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

Music to my ears

Written by: on November 2, 2023

“We have become so focused on leading others, we have fundamentally lost the ability to lead ourselves.”1

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”2

The Sound of Leadership by Jules Glanzer argues that leadership is not about position or power, but about character and influence. He argues that leaders must be people of integrity who live their lives according to their values. Attempting to lead others without taking heed to ourselves first is just making a lot of noise. Combining sound and leadership theory he draws on his own experiences as well as the wisdom of Scripture to take the reader on an acoustic journey which reframes how we usually think of Leadership. Glanzer’s thinking reminds me of the words of Edwin Friedman, “What counts is the leader’s presence and being, not technique and know-how.”3.

By helping to lead himself well and paying close attention to himself, the leader’s ability to lead will be enhanced by the voices he listens to. Glanzer uses four chapters to emphasize the importance of discerning, hearing, and deciding on which voices to listen to. Ultimately his premise is to listen to God’s voice, the Voice of One. “I firmly believe that kingdom seeking, God honoring, biblically rooted leadership needs to learn how to hear God’s voice. Leaders must lead from a divine center with a heart in tune with the heart of God.”4

Since Glanzer believes strongly in listening to the Voice of One, it would have been helpful for him to give a couple of examples on how he feels this is best accomplished. He did talk about how Christ responded to life by getting away in solitude and silence at times, but solitude and silence are weak areas for the Western culture. How does one attend to the heart’s desperate longing for God in the midst of so much religious activity. Ruth Haley Barton said it well, “To enter into solitude and silence is to take the spiritual life seriously.”5. Entering into solitude and silence will help us to lead ourselves well because we are paying close attention to ourselves. But the emphasis is really on the Voice of One. Maybe our western “sound of leadership” can be:

1. Walking in the woods to hear the wind, the leaves or branches crushing beneath our feet.
2. Visiting a church with stained glass windows to feel the presence and hear the Voice of One speak in silence.
3. Walking through a cemetery to be reminded of what it means to be dead to the power of sin.
4. Driving to work in silence thinking about and thanking God for your leadership gifts.
5. Staying seated and bowing your head on Sunday morning and losing yourself in the presence of God, while everyone else is standing to sing.
6. Visiting and sitting quietly in the waiting room of an ER or hospital to allow God to remind you of your brokenness and his overwhelming grace that covers your brokenness.

The above 6 are just a few ways we can enhance our leadership and influence by choosing to be with the One. “He [Jesus] lived a God-arranged life continually listening to the voice of his Father instructing him on actions he took.”6 Could it be that a God-arranged life is so deep that it can only come from a life that has spent time praying without words?

After Glanzer spends time pointing the leader to the Voice of One, he talks about the calling of the leader, preparation for leadership, style of the leader, and the leader’s legacy. One of the most profound statements in his book is once again, about the leader’s character, “Leadership is being that results in doing. Who you are determines how you lead. How you lead flows from who you are.” To be this type of leader takes “doing uncomfortable work.”7 Working on self-awareness is uncomfortable. Spending time in silence with the Voice of One can be uncomfortable. Being aware of how our backstage influences our front stage can be uncomfortable.8 Choosing to do uncomfortable work as part of your leadership style comes from paying close attention to yourself in order to lead others well.

The book comes to a brilliant crescendo as Glanzer emphasizes a “magnum opus” which he calls, “one’s greatest piece of work.”9 For him one’s greatest piece of work is multiplication: investing his life in leaders so they can eventually invest in other leaders. “The best leaders create more leaders.”10 We lead ourselves by paying close attention to ourselves. One way of doing this is spending time in solitude and silence with the One. After this, all those tools and ideas we use to become more effective leaders will help our ministries to thrive because leadership is being that results in doing. This is definitely music to my ears.

1. Michael Brody-Waite, Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts, 10.
2. I Timothy 4:16, (New International Version), 2010.
3. Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve, 18.
4. Jules Glanzer, The Sound of Leadership, 2.
5. Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, 34.
6. Jules Glanzer, The Sound of Leadership, 30.
7. Michael Brody-Waite, Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts, 103.
8. Simon Walker, Leading out of Who You Are, 23.
9. Jules Glanzer, The Sound of Leadership, 120.
10. Ibid, 118.

About the Author

Todd E Henley

Todd is an avid cyclist who loves playing frisbee golf, watching NASCAR, making videos, photography, playing Madden football, and watching sport. He is addicted to reading, eating fruits and vegetables, and drinking H2O. His passion is talking about trauma, epigenetics, chromosomes, and the brain. He has been blessed with a sensationally sweet wife and four fun creative children (one of which resides in heaven). In his free time he teaches at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and is the Founder/Executive Director of Restore Counseling Center.

9 responses to “Music to my ears”

  1. Jenny Dooley says:

    Hi Todd,
    I really enjoyed your insights. You are speaking my language! I appreciate that you pulled this quote from the book, “I firmly believe that kingdom seeking, God honoring, biblically rooted leadership needs to learn how to hear God’s voice. Leaders must lead from a divine center with a heart in tune with the heart of God.” We can’t do that without solitude and silence. I don’t know why we think we can? Jesus gives us so many examples in which he sought out silence and solitude so he could hear the Voice of One for himself. I was sharing insights on the Jesus’ practices of solitude andsilence with pastors a few weeks ago. There were quite a few Aha moments going on… which was great to see. I love your modern list. You have some of my favorite ways to listen there. A new one for me was visiting an ER. I have to make a hospital visit next week and I will make time to do just that. What is your process, as a leader who is listening to the Voice of One, for making more leaders?

    • Hello Jenny! I am humbled by your kind and gracious words because I think so highly of you as person, leader, counselor, and insightful spiritual director.
      My process for making more leaders is:
      1. I meet monthly with my therapists to sharpen them, encourage them, answer questions, and keep the mission before them.
      2. I also meet with each therapist individually each month. The purpose of this is to encourage them to use their gifts and expertise to enhance our community and county. For example, I recently challenged one of our therapists, to open herself up to doing what she always dreamed. She decided to pursue her Equine Assisted Therapy Certification. In the midst of working on her certification, I asked her to come up with a plan to present to our board that will eventually make her the Equine Therapy Director with other therapists in this field working under her. Tuesday, November 14th she will be presenting this plan/vision to our board.
      Basically, this is what I do with all our therapists. I challenge and encourage them based upon who they are in Christ and the skills he has given them, give them whatever they need to accomplish their vision, and then release them to do above and beyond whatever they ask God to do.
      I have one question for you, since you’re the one with experience in this area. What is one insight you shared with those pastors a few weeks ago that you feel would be good for me to pursue?

      • Jenny Dooley says:

        I love the intentionality of your process and the first priority of your job description. What you are doing is so supportive of the counselors, a great model to follow, and a beautiful gift of opening up space for others to grow and share their unique gifts with the world. Thank you!
        I shared the following scriptures highlighting what Jesus was doing and inviting his disciples into in the midst of busy and compelling ministry. Matthew 12:28-30; Matthew 14: 13, 22-23; Mark 6: 30-32, 45-46.
        The theme was getting away to rest, times of solitude, and silence alone with God, but also with each others.

        • Hello Jenny! Thank you for those Scripture passages. I will definitely spend time in those verses before I go to bed tonight. It looks like I found my own personal spiritual director. Please let me know how much I owe you? 😊

  2. mm Dinka Utomo says:

    Hi Todd!
    I like your six ways to listen to the Voice One! It’s brilliant!
    In your post, you emphasized how a leader can lead her or himself first before leading the other.
    Based on your experience, when you lead yourself in your ministry what is your most challenging factor, and how do you address it?

    • Hey Dinka! Now that’s an excellent question. The number thing on my job description is spending intimate moments with Jesus. Since I’m the Founder I thought I would write it in. 😊 But, this has been my hardest and most challenging factor. I am really struggling to spend at least an hour a day with the Lord in solitude and silence…just being quiet to hear his still small voice. Dinka, in fact, it has been quite frustrating at times because I want to be prayerfully dependent upon the Father because I am allowing my ministry to push God out many many times. 😩
      How do I address it? I’ve been trying to address it for so long but the struggle remains. But because of your question, I will really make time today to address in order to be intimate with my Savior. Thank you Dinka, I appreciate you, my brother!🙏🏿

  3. mm Tim Clark says:

    Todd, I’m with you, the final “Magnum Opus” chapter was so rich and challenging. Do you have any thoughts about what your magnum opus might be?

  4. mm Jana Dluehosh says:

    Todd I love your “6 ways”. Number 4 for me is a great idea..When I am stressed and tired, I need silence more than anything, but I tend to drawn out the silence with noise, music, tv, podcasts, etc. I’m taking your words to heart as a way to challenge myself to a bit more silence. Peace to you brother, thanks for the challenge.

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