Monday, December 24, 2007

Do you manage to lead?

What’s a leader? What’s a manager? Are you in the position of authority within your ministry or job? I’m in this class called Biblical Leadership. We are studying biblical examples of leadership. In studying so far I have come up with the following wealth of knowledge, there is a difference between a manger and a leader. It is all summed up in a little chart or sign that was made for a Wall Street Journal article by United Technologies Corporation out of Hartford. I’ve reproduced a simple copy of it below:
Let’s Get Rid of Management

People don’t want to be managed.
They want to be led.
Whoever heard of a world manager?
World leader, yes.
Education leader.
Political leader.
Religious leader.
Scout leader.
Community leader.
Labor leader.
Business leader.
They lead.
They don’t manage.
The carrot always wins over the stick.
Ask your horse.
You can lead your horse to water, but you can’t manage him to drink.
If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself.
Do that well and you’ll be ready to stop managing.
And start leading.

I have been assigned to a new manager at work. I feel like I need to apply to a new position because she is a manager and I am used to working with leaders. I am a leader myself so I don’t deal well with managers. Managers act within circumstances, leaders change circumstances. Managers tend to focus on the processes rather than leaders who focus on the reason for these processes. There are several issues within myself I must deal within myself, submission to authority, patience, kindness, forgiveness, but that is not the point of this entry. When you read the bible, you do not encounter any managers, you encounter great leaders. If you are a leader or in a position of management, how do you do this? Is it a push pull deal or is it linear at all? I don’t think a leader acts in linear thought process, but rather influences from every angle and inspires those he/she leads. Their vision becomes their follower’s vision. There is also what are called transactional leaders and transformative leaders. Transactional leaders are much like managers and lead within the walls of a certain idea, transformative leaders do not see a box, they don’t act inside the box or play it safe, they transform the environment they are in. With my passion being church planting and leading, I think about his stuff all the time…What kind of leader are you? With the older leaders moving on and the newer leaders taking over, I think you can see a definite difference between the two and notice the transition in styles. What kind of leader are you, what kind do you want to be? I want to lead like Jesus, I study not only what He said or what happened within His ministry, but how He did things or handled situations, how He led. If you are interested in reading more on this you should check out the following books:

Leaders. Strategies For Taking Charge- Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus
Leading Without Power. Finding Hope In Serving Community- Max De Pree
Transforming Leadership- Leighton Ford

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