Wednesday, January 4, 2006

As I do, not as I say

I've been asked to speak to some youth at LPC/thePlace in the coming year about leadership in one way or another. So far, the only thing I've got is a title: "Why Leading by Example is the Hardest/Easiest Thing You'll Ever Do."

The idea percolating has something to do with drawing distinctions between leadership based on power and leadership based on influence, but I haven't had time to pull my thoughts together just yet. At first glance, it seems that leadership grown out of obedience, honesty, and servanthood is the only kind which people actually follow. Inspirational and Impositional leaders are a dime a dozen and can be subverted faster than you can say "mustard seed" any day. No, it is a life which shares its cracks and flaws and presses on despite the seemingly contradictory and paradoxical that will truly gather a following. The trick at that point is to make sure you're all heading in the right direction...


Daniel said...

Also worth talking about how leadership differs depending on context. A pastor is different from a store manager is different from a drill seargeant is different from an influential friend. Part of effective leadership is recognizing one`s context.

James Kingsley said...

very good point sir! context. context. context. feel free to continue brainstorming - remember, i'm only working with a title so far!

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, influence is power ... we are just leary of the word (it's taboo, kinda like the word "authority").

I think I would focus on the difference between positional authority and relational influence (the former being almost irrelevant in congregational church contexts and the later being most effective).

From there, you can talk about the high value of things like transparency, authenticity and integrity.


James Kingsley said...

positional authority vs relational influence: golden! right on target.

michael said...

power is having your hand on the rudder.

influence is shifting your weight in the boat.

leadership is having the ability to get everyone to row together.