DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Follow The Leader

Written by: on November 4, 2015

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Introduction

According to author John C. Maxwell, “real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow as everything rises and falls on leadership.”[1] A great leader is one who coaches and mentors the workers, inspires enthusiasm, and does not depend on authority, but on goodwill. A leader influences others through lifestyle, integrity and character; therefore, leadership in many organizations is termed as the core factor of successes or failures. Poor leadership always translates to failures or collapse of organizations whereas good leadership always led to thriving of businesses and expansions of organizations. What most of us do not understand is how leadership affects organizations. Leadership is useful in business organizations but also in small groups and units such as families and discussion groups in schools and our cohort. What is the role that a father or a mother plays in a family to ensure that the family succeeds in all of its endeavors? Is your family successful? What about the organization you work for? Does it realize its goals? What is the leader’s role to ensure this? How can their leadership skills be improved? Do they consider ethics in their decisions? Are they culturally sensitive in their decisions? What about the national leadership? Are you satisfied with your senator or president based on their decisions? All these questions require excellent comprehension of what leadership entails in organizations.

Summary

The book, “Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice” by NitinNohria and Rakesh Khurana handles perfectly the significance of leadership in organizations. The two authors assert that organizational success is best assessed by the direct impact of leadership in the performance of the organizations. The authors discuss a multi-faceted leadership theory across some of the major disciplines such as psychology, organizational behaviors, sociology, history, economics, psychoanalysis, as well as, political science[2]. Some of the concepts that the theory of leadership entails as elaborated in the book include functions, personal attributes and relationships among people in a group or in an organization. The two authors discuss the concept of leadership succinctly enabling the readers to discern true leadership from a faked one. For instance, one may ask about the kind of platform that is right in assessing good leadership, and on the other hand an individual may say a good leader always produce the best results in an organization. That is, organizational good leadership always translates to profits and subsequent growth of the organization[3]. In the case of our president, we cannot evaluate the success of a presidential leadership based on profits like organizations.  How about a court judge, a church priest, a monitor or a group leader?

From the Handbook, the authors assert there is no universally accepted model of leadership and thus effective leadership always considers the situation at hand. A good class monitor will always understand the kind of students in the class, their behaviors, strengths and weaknesses as well as their cultural backgrounds to create good relationships with them. A president must understand his or her country, the challenges as well as the opportunities available to it’s the citizens. For instance, President Obama knows the challenges facing the US in terms of security, economy, education and many others. If you ask him today, you will hear him mention ISIS being the most serious security concern to the US government. Further reading from the book discloses the various ways of developing better leaders for the benefit of the US.

The book mainly concentrates on leadership in organizations. It answers some of the questions arising from leadership’s problems in organizations. The book mainly consists of 26 essays of the scholars who took part in the Centennial Colloquium on the advancing of organizational leadership. The function took place at Harvard Business School, therefore The Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, is said to be a catalyst for elevating leadership to a higher intellectual plane – and help shape the research agenda for the next generation of leadership scholars.” The book is excellent for individual students in the school of business. It is also appropriate for CEOs and managers in organizations as well as new entrepreneurs; but what about biblical leaders?

In the bible, Jesus talks about leadership involving being more of a servant than a ruler. Leadership is all about serving the people with the most appropriate and beneficial decisions. Leadership is complex; but the christian leaders must have passion for the lost, have a kingdom mentality, be a visionary, love people, be willing to sacrifice, have family support, be a servant and an anointed hard worker, have integrity; and be humble.[4]  The leadership style must be one that others are willing to follow.

Reflection

Many people do not understand the meaning of good leadership; but good leadership is always accompanied by excellent critical thinking skills, and discipline; which is what makes a leader stand out from the crowd.  A person who will scorn or excuse self-discipline will never qualify for leadership of a high order.  The very basic of leadership principles begins with character.  Successful people are willing to do things that unsuccessful people will not do.  John Maxwell talks about the difference between character-driven and emotion-driven people.  Emotion-driven people make decisions based on feelings, what is convenient or easier or popular, and then quit when problems arise.[5]

This book was great reading which caused me to take a closer look at my leadership style. I could see Rose Maria Anding’s style of leadership is a combination of autocratic, democratic, and delegative,[6] according to the task at hand. The autocratic style is used when decisions must be made quickly, with no time for consulting with the organization.  The democratic style of leadership is most effective when all members are engaged in the decisionmaking process, where ideas and thoughts are shared, and plans developed through creative solutions to problems.  The delegative leadership style is when members are highly skilled, motivated, and capable of working without supervision. But the question is, Are you a good leader? Yes, we know, a good leader is known by the number of great individuals he or she has nurtured and creates silent influence in other people. The platform of good leadership is based on good decision making involving ethical and cultural considerations. The church does not exist in and for itself, but it is a vehicle for leaders to lead and manage the body of Christ through discipleship, evangelism, missions, spiritual growth, and other programs that point to God’s glory!  Are you led by a good leader?
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Bibliography

Nohria, Nitin&Rakesh,Khurana. 2013. Handbook of leadership theory and practice an HBS centennial colloquium on advancing leadership. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press

 

[1] John C. Maxwell, Developing the Leader within You. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publisher, 1993, 5.

[2]Nohria, Nitin&Rakesh,Khurana. 2013. Handbook of leadership theory and practice an HBS

Centennial colloquium on advancing leadership. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

[3]Nohria, Nitin&Rakesh, Khurana. 2013. Handbook of leadership theory and practice an HBS

Centennial colloquium on advancing leadership. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

[4] John C. Maxwell, Developing the Leader within you. 203-205.

                [5] Ibid, 176.

[6] Jean M. Phillip and Stanley M. Gully, Organizational Behavior. Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2008, 298-99.

About the Author

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Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

12 responses to “Follow The Leader”

  1. Nice post Rose.
    I am like you, I am a bit autocratic, democratic, and delegative. Each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses. The problem I constantly run into is that I operate from one of these stances when the situation calls for me to operate from another one. For example, something will come up at church and I will be autocratic about it and just decide. However, often in hindsight, I realize I should have been more democratic or delegative about the situation. Do you ever have this issue? How do I figure out what is appropriate at that time?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron,
      When I reviewed the six styles, these three seem to fit me the best, but, but it can be rather difficult keeping your style in its proper place. The autocratic style is used when decisions must be made quickly, with no time for consulting with the organization. This style is also used when the leader is most knowledgeable about the situation, and is the only member that has access to the information. However, the autocratic style of leadership has its challenges. There is lack of creative solutions to problems, which hurts the performance of the group because of lack of input in the decision-making process. The leader is sometimes viewed as bossy, or controlling, which can lead to resentment and poor output performance. I really have to watch myself in this style.

      The democratic style of leadership is most effective when all members are engaged in the decision-making process, where ideas and thoughts are shared, and plans developed through creative solutions to problems. Members feel involved and committed to projects and assignment, resulting in greater productivity among group members. Although, the democratic leadership style is effective, there can be potential problems in situations where roles are unclear, communication failure occurs, or timely projects are not completed because of lack of knowledge and expertise to make quality decisions.

      The delegative leadership style is when members are highly skilled, motivated, and capable of working without supervision. Leaders provide the necessary tools and resources to the members, and delegate authority for the task. The down side of this style in ministry is when members lack the knowledge or expertise needed to complete the tasks or make quality decisions. This can lead to projects being off track and missed deadlines. The leader must make adjustments tailored to the needs of the group. Y ou really have to know your group.
      There are challenges, leadership is very complex, and requires the leader to be able to do more than one thing at a time. The leader must be able to make future adjustments according to situations and circumstances that are tailored to individual or group needs. Adjustments need to be made with the autocratic leadership style. Trained leaders who are knowledgeable and have access to privacy information would be an asset to the ministry at this time.
      It is great sharing with you! Rose Maria

  2. Rose,

    I love the quote, “Leadership is all about serving the people with the most appropriate and beneficial decisions.” It did get me thinking. Not every decision I make will benefit every person. For instance, half the people would like a certain style of worship, but that does not benefit the other half. How do we make decisions in an organization that we know people are not going to like or always benefit from and still be like Christ?
    Thanks,
    Jason

  3. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Jason for the question!

    The decision we make within the church organization is hard at times; because leadership is very complex, and requires the leader to be able to do more than one thing at a time; therefore a leader must be able to make future adjustments according to situations and circumstances that are tailored to individual or group needs; but if there is someone in the group who doesn’t like it, adjustment may be necessary if the autocratic leadership style is been used. But the ministry should be one in which the leader serve by doing and implementing ministries that actively respond to the needs of the culture not necessary one individual.

    The leader’s focus will demonstrates genuine concern for people through serving others, modeling the spirit and attitude of Christ, where the good shepherd loves, protects, and nurtures the flock.
    I hope that give a little clearer picture; but a leader must be aware of his or her leadership style, which will set the tone. Thanks! Rose Maria

  4. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Rose,

    May I quote you next Sunday? I am helping out a little church in town preaching every other week, and we are looking at Nehemiah. What you have written fits so well. Didn’t Nehemiah accomplish what you, John Maxwell, and J. Q. Adams wrote?

    Thank you for pointing out the importance of both servanthood and critical thinking. May we all aspire to these characteristics and practices.

    Thank you for the probing questions regarding the quality of our own leadership.

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Marc for the comments, of course you may use the quotes!

      It is so great how God just moves us around here and there to make His presence known among the great and small ones. It doesn’t matter if the place is big or small, we as disciples are expected to be transformed in ways that always reflect Jesus’ face. My main challenge is maintaining discipleship, which is essential in serving as a role model as a leader. I have learned that we must portray the change that we want to be expressed to the people who follow us. Support and prayers are essential in sustaining discipleship, which enables people to bring out the values and attitudes of Jesus.
      My prayers are for you and the church, may you continue to bless them with your presence, knowledge and spiritual guideness Thanks!

  5. Aaron Cole says:

    Rose,

    Great Blog! You are a great leader! You mentioned leadership in Christian circles and styles of leadership. What style or blend of leadership do you think makes the best Christian leader?

    Aaron

  6. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Aaron C. for the comments and question,

    I will answer your question this way, as a Christian leader, adopting a Christ servant leadership style. Jesus is our example, Jesus’ use of the “towel” represented His whole life and leadership, how He revealed His perspective on positional power and He teaches us to serve God by serving others. Therefore a servant leader values everyone’s contributions and regularly seeks out others opinions and acts with humility.

    The most significant thing a leader can do enable people to excel in excellent and inspire people to a greater commitment to achieve their full potential. As we look at Jesus leadership style, how does it compare with our own? Thanks Rose Maria

  7. Claire Appiah says:

    Rose,
    Thank you for another very informative blog from your great wealth of knowledge. Such powerful quotes!
    Your leadership style as a mixture of autocratic, democratic, and delegative shows that you are a master-level leader. In chapter four of our text this week the contributors study the behavior of master leaders in action, that is, “someone who knows just what to do, how to do it, and precisely when to act to help a system achieve its purposes.” (115). Their performance exceeds any training they may have had. The contributors explain that novices have to rely on the instructions of others because they do not know what they should do or how they should do it. Experts understand what they should do, and can explain why their decision was the proper action to take in their present circumstances. “Master-level leadership is something more than the sum of one’s accumulated knowledge and skill.” (115). But what that something is, decades of research on traits effective for leaders has not been able to uncover. Rose, what do you think that something might be?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Claire for the input; but it hard to tell what that missing ingredient may be ; but i feel the answer is in the word of God.
      In James 2, leaders are reminded about the “Royal Rule of Love.” Don’t allow public opinion to influence how you live, and never forget the royal rule of the scripture. “Love others as you love yourself”. You can’t play Favor, who you think are important people, how they look or what they are wearing, that is against the rule. Leaders should never pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. Therefore leaders must talk and act like a person expecting to be judge by the same rule that set us free. The lack of faith limit’s the leader’s possibilities, and clogs the flow of the power of God in their lives.
      Thanks ! Rose

  8. mm Garfield Harvey says:

    Great Post,
    To answer your question…yes, I’mbeing led by a great leader. As I read your three leadership styles, I reminded of the DISC personlaity test. I would often laugh at the fact that I can be both inspirational or dominant. However, a great leader knows the flexinility to operate in whatever is needed in that moment. I’m still learning to be flexible and naturally, I’m still growing in my leadership role/capacity. In years past I would applaud myself for being democratic and call it being a smart leader. However, as I continue to read these books and even reading your post, I’m reminded that great leaders know when to respond with the appropriate leadership style. The pastoral staff often joke about their individual strengths but they quickly talk about how our senior pastor is skilled at knowing how to respond in the moment. Your post is a great source of reflection.

    Garfield

  9. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Garfield!
    Great comments! I often say, God is not looking for the person having abilities rather he is looking for persons showing availability for conducting his tasks on earth. God has beautifully presented this concept in the Parable of the Talents in Mathew’s Chapter 25 by saying that the person who is striving for gaining perfection in his/her talent is the one who will be noticed and admired by the people. Solomon has further said, “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29; KJV).

    Thanks for sharing Rose

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