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Leadership styles

When developing a leadership team you may want to consider as many options as you can.  You may prefer to keep a tight control on your audience, but that may stifle growth or their contributions.

Here are a selection of key areas, each with a handful of related issues.  As you work through each set, prioritise, change or discard each issue.  You may want to invite your wider audience to add further issues and concerns.  Each '§' links to a Bible Gateway page or to another page on this website to help and clarify each area. (links to follow 23/2/2009)

What foundations have been laid?

Our vision has the buy-in of all affected parties
My explanation to my group/church has helped them understand how the leadership style achieves our aims or mission
I'm happy for my group leaders to grow and bless others more than me
Our monetary policy is transparent; it is a notable feature in both enabling and enlivening our work and mission
Our foundation is clearly on God's love and grace; our leaders live out God's love and grace in all they are and do
All structures and leadership positions have been created to maximise our effectiveness
Trust levels are high, built on the pure lives rather than through training or management
New leaders recognise the place of the 'corporate' vision in their own lives and their new role
Our group or audience have shown that they truly want to be led, and express confidence in your leadership
We recognise the need to see our group live and bear fruit rather than be restrained under a bucket

What fruit do you want to see from your leadership?

Our mission is achieved more quickly than planned time-scales, with less effort and casualties
The leaders will experience increased joy from laying down their lives for their friends
The group will exhibit the qualities of a cheerful giver, and will delight in taking on more work
God's love so reigns in our leaders' hearts that God's love is seen in the lives of those being led
Each leader will express the achievements of the group over their own contribution
The leadership will seek ways of passing on the experiences more widely to support others in need

List the skills and attributes you need in your leaders; change these where necessary!

The key qualities in my leaders are love, joy and peace
All leaders find it easy to live out the vision and guiding principles of the organisation
Our leaders smile because they have seen God's smile over others, they laugh and cry because they know his heart
The leaders live out synergy in everything they do; whatever they touch grows exponentially
Humour is not as welcome as a light and joyful heart; we avoid jokes which make fun of others!
Servanthood and sacrifice are specific gifts, but they are not expected of the leaders in my group
While I and my leaders always believe for the best, we are not a blind optimists
All leaders must live out a humble/generous/pure lifestyle - not just talk about it

How do you want your leaders to make it happen?  Adapt or improve these:

Our preferred style is to enable others rather than command or direct operations
It is vital that my group breathes for itself
Leadership is more to do with how it went rather than the
final result
My leaders are delighted to let others to contribute; they encourage others to lead
Leaders lead from the front, back, side or from within the ranks
My leaders respond differently to each situation to enable others to grow and give of their best
While some members may need force feeding (see our page on rhubarb) most people should be set free to live and grow

What level of integrity do you consider vital?  Help your group to declare its importance

Integrity, honesty and humility are not always necessary qualities in leadership (care on this one!  What does God want?)
My leaders are untroubled by shame, guilt, gossip and self-interest
All my leaders have ordered and worked on their lives so that others can follow their example
My leaders value others at least as highly as they value themselves [and their families]
All leaders prefer to ask for help, or step down, if the going gets too tough
While discretion is welcome, the over-riding principles, vision and calling take precedence

What authority is essential to achieve your plans and priorities?  Select, change or adapt these:

I want my group/team/church to do what I say, not necessarily what I do
Every single issue and decision must be channelled through me alone
Strong leaders are clear on their yes and no - they stick to their principles rather than simply pleasing the people
All my leaders thrive on their calling yet live under authority
My leadership are happier 'giving it all away' than maintaining a tight grip on others
It is safer to maintain discipline than to let others do their own thing
Leaders do not have to declare their status or authority in order to be able to do a good job
A leader is always available to help others sort out knotty issues
Knowledge is there to be handed on to others, not to be held or to sway power over others
Judgement is for the wise

Which issues will ensure the continued growth of your operation?

We anoint peoples' gifts, talents and skills, rather than simply making use of the talents and skills
All my leaders are honest about their personal need to grow
The impact of appointed and anointed leaders needs to be recognised and explained, and the growth curve enabled
Gifted leaders need encouragement, nurture and protection
Leaders strive to pass on their skills and knowledge to others within five years, sooner where possible
No leader owns their position, but treats it as a temporal opportunity to serve the group

Discussion pointers

Your discussions may affect your view of your Mission Statement; make sure you have a firm foundation before trying to build your superstructure - building on shifting sand is not a wise man's game.

Identify the qualities of those (inside or outside your group) who enable others to do better than themselves, and encourage all to recognise and honour that contribution to the life of your group, church or organisation.

Follow group golden rules: record everyone's contribution; let the group control the maximum input time from each member; include good points and those requiring attention; be generous in praise and encouragement; agree realistic responses and actions to points raised, and keep on track, including wild ideas!

The Conductor

There's more to be gained by examining the qualities of the orchestra and its conductor.  Some suggest that a good leader can so inspire the team so as to do himself out of a job.  While there is much truth here, the gifted and highly skilled conductor will draw even more out of the band.

How do your best leaders anoint the talent in your group, orchestra, choir, band or church?   Value the good fruit and the flavour will last for more than just a season.

Quotes on leadership

*    Do you love to lead, or do you lead as a means to love?

*    If a leader rules with the heart then the manager rules with the head.

*    The leader inspires; the manager insists.

*    A leader encourages while the manager assesses.

*    The leader sustains while the manager drains the resources

It has been said that the Producer uses the best qualities of both a manager and a leader; by their fruit you'll know them!

Exercises in Leadership

St Alban's Vineyard

Examine the aims of St Alban's Vineyard which exists to gather all who are searching for God, to grow in God's love and to give it away.  What does your your group need to do before it can say that it is happy to give it all away?   Apply this to your Mission Statement, Aims and Objectives, and create a sheet of priorities to bring your group up to speed.  List the qualities required, the ideal personnel (try global figures first - eg Barrack Obama, George W Bush, Nicholas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Nelson Mandela - to help your group recognise the qualities) and include a realistic timeline to achieve your first goals.

Five Marks of Mission

CTBI have declared five marks of mission in the following (abridged) statement.   You may wish to perform a group exercise to determine the overall vision, specific aims and objectives of those who adhere to this worthy statement.  Work out how your leadership would help the team or congregation to own the vision individually, as well as together.

The five marks of mission have been recorded as to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom, teach and baptise - or immerse and nurture; respond in love to human need; transform unjust structures in society and safeguard the integrity of creation.

Your leadership model will create leaders who make sure that each element of this statement is achieved in the most loving and fruitful way.