Thursday, March 6, 2008

Leading others who are different

We just finished a time of staff development where we discussed the challenges of leading others who are different than us--either in personality, values, giftings, etc. 

I realized 2 things...

1--It's really hard to empower people who are different than me. It's not malicious, but very subtle and indirect. Especially in the context of a busy and hectic work week, I often times just want to get things done, and interact with those who are most like me and cost me the least amount of energy. 

2--It's really easy to form judgments about those who are different than me. Again, it's very subtle and a process, not a one time event. Over time little things build up and eventually I have formed some sort of judgment that keeps from me leading them freely and as a servant. 

Particularly in a results-orientated organization like Crusade, it's easy to empower and work with only those that are like this. One the one hand we get things done, on the other hand we can easily isolate and discourage those who work differently than us, or value different things than us. 

The best solution I have seen is to create teams of individuals who represent and value different things, but who are teachable and humble enough to be willing to learn from each other. Also, without a leader who is leading more for others than himself is key--if the leader is drawing his or her significance from the power of his position, and draining his followers by his demand for attention, respect, etc, then no team, however balanced, can thrive and go after the mission wholeheartedly. 

1 comment:

Beav said...

Good thoughts B, things in ministry always keep coming back to servant leadership and it's incumbent upon us to keep wrestling with those things that get in the way of leadership that truly serves and empowers and frees.

It's so true that differences can get the attention of our insecurities and we then have choices to make about whether we are going to lead to protect ourselves or take the risk and lead for others.