Leadership Fundamentals

An MDiv student just interviewed me about leadership.  Here are my answers. 

1. In your opinion, what does good leadership consist of in your organization? Good leadership is: "to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:12-13). My job is to help our people do their jobs which helps us all grow up into the people God wants us to be. This plays out by investing heavily in our pastoral team, working closely with them to help them grow as leaders. Also, I need to spend time helping our board be equipped and inspired to lead - not just to fill a post. This is always something that I can do better. My natural tendency is to try to be the loan leader rather than to lead by equipping leaders.

2. What qualities are needed to effectively lead at the top?
  A) Humility. First and foremost, we must know our own weakness, fallibility ...
brokenness, and sinfulness. Without this, we will:
  • expect too much from others and ourselves, which leads to judgmentalism, dissatisfaction, and over-criticism 
  • be blindsided by our own failures be limited to our own ability to perceive reality and to find solutions 
  • close ourselves off to much of the improvement that comes from constructive criticism 
  • eventually be overcome by the weight of trying to prove ourselves through our achievements 
  • never be able to experience God's grace in the midst of our brokenness 
B) Integrity. Even though we make mistakes, our people need to know that we will always try to do what is right and to correct what is wrong.
C) Passion. We need a deep "YES" that drives us, a vision for the healing of the world, and our place in that vision.
D) Spirituality. We need to be aware of God - in our "prayer time" and in our daily moments. We need to develop a mystic, artistic perception of God in the leaves and emails and breezes of our world.
E) Self-surrender. We must always be committed to the good of the organization and mission rather than our own personal good in any situation.
F) Self-care. Conversely, we must take care of ourselves through balanced living, family life, and rest, or else we will have no "self" left to give to others.

3. What counsel would you give an aspiring leader in your organization? 
  • Spend some time praying about: (a) your overall purpose in life, (b) what kind of person you really want to be, and (c) your long-term and mid-range goals which will help you to become that kind of person fulfilling that purpose. 
  • Plan your schedule around those goals. 
  • Take time once a quarter to re-evaluate how you are doing at fulfilling those goals, and how effectively those goals are leading you toward that purpose. 
  • Make sure you don't overload your schedule with too many "good" things. 
  • Join a group of deep honesty with people whom you trust completely. Bare your soul to them and ask for all the help that you need. 
  • Limit your spending as much as is reasonable to eliminate your debt and to increase your financial freedom. 
  • Read a book at least once a quarter that will help you develop your leadership skills or knowledge base. 
  • Visit a spiritual director, mentor, and/or counselor often. 
  • Take a personal prayer retreat at least twice a year. 
  • Take a full Sabbath every week. 
  • Take a genuine vacation with your family once a year.
  • Attend to your relationship with God as the highest priority in your life.