Sunday, August 16, 2009

Speed of the Leader; Speed of the Team

This statement from an ad on radio station 96five has been running through my head for the last week or so and challenging me on how I conduct my life. I think God has been challenging me on how I lead or more importantly how I influence those people around me.

For the purposes of this article I want to use the word influencer instead of leader. In my experience with leaders of churches, I have noted that when a minister has had to step down from being the senior minister, his sin is normally reflected in the life of the congregation. If his marriage has broken up, then there are a lot of broken marriages in the congregation, if it is sexual immorality then it is in the congregation. Speed of the leader; speed of the team.

So we as influencers set the pattern for those we influence. So who do we influence? Partners, children, friends, workmates, other people.

So what are the hallmarks of an influencer/leader:
• Encourager
• Listener
• Approachable
• Visionary
• Example
• Disciplined
• Transparent
• Charismatic
• Consistent
• Empowerer
• Discipler

So what is a Biblical pattern for an influencer? No where in the Bible can I see where people were taken away to be trained as influencers. There was no school of leadership. People were discipled on the job. Paul took Timothy and taught him through the school of hard knocks. Paul got rid of Mark, Barnabas then took hold of Mark, worked with him until Paul says later can you please send Mark because I need him. Jesus did all his stuff with the disciples on the job.

Here is the first major paradigm shift. Leadership/influence is actually caught not taught. It is not about creating a bunch of rules to live by. It is about looking for teachable moments to learn from. It is about showing how we conduct ourselves in every day circumstances. I need to model the behaviour I expect to see in my wife, children, friends etc. No room for hypocritical behaviour.

The next major paradigm shift is that influence/leadership is actually about making ourselves redundant. It is about empowering those around us to be ultimately able to live life without looking for direction from us. As a parent that is what I hope will happen with my kids. That, in the end, the way my kids conduct their life is an imitation of Kylie and I and it becomes second nature to them. They don’t have to ask us what to do; they automatically know what to do. That is true influence and discipleship.

Speed of leader; speed of the team then is conditional on us as influencers empowering those who are around us to become the people God wants them to be and ultimately have us as influencers becoming redundant to their life. It is to provide stimulation to their life not motivation.