Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Inside Out Leadership

My personal philosophy of leadership is Jesus-style servanthood. “You must know what you care about…Because you can only be authentic when leading others according to the principles that matter most to you” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 52). Jesus evidenced the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 13) in his leadership as he modeled the way, inspired a shared vision, challenged the process, enabled others to act, and encouraged the heart (Kouzes & Posner, p. 13). His impact was dynamic, embodying “Genuine acts of caring [that] uplift the spirits and draw people forward” (Kouzes & Posner, p. 19). The results: a small band multiplied (Matthew 11:28).

“Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world” (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 2006, p. 5) meaning “It’s not about you” (Warren, 2002, p. 17). We play but a small part in God’s plan. Leading through dependence upon God is key.

“Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2007, p. 3) is adequate, but flat. By that definition, the leadership could be positive or negative. “Credibility is the foundation of leadership” (Kouzes & Posner, p. 37). Frances Hesselbein beautifully describes leadership as, “…a matter of how to be, not how to do it … in the end we know that it is the quality and character of the leader that determines performance and results” (Levesque, 2003). We must lead from the inside out.


(Kouzes J M Posner B Z 2002 Leadership Challenge)Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2002). Leadership Challenge (3rd ed.). San
: Jossey- Bass.

(Levesque C 2003 matter of being)Levesque, C. (2003). A matter of being. Association Management, 55(1), 63-66. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 277984061).

(Northouse P G 2007 Leadership Theory and Practice)Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice (4th ed.). Thousand
, CA
: Sage Publications.

(Warren R 2002 Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I here for?)Warren, R. (2002). Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I here for? Grand
, MI
: Zondervan.


steve martin said...


Good thoughts on leadership.

I agree with you and Hesselbein that (good) leadership comes from within.

Treat people fairly, don't ask them to do anything that you wouldn't do. Keep the task in mind. Be firm, loving, forgiving, and admonish when needed.

These things are hard to teach, but can be exhibited and emulated.

I don't think everyone is cut out to be a leader. Thank God for that! We've got enough trouble with those that are, vying for control.


- Steve Martin

Ivy said...

Thanks, Steve. We try, huh?