There are few in the secular business management world who are more respected than Ken Blanchard. In his book, The Servant Leader, Blanchard claims servant leadership is the most effective leadership model for any organization. Blanchard was also the author of the Situational Leadership model described below.
Another inspiration for this piece is James Hunter's The Servant. He gives a great picture of servant leadership. My friend Rev. Dr. Mike Foss contributed many ideas to this piece. He and I collaborated on a workshop on servant leadership. Mike's book Power Surge, which I reference below, gave me the first glimpse of what a discipleship community might look like today. I also credit a long-time friend Mark Olson, who helped spark my passion for servant leadership in the mid-90's. Many of his thoughts are incorporated here.
I have tried to live into this model of leadership for the last dozen years, and I have come to agree with Blanchard that this is the most effective model of leadership for any organization.
Of his own free will, he took the nature of a servant. We will talk about the Holy Spirit as an empowering element in Servant Leadership.
Influence is key.
The old paradigm is the use of power to coerce behavior. It is a top-down concept of management borrowed from centuries of war and monarchies.
This exemplifies the servant leadership style.
Honest, Role Model, Caring, Committed, Good Listener, Held you Accountable, Respectful, Encouraging, Positive, Forgiving, Appreciative
Leadership begins with the will, the human ability to align actions with intention. Agape love, the verb, is the action of identifying and meeting legitimate needs. Serving and sacrificing to meet other's needs builds authority and the right to be called leader.
Needs are not the same as wants. A need is a legitimate psychological or physical requirement necessary for the health of a human being.
Agape – Greek word for unconditional love rooted in behavior toward others without regard for their due. The Greek New Testament records Jesus’ instruction on the way we are to behave toward one another using the word Agape.
Are we Servants first, or Leaders first? Are we self-serving? Look at how people take feedback. This is a quick way to tell the difference, because on of the biggest fears of the self-serving leader have is losing their position. Self-serving leaders spend most of their time protecting their status. Give them feedback and they usually respond negatively Servant leaders look at leadership as an act of service. They embrace and welcome feedback as a source of useful information on how they can provide better service. Self-serving leaders who are addicted to power, recognition and who are afraid of loss of position are not likely to spend any time or effort training their replacements.
Think of learning to drive a car. Potty training a child
Psalms 1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
If you want to understand the call of God, realize it’s not about clarity, it’s about obedience. We would like a road map, and God calls us to just obediently take the first step. If you embody discipleship, you will begin to exhibit a gravitational pull that is nothing short of the Holy Spirit. Mike Foss' book Power Surge describes six spiritual disciplines, PWR SRG. The first three are inward works: pray daily, worship weekly, read the Bible daily. The second three are outward practices: Serve in and beyond the church, form Relationships that let you share your faith, and Give the tithe. The premise of his book is that if you practice these disciplines, you will see a Power Surge of the Spirit in your life like nothing you've seen before. I have found that to be true.
All of the great leaders of the Bible were first great followers. The deeper we go, the farther we’ll go. Leadership that follows the Spirit is opportunistic. What doors is God opening? The challenge: Which good of the many is the right one for me? What is my calling?
How many times have you seen honesty sacrificed in churches in the name of harmony? And, in this world, it is not just about performance, it's also about behavior.
Patience with a purpose
Leaders: 5-10% of the population. Working Through Others. Time frame: Long-Term. Managers: Working with others to go do something. Problem-Solvers. 30-35% of Population. Time Frame: Mid-Term, 6 months to 2 years. Doers: Some lead by doing. They have a short-term span of attention. 60 % of Population. They tip their hat at budget time, they look at the nickel and dime stuff. Time Frame: Short, 6 months. Leaders need managers they can trust. You’ll never move a congregation forward without a critical mass of leaders committed to a shared vision of discipleship.
Most churches fail in strategic planning because they misdiagnose A, their current reality. In evaluating current ministry & program, part of point A, ask, “How does that serve discipleship?”
In Current Reality, get in touch with people’s hunger, and use that to build a bridge to the vision. People always want to take point B, the vision, and make it look like A. Vision big enough so smaller visions can emerge within. Help people get in touch with their personal vision. All shared vision is rooted in personal vision.
Where beliefs, values and mission are enduring.
Focus and Momentum, the two mundane miracles that propel you towards the vision. Effective leaders build collaborative teams, and create high accountability, low control organizations. Most churches are high control, low accountability.
Effective teams balance task and relationship. It's like sharpening the saw. You can keep your total focus on the task at hand, but if relationships become strained, productivity will suffer. Spending time on relationships will make the work of the team much more effective. I can keep cutting with a dull saw, but it'll be slower and slower.
Goleman's work on Emotional Intelligence has proven the need for self-awareness in a leader. It's hard to work on the weaknesses you can't see. Objectivity is the work of seeing reality clearly and not distorting it with our own junk.
Managers Plan, Staff and Problem Solve. Leaders Provide Direction, Alignment and Motivation. It is difficult to change behaviors, attitudes, and leadership styles. In fact, the pain of not changing usually has to be greater than the pain of changing if there is to be any shift at all. .... each of us has leadership qualities that emerge when the right moment arises for us. Leadership is situational and evolves over time as we learn to take on more responsibility. Leaders have influence; very few have the degree of control they think they have. What is a leader? Where does it come from? Studies show that leaders talk faster, there is a dominance factor, there is an intelligence factor, a social IQ factor. Social IQ is the ability to engage people and get them to move in a certain direction. Persistence is a factor. High energy level is a factor. Leaders like leading. The emerging need is for transformational leaders. They are charismatic, visionary. The skills needed to lead: an understanding of human behavior, self and others; understanding of organization behavior; ability to predict the reaction of the group; how to intervene with problem solving and change skills. Skill building is a key. Congruency between verbal and non verbal communication is important. When you sit up it forces you to pay attention. Leaders do not slouch in a meeting. Leaders give you attention in order to receive attention. The majority of your influence will come from the spoken word
Hersey-Blanchard (Life Cycle) Model: Selecting the appropriate style requires the leader to determine the readiness of his followers. Ability refers to their having the skills knowledge, and experience to perform a task. Readiness refers to whether they have the motivation, commitment and confidence to do the task. A follower’s readiness likely increases over the life of his or her relationship with the leader, calling for a change in the leader’s style over time.
You begin in the lower right quadrant, and move from S1 to S4 as the willingness and readiness increase. This is the same Ken Blanchard who tells us that servant leadership is the most effective style for any organization.
The most effective way to reduce cost is to increase the productivity of the company’s workforce •To increase productivity, the workforce must be engaged in solving the problems of the business •If there must be a reduction in the force, the people affected should be actively engaged in the process. encourage risk taking...without fear of reprisal
Taken from “A Car Veteran Explains why IPC=(A+W+P-I) x S”, Jeffrey Hall, WSJ 6/8/99
What does Peter’s reaction to Jesus tell you about his personality? Ego? When he washed his disciples’ feet (Jn 13.3-5) Jesus demonstrated a fundamental principle that he regularly stressed to his followers. If you want to lead others, you have to serve others. Peter has gone from selfish to selfless, what caused the change?
Peter has gone from selfish to selfless, what caused the change?
It is the Spirit that proves that God is still active in the world today. The same Spirit that transformed Peter can transform us. Paul tells us in Romans: Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Courage is given by the Holy Spirit who abides within.
The question is, Will we? It is the path to the abundant life Jesus promises in John 10:10.