DLGP

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Leadership comes directly from God

Written by: on November 18, 2022

Eve Poole’s Leadersmithing has great insights for leaders and everyone aspiring to become a person of influence in one way or another. Leaders come in different shapes with differing abilities, is anyone born a leader, or is leadership a skill to be acquired with learning and mastery? Eve Poole and a couple of other great leadership authors will share insights and help to answer a couple of questions.

Are leaders made or born?

“Leadership is in danger of becoming a tired phrase in management – it may sound cerebral and essential, but more often comes across as static and trite.”.[1]

Questions of this sort must not be mine alone but shared by many others who have come before me. Eve Poole has a degree in Theology and is an excellent person to consult when it comes to where this thing called leadership starts. While she shares her insights about leadership, she points out St. Paul and shares his writing in Romans 5:3 – 5. “Poole’s conviction is that real leaders learn their craft the hard way: through “critical incidents” that test their mettle.”[2]

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Probably leaders are made through adversity.

 I have heard someone say that hope is not a strategy; however, looking at Poole’s explanation, one would agree that those with this kind of hope will go much farther than those who lost hope right from the start. Besides learning from the Apostle Paul, Poole shares a great deal of wisdom from several leaders when she conducted interviews and asked leaders what they would do differently.

 Is there such a thing as secular leadership?

This leadership is complicated, and I wonder if any effective leadership can occur without divine intervention. Sharing her findings, Eve Poole reminded me of God’s hope that has kept me going and inspired me to study and pursue leadership. After years of research, Poole shares that her finding can be summed up in four areas of “leadership muscle memory, self-regulation, reflective judgment, and learning to learn.”[3]

 Leadership requires resilience God Style.

Like the Leadership muscle memory shared by Poole, Bob Dees speaks of Resilience in God’s Style, where the visible and invisible wounds can only be healed by Jesus. Poole says that leaders will be provided with “muscle memory to make them resourceful because they can problem-solve better under pressure. It also makes them resilient; because they know they have survived and will do so again.”[4]

Bob Dees teaches and encourages resilience “God style.” As a warrior who served in various wars and a believer in the Lord Jesus, he has been compelling testimonies of God’s healing power that he shares in classrooms and seminars. Bob Dees encourages wounded warriors to acknowledge the reality of trauma and the necessity for faith-based resilience leading to greater readiness when facing challenges on our way.

General Dees is a man of war, but more importantly, a man who has the gift of putting into words the unspoken thoughts that are hidden in the hearts of our nation’s warriors. His words of wisdom and spiritual truth will provide all warriors the ability to ‘bounce back from the battles and challenges each of us faces and derive meaning to life that others will never know.[5]

Help with Self-Regulation, where System 1 doesn’t take over.

 Resilience God’s style will help much better when needing self-regulation and avoiding System 1 taking over. “Self-regulation, in cognitive terms, is the ability to calibrate your reactions and control your impulses, like avoiding calorific puddings or not shouting at the kids.”[6]

As I research helping child refugees affected by trauma, I have realized that what makes their treatment challenging is their failure to self-regulate. Most of these traumatic experiences are not only happening to children but other family members like parents or siblings have also been affected. Dr. Kahneman said, “Self-control shrinks when we are tired, hungry, or mentally exhausted. Because of this reality, we are prone to let System 1 take over intuitively and impulsively.”[7]

God is the author of effective leadership, has positioned every one of us to lead, and has given us a measure of leadership potential. The time and commitment to cultivate and grow in our God-given potential will enable us to lead and serve the way designed to teach.

“On the one hand, leadership is an “elusive and electric quality” that comes directly from God. On the other, leadership skills are distributed widely among every community.”[8]

 

[1] Eve Poole, “Goodreads,” Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade Secrets of Leadership, March 9, 2017, accessed November 17, 2022, https://tinyurl.com/5ez9pdjj.

[2] Eve Poole, “Leadersmithing | Eve Poole | TEDxDurhamUniversity,” October 16, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/559mtx3d.

[3] Eve Poole, Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade Secrets of Leadership (London Oxford New York, NY: Bloomsbury Business, 2017).

[4] Eve Poole, “Goodreads.”

[5] Robert F. Dees, Resilient Warriors, Resilence trilogy 1 (San Diego, Calif: Creative Team Pub, 2011).

[6] Poole, Leadersmithing.

[7] Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. (New York, 1934).

[8] John O. Sanders, Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2007).

About the Author

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Jean de Dieu Ndahiriwe

Jean de Dieu Ndahiriwe is a Clinical Correctional Chaplain and former Child Refugee from War-torn Rwanda. A member of the Maxwell Leadership Certified Team, Jean is passionate about Servant Leadership and looks forward to seeing more leaders that inspire Lasting Peace and Justice for all, especially "the least of these".

10 responses to “Leadership comes directly from God”

  1. Audrey Robinson says:

    Jean, good post.

    I like how you incorporated other leadership authors concepts.

    One question I pondered while reading is whether or not the principles Eve Poole writes about is applicable to anyone – not just leaders. What are your thoughts?

  2. Hello Audrey,
    Thanks for the feedback. I think they apply to anyone. Do you agree that all people are leaders and probably never got the opportunity for growth?

  3. Kristy Newport says:

    Jean

    Resilient Warriors sounds like a good source! I like how you weaved in Dees thoughts to this blog on Leadersmithing.

    I agree with this:
    “Bob Dees encourages wounded warriors to acknowledge the reality of trauma and the necessity for faith-based resilience”

    The following paragraph is excellent. I like how you incorporate what you do to help children. I can imagine self regulation is a big struggle. I also like how you tie in other sources to support your statements.

    “As I research helping child refugees affected by trauma, I have realized that what makes their treatment challenging is their failure to self-regulate. Most of these traumatic experiences are not only happening to children but other family members like parents or siblings have also been affected. Dr. Kahneman said, “Self-control shrinks when we are tired, hungry, or mentally exhausted. Because of this reality, we are prone to let System 1 take over intuitively and impulsively.”[7]

    I am curious what you are finding brings positive self soothing for the children you are working with. Are there some interventions that have proven more effective over others?

    I enjoyed reading this Jean!! May the Lord bless your work!!

  4. Caleb Lu says:

    Jean, I appreciate that you begin by highlighting that leaders are made (or perhaps forged) not born. I grew up as a small, quiet, medically fragile kid that no one ever imagined would be a leader. There are kids that people regularly write-off for various reasons that could become great leaders. I imagine the child-refugees that you work with could easily be among those who are misunderstood. This is probably especially true as they struggle to transition to life here enrolled in a public school. (thought from Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School by Carla Shalaby).

    I look forward to continuing to hear and read about your work and will be praying for you, your team, and the children and families you work with as your raise future leaders.

  5. Caleb,
    Thank you for sharing a testimony of what God has done in your life and about Carla Shalaby’s work. Some will be quick to write children off and give them various labels. Thankfully, we have seen God prove them wrong and use all people for his honor and glory.

  6. Alana Hayes says:

    Jean, Great post!

    When I was reading this book I thought about you and John Maxwell. He said, “Great leaders aren’t born. They’re made.”

    My question to you is more personal because I am intrigued by you taking his courses:

    How has his program shaped you in to being a better leader today?

  7. Thanks Alana,
    The Maxwell courses inspire me and motivate me to learn and grow more. I would not have been in this class had I not met John Maxwell and his team. The Maxwell Leadership Team has over forty thousand certified members worldwide that are passionate and engaged in growing as leaders. We meet twice a year in Orlando, Florida. I have never seen such a large team of passionate leaders (Picture our team in South Africa, and increase it to 3000 – 4000 people meeting twice a year).

    How did you find Portland Seminary Alana, how did you see a need to grow as a leader yourself?

  8. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Hi Jean de Dieu

    Did you have a moment when you first thought of yourself as a leader?
    Just thinking of 3000-4000 leaders a room, or even working with children who have experienced trauma, there must be that core motivation of knowing that you can bring about change in a given situation. What helps you know you can make a difference?

  9. Thanks Chad,
    The difference maker in me helps me believe I can make a difference. I believe I have made a difference in small ways already, trying now to reach out, and inspire hope in more children.
    2 Corinthians 5:18 (And all things are of God——).

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