail human beings like the rest of us. They too can stumble and fall. They are not out of reach of grace. If you face this in your congregation, help to lovingly restore them in a spirit of gentleness.
5. Always look to Christ. Any leader in the church should point others to Christ, who is the True Shepherd. If the leader creates dependence on themselves rather than Christ in the church, the authority of Christ is being subverted. I’ve heard too much talk of leadership, authority and submission lead to fear and control. Those in leadership are to be a sign to others, guiding them to freedom, love and service found in Christ.
Only Jesus Christ is the head of the church, the question before leadership is this, are you willing to give up control for the sake of an authority found solely in service? When did ministry become means of authority rather than the place of service?
Well, friends, let’s continue the discussion. What are your thoughts on Leadership, and servant leadership? Do you embrace the “Upside Down model” Jeff mentions?
My alma mater Evangelical Theological Seminary has an ongoing initiative called Center for Leadership Impact with events and training for leaders in the community and business world. You may find it helpful.
I asked my friend, Ed Cyzewski, to guest post this week. I knew the topic on church and culture, in his book Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life would make an excellent companion post for the class I’m currently teaching. I urge you to get a copy, by clicking the title above; or read a chapter here. This Sunday, we’ll cover how the influences of culture effect how we enact the Gospel message and walk with God. How do we best navigate this ground?
Let’s hear from Ed.
When We’re Blindsided by the Bible
Saying that the church exists in a culture is the kind of obvious statement on par with saying we breath oxygen. But actually knowing what to do about the influence of culture on the Bible and how we interpret it isn’t always as obvious as taking a deep breath.
Growing up in a wonderful Baptist church in the Philly suburbs, one of the most important sermons I ever heard explained the importance of being poor in spirit based on the Gospel of Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount. The Holy Spirit spoke to me about pride festering in my life. I often return to that sermon for guidance.
However, years later I read some books by theologians from South America who had experienced severe poverty and injustice. One particular theologian wrote about the Sermon on the Mount from Luke’s Gospel which says that the poor are blessed. In other words, the poor are blessed just because they are poor.
This was quite jarring for me to read. How had I missed something that jumped off the pages for Christians in Latin America?
I soon realized that I was encountering a cultural perspective on the Bible that was illuminating an angle that I’d neglected. In fact, I was poorly positioned to spot it.
While enjoying the affluence of America, pride can become a significant problem. It’s no mistake that a sermon on being poor in spirit connected. However, I was not prepared to read about God’s concern for the poor.
The more I interacted with theologians from South America, the more I noticed that one of God’s most important concerns throughout the Old Testament is justice and equity for the poor.
Here’s the thing: my reading of Matthew was not wrong. However, it was limited. By interacting from another perspective, I could see more in the Bible than I could have ever found on my own. This is because we read the Bible in a cultural context that can be both friend and foe.
We learn about God and follow Jesus in a cultural context. Certain ideas and metaphors will make more sense to us than others. We approach God from a particular perspective that is shaped by our time in history, our nation’s values, our experiences, our language, and the thousand other things that go into American culture in the 21st century.
Some folks write about our cultural context as something that is dangerous. As if we need to fight it. If our society says that truth is hard to find, we need to fight that by saying that it’s easy to find. Why, it’s right in the Bible of course!
Others say that our culture is right. We should listen to it. Truth is hard to find, and we’d better not get too attached to anything we read, and nurture our doubts about God and the Bible.
Here’s the thing, a cultural setting shaped the writers of the Bible. They used the cultural tools of their times when they added clarity, such as calling Jesus “The Word” or “logos” in Greek. However, when it came time to confront the Greek pantheon, they declared that there is one God who made heaven and earth, and God proved it by raising Jesus from the dead—resurrection being culturally off the map for Greeks.
The tension of Christianity is one of being in a culture with values, conventions, and experiences that may either make us either more receptive, or combative to the ideas in the Bible. Saying that culture is all good or all bad overlooks important elements in both directions.
We need to remain culturally aware so that we know there is more to God than we could ever find on our own. Our perspective has its limits. We can learn a good deal more about God by interacting with Christians from other denominations, Christians in other nations, and within our traditions. By learning to interact with culture, we won’t be blind to its influence and submit to its every whim.