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

Leadership Mystique

Written by: on November 16, 2018

What it’s about.

This is in line with emotional intelligence, and developing social awareness and human behavioral management abilities that the rest of the semester has also focused on. It’s the “working with people” problem that people never seem to be able to get away from.

What I liked

Many business leaders and many who succeed in management and leadership, or rise the corporate/ministry ladder are often left brain people. This causes them to have a tilt toward left brain tactics and a natural devaluation to right brain or “soft” concepts. The most important of these soft issues would be “emotional intelligence” but also this would include, work-life balance, a new model for hierarchical work relationships and emotionally processing change. Much has been written about emotional intelligence today, and it is beginning to be more commonly addressed in all types of circles. I recently sat through a church administration skill training where they spent the first hour walking us through “emotional intelligence.”

De Vries says, “Emotional intelligence plays a vital role in the leadership equation. It comes down to this: people who are emotionally intelligent are more likely to be effective as leaders.”[1] De Vries lays out three essential tasks of emotional intelligence and they are, Recognize your own emotion, Managing your own emotion, and Dealing with others emotions.


Work-Life balance.

Its not about the keeping the perfect spot on the teeter totter. Its not about this idea that if work get something better, then your family or life will suffer. It means integration. It means that Every part of your life gets the best of you. And if you finding yourself working too hard in an area that degrades your best self in another, just stop. Don’t rise to that level of stressed that you were not designed for. This also means doing work in which you can use your best self. As strength finders would argue, spend 85% of your time in your strengths. This is a way in which one can eliminate what De Vries call the Dilbert Phenomenon in which work has becoming a soul-sucking force of doom. With this emphasis on working in your strengths (and hopefully passion) one can pursue their emotional, personal and professional goals simultaneously.

De Vries gave some good questions for his readers on how to measure a balanced lifestyle and they are worth repeating here. What is also worth noting that many have said, including John Ortberg and Dr. Mary Pandiani that a “balance” in life is not possible. But as Christians we can live a well-ordered life[2], or a centered life.[3])

  • How do you divide your time between home and work
  • How much time do you spend wit your family
  • How do you assess the balance between giving and getting emotional support?
  • Do you ever reflect on your own life goals and periodically reassess?
  • How well do you cope with stress and anxiety?
  • Do you have hobbies?

A new model

The old model of paternalistic management is done. People look for to be engaged more like adult to adult relationships without the hierarchy of parenthood. The employee is also not looking to stay in one career or family for life, but to move around based on their own places of their career trajectory. For pastors, “Your challenge as a leader is to forge relationships anyway, despite employees who are suspicious or who keep an eye on the exit.” I was surprised by this focus on relationships from a non-christian voice. Even secular bosses are told to be relational with their employees. I viewed this more as something pastors did as a shepherding heart, and not just as a management style. In Manfred’s similar theme Ted Talk he gave this statement, “A healthy organization should have a healthy disrespect of the leader.” Not insubordination, but the ability to see and say the missing link. The maxim goes that a CEO says, “I want my employees to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.”[4]


The five Cs of change was helpful in processing through if your own change will be possible, as well as leading others through change. Concern, confrontation, clarification crystallization, and change lays out a clear emotional process that needs to happen for transformation to occur.[5] To get more specific though Kets De Vries lays out four steps for in the organizational change process. Crating a shared mindset, changing behavior, building attitudes, competencies and practices, and improving business performance are the four steps of change. I think the most difficult of these is creating a shared mindset because they involves culture and core values.

What I’m using

The idea of whole-life strategy vs deferred life strategy is something that I think is worth incorporating into my dissertation. This book was especially easy to apply to my dissertation because I am currently writing the curriculum and degree plan for a Master in Leadership Studies with a Ministerial Emphasis. Many colleges already have a masters degree, so why is this degree different? Great question, and one I should make sure I have an answer to.

Secondly, the idea of processing change is of paramount interest to leaders and pastors, obviously because the pastors are always wanting to grow their church, or grow their people. These two nuggets from De Vries will influence what I am writing.

Side note: I liked reading from another international author, just for the sake that not every book I’m reading is coming from an American, but De Vries being Dutch help me feel what I am learning is more applicable than just my own culture. De Vries references some of this in chapter 9 of his book Leadership in a Global Context.


About the Author

Kyle Chalko

8 responses to “Leadership Mystique”

  1. Kyle,

    I am one who would heartily embrace the idea of a whole-life strategy vs a deferred-life strategy. Live life now! This is one of the things I’m also taking into my philanthropy consulting. Many people want to hold off on the major giving decisions and leaving them for their inheritors, creating a family legacy of sorts… but I suggest they give it all away now.

  2. I, too, appreciate that we are reading books by authors who are not American. I started with his chapter on Global Context and gleaned a lot for my research.

    Will you be incorporating secular voices into your curriculum? I did my Masters of Ministry Leadership at Fox and found it very helpful that our curriculum included voices like Friedman and Kets de Vries.

  3. M Webb says:

    Nice analysis of this big book on leadership. Yes, he moves his focus around EI for sure and I think you did a good job drilling deep into his thesis to find his precious literary substance.
    I support the Strength-Finder’s rule-of-thumb. In my roles we used the 80% factor when making many operational decisions. In other words, once we got a solution to the 80% point, we would implement and smooth out the remaining 20% real-time.
    Great application of your post to your dissertation research. As always, excellent review and comparison with other authors and good discussion on how the book influences your leadership paradigm.
    Stand firm,
    M. Webb

  4. Jason Turbeville says:

    Great focus on a well ordered and focused life. That is one of the hardest things to do in leadership. I have been in large corporations and have had to fight that in the church as well. What do you find the most difficult part of being a pastor, husband and father?


  5. Shawn Hart says:

    I don’t know Kyle…after your “Work-Life Balance” segment, ten classmates just dropped out of school. LOL. I think anyone that is realistic, they know that taking on doctoral work in conjunction with a full-time job, realized already that they were about to make sacrifices to the balance. It’s a great concept, but how many of us really understand that balance appropriately?

    I thought I’d give my honest view on your list though:

    How do you divide your time between home and work: I have found that sometimes my work is my safe place; at other times, I cannot flee from it fast enough. Probably 50/50 though.

    How much time do you spend with your family? Actually, I am very blessed that my family is active in my ministry, but that we also all play very well together. My best buddies are my two sons, and my daughters are the joy of my life. As for ministry partners; my wife is awesome.

    How do you assess the balance between giving and getting emotional support? I am the giver. To be honest, I hate being doted over and asked how I am doing; I am not fond of showing weakness or need, so I try to be there for others instead.

    Do you ever reflect on your own life goals and periodically reassess? Absolutely…but I also leave room for the Spirit to guide me. I think my wife used to think I was nuts, but has realized that she trust me to lead…and I follow the Spirit.

    How well do you cope with stress and anxiety?
    Next question! (Yup…pretty much like that)

    Do you have hobbies? I am a movie junky! When I have finally hit that wall; or if I am ready to punch an old lady in the face…I go to the movies. Love golf too…but have not swung a club since I moved to Oregon 8 years ago.

  6. Dave Watermulder says:

    Thanks for this post. I think your focus on whole-person integration is right on. You wrote, “Its not about the keeping the perfect spot on the teeter totter. Its not about this idea that if work get something better, then your family or life will suffer. It means integration.” This all resonates with what we are learning broadly in our program, and it sounds like stuff you are working on in your context, as well as within yourself. I’d have to say, me too! Thanks for your clear writing on this.

  7. Chris Pritchett says:

    Hey Kyle this was great. Really clear and to the point and a solid hi-light of the books gems. Maybe you could be a contributing writer for Blinkist. Seriously, man. You could add these summaries for leadership books they don’t yet have on file. I dunno. Regarding people skills…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAY27NU1Jog

  8. Chris Pritchett says:

    Hey what was your reference to a “centered life.” [3]. Didn’t see the bib but very interested in that idea.

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