Leadership & Formation #1

Leadership & Formation #1

Being in the ‘Winter’ of my leadership, I have come to many conclusions regarding the theory and exercise of leadership.  These conclusions have been reached through study, mentoring, exercise, and observation.  You may not agree with some of my conclusions.  I do not presume to know all there is to know on the subject.  I am compelled to humbly pass on to others what I have learned on my journey in the hope some of it will benefit you the reader. 

I encourage you to submit comments accordingly but ask that they be given respectfully and thoughtfully.  I will attempt to make frequent postings on the subject of leadership. I will be doing so from a Christian perspective.  Each weekly contribution will be posted in several locations…LinkedIn, Facebook, HOAW Blog (www.heartofawarrior.typepad.com), and HOAW Website (www.heartofawarrior.org).

Leadership & Formation #1

We are all leaders by default.  You may not see yourself as a leader. You may be a reluctant leader.  You may be a person who has learned to be a leader.  Or you may be a natural leader.  There are times when you are a follower and other times a leader.  But make no mistake about it everyone leads at some time whether on the job or in the home, completing a project or volunteering one’s time.  Anytime you make or implement a decision that impacts others beside yourself you are leading.  On any given day you can find examples of good leadership or bad leadership. 

One scholar has noted leadership is the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.  Attempts to define a leader or leadership represent multiple perspectives...

“There are only three kinds of people in the world - those that are immovable, those that are moveable, and those that move them.”

“Leadership is a relationship in which one person seeks to influence the behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, or values of another.  In the context of organizational management, leadership is a relationship of influence with the twin objectives of accomplishing a task and developing the people.”

“Leadership is the ability and the activity of influencing people and of shaping their behavior.”

“A leader is someone you will follow to a place you wouldn’t go by yourself.”

“A leader is a person who influences people to accomplish a purpose.”

In the course of my doctoral work I reviewed over 300 definitions of a leader and leadership.  One common theme repeated itself in many of the definitions I reviewed – that theme was ‘influence.’  In the New Testament, we are called to ‘influence’ others for kingdom purposes.  That being the case, we are all leaders by default.

The question then is…“How well do you lead when given an opportunity to do so?”  “What and/or who informs how you lead?”  “What stands in a privileged position of authority over your leadership?”  “What conditions and shapes the exercise of your leadership?” 

To be continued…

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