Want to learn how to empower others rather than how to command them? Here’s a summary of Gary Burnison’s tips on how to Learn the softer side of Leadership. There’s only one of these that I would want to adjust or for pastoral ministry. Which one? Take a guess.

  1. Leaders are the mirrors for the entire organization.  If the leader is down, the organization will follow. If leaders reflect optimism and confidence, the organization will rise.
  2. Leadership is taking charge to help others execute.  A leader does not tell people what to think or do, but rather guides them in what to think about.
  3. Leadership is awareness of what you’re not hearing.  People won’t tell you what you really need to know, only what they think you want to hear. To keep from being isolated, you need to be out there and engaged with customers and employees.
  4. Leadership should be humbling.  Humility is the grace that constantly whispers, “It’s not about you.” Humility means that you know who you are, where you’ve been, and what you have accomplished. With that knowledge, you can get out of your own way and focus on others.
  5. Leadership has an endpoint–organizations should not.  Leaders must recognize the endpoint of their leadership is not the endpoint for the organization. Just as leaders took over from someone else, so others will follow them as successors.
  6. Leadership is all about how you make other people feel.  Your achievement as a leader is measured in the success of others…Leadership conveys and embodies the enduring purpose and deeper reasons for an organization’s existence.

You can read the whole post here.

  • http://www.Armchair-Theology.net Dave Moser

    I’d change #6. Pastoral leadership isn’t all about how you make other people feel. It’s about how clearly and regularaly your congregation meets face to face with the living God and are conformed to the likeness of his Son.

  • http://dominion-designs.com Michael Davenport

    I agree with Dave that #6 is the obvious one since it has ties to the human heart. But I would also say that #1, depending on how you look at it, might need some slight adjustment as well since it too can reflect on the condition of the heart (although there might be outward conformity reflected for a while). In other words, the reflection in the “mirror” might not be an exact representation, but may reflect an imperfect image.

    This is where leadership as defined and fleshed out in the realm of the church especially (but also on some level in the family) goes beyond the realm of typical leadership because it involves more than winning the mind and emotions. Pastoral leadership focuses on the heart – yet knowing all along that the Spirit must bring about the desired change (“The wind bloweth where it listeth…”).

    If #6 were true, then Isaiah as well as many of the other prophets were failures in terms of leadership. Yet we read in chapter 6 that God was not going to give him “success” in terms of the response of the people. So based on the ministries of the Prophets (might we even add the ministry of our Lord?) and with the realization of the fact that pastors themselves are under-shepherds, #6 should read “Leadership is all about communicating the message of the Head of the Church.” With that as point #6, the sub-point above (“Leadership conveys and embodies the enduring purpose and deeper reasons for an organization’s existence.”) fits most properly.

    Faithfulness to the cause and commands of Christ and not fruit from our labors is the true test of whether we have led well.

  • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

    Thanks Dave and Michael. I agree with the need to adjust #6. #2 also strikes me as needing more careful expression for Christian leadership. I like the idea of empowering, but not the idea that we should never tell people what to think or do!