Principles of Effective Leadership - Lesson 3

Defining Leadership (Part 2)

In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the importance of leadership, vision, and planning, especially in challenging times. You will explore the qualities of a good leader, such as global and flexible thinking and empathy for others. The lesson also examines the three components of leadership: followers, influence, and mobilizing towards a common goal. Finally, you will learn about the delicate balance between leadership and influence, as effective leaders must both listen to and be sensitive to their followers while also maintaining a primary role in influencing decisions.

John  Johnson
Principles of Effective Leadership
Lesson 3
Watching Now
Defining Leadership (Part 2)

Lesson 1: Leadership, Vision, and Planning

I. Leadership and its Importance

A. Effective leadership in challenging times

B. The role of vision and planning

II. Qualities of a Good Leader

A. Global and flexible thinking

B. Empathy and understanding

III. The Three Components of Leadership

A. Followers

B. Influence

C. Mobilizing towards a common goal

IV. Balancing Leadership and Influence

A. Listening to and being sensitive to followers

B. Maintaining primary influence

  • In this lesson, you'll learn about the critical role of leadership in ministry, covering key aspects like core values, vision strategy, decision making, team building, conflict resolution, and biblical theology of leadership to enhance your effectiveness as a leader.
  • This lesson offers a comprehensive exploration of the complexities and challenges in defining leadership, highlighting its context-dependent nature, the influence of culture, and the variety of styles, personalities, and traits associated with leaders; it ultimately identifies three essential components of leadership: having followers, influencing others, and setting direction.
  • In this lesson, you explore the importance of leadership, vision, and planning, and learn about key qualities of a good leader, such as global thinking, flexibility, and empathy. You will also understand the three components of leadership and the delicate balance between leadership and influence.
  • This lesson delves into the importance of leadership, illustrating how it is critical to success in the political, corporate, and religious sectors, with personal experiences and expert opinions reinforcing the need for strong leaders to guide and shape organizations.
  • In the lesson, you gain insights into the nature of leadership, its key components, and the need for leaders in various contexts. You also explore the debate on whether leaders are born with innate abilities or if leadership can be acquired and developed over time. Additionally, the concept of leadership as a summoning, where individuals are called to lead during specific situations, is introduced.
  • Focus on your strengths and improve your leadership skills through Marcus Buckingham's guide, which debunks myths about personal growth, identifies strengths, and emphasizes the value of team members volunteering their strengths while balancing service with strengths-based contributions.
  • This lesson equips you with an understanding of the context of leadership, various leadership styles, and practical applications to effectively lead in different situations.
  • When you are identifying the social context of a group, it is important to recognize the structural, human resource, political and symbolic aspects of the group.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights on situational context in leadership, focusing on the leader, followers, organization, and environment, enabling you to adapt and foster growth.
  • Gain insights into core values and axioms in leadership, the power of language and word pictures, the leader's responsibility for casting a vision, and overcoming the fear of asking for help in order to rally support for a great vision.
  • By studying humility as a core value for leaders, you gain insight into the importance of humility in avoiding temptations of pride and power and discover the characteristics that define humble leaders. Additionally, you explore other core values, such as compassion, courage, and diligence, and learn how to build and maintain these values in your life through experience, self-assessment, and reflection and how it is essential in avoiding the temptations of pride and power.
  • This lesson teaches the significance of core values and skills in effective leadership, covering aspects such as integrity, justice, authenticity, competence, discernment, and intuitive leadership, all of which contribute to becoming a well-rounded and impactful leader.
  • By exploring this lesson, you learn the importance of teamwork in leadership, the characteristics of high-performing teams, and how to build, develop, and lead successful teams in your organization.
  • Learn the principles of effective leadership, explore key leader characteristics, and discover how to build strong teams, develop leadership skills, and measure success.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insights into the critical role of leaders in setting direction, the importance of teamwork, and the need to establish a clear mission and purpose for organizations. Understanding these concepts enables you to be a more effective leader who can inspire and guide teams towards shared goals.
  • A Mission is a philosophic statement that answers the question, “Why are we here?” Vision is a strategic statement that answers the question, “Where are we going?”

  • This lesson teaches the importance of long term thinking in visionary leadership, emphasizing the value of learning from history, engaging present realities, and exploring future possibilities through scenario thinking and adapting to technology and trends.
  • This lesson explores strategic thinking, SWOT analysis, and trend analysis to help develop a clear vision and mission and adapt to an ever-changing environment in education and ministry.
  • Identifying objectives is the process of moving from vision to reality. Objectives are the tactics employed to carry out the strategies, the action plan of what needs to happen now. Decisiveness is an important quality of a good leader.

  • By studying this lesson on leadership and change, you will learn to effectively manage change in leadership, overcome resistance, implement and communicate change vision, and sustain long-lasting organizational transformation.
  • This lesson equips you with the knowledge and skills to navigate leadership challenges and transitions, fostering personal growth and organizational success.

This is a core leadership course designed for those who intend to be future leaders in ministry. This course will move from definitions to the core values of a leader; how to take a ministry through a vision process; engage in strategic planning, decision-making, and implementation; build great teams; work through conflict and change; delegate tasks; and effectively mentor the next generation of leaders. Models from the corporate, political, and military worlds will be compared and contrasted with biblical definitions and illustrations of leadership.

You may download the complete set of Dr. Johnson’s notes as a pdf. Since this class was presented during a condensed time frame, Dr. Johnson does not comment on all the points in his notes. We have provided the full text of the notes for your benefit. Click on the Class Outline link under Downloads.

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Dr. John Johnson

Principles of Effective Leadership


Defining Leadership (Part 2)

Lesson Transcript

Dr. John Johnson [00:00:00] I see through there the leadership. I see the word and vision teach me a lot when I remember their leadership need planning all the way because the planning is that a tool to convince a plan or an agenda to convince the follower? They know that it is the right leader. They have the right party agenda, you know, with an election where you.

Speaker 2 [00:00:38] Yeah, he's not he's not just a dreamer. He's got a plan. Yeah.

Dr. John Johnson [00:00:42] Planning from A to Z. With the horizontal from left to right that is acts of time and vertical is the space we have put it for people. Right. Right. Yeah. So the planning is just to let me prepare and make this a bit work. On being convinced that this will work right. The leader Then we will, after the planning they we've got to stand up for. I remember when 35 to 67 years ago in the church, we are in the church. We have connection with American government and army and and and when we heard that the ally when well Rob the support for all of the South Vietnam movement. So we will be lonely to fight with the North. And that is the historic and historic. And then in the church we know that we have the war because we work with American. We are the Christian. We cannot survive in a future about right. So now we sit down, we make a plan from ages. They are raised in that and we talk to people and people are not sure to kind of to look to say, I will for the airplane road to airport and the American one put us on on our plan. Well, but my group with me and the pastor and we think about that much we are scared almost panic we say we better where I ran my small boat with an engine to cross the sea as the people were scared, I said, Hey, don't do that because of mean. Because of many people, they die in the sea already small boat on the sea. And somehow I'll be there and say, No, we will. We pray and we hope we will survive because the ship, the American ship, all the other ship, they can rescue us that they want hope. Yeah, which.

Speaker 2 [00:03:11] Again underscores that. So who do people follow? They they are going to follow someone who has direction, but a direction that as well look later has some sense of a plan that is persuasive and convincing, even if it's still going to require a lot of faith.

Dr. John Johnson [00:03:30] Yeah, and we make a plan and they love them and right opinion make the people and they are. And we said that if you go to airport, good luck when in the palace the people everything float to the airport at exactly the right Yeah those people injured they been captured because they come and have our plan. Yeah. And then 15 years later they live under the communism regime and they know they wouldn't be here.

Speaker 2 [00:04:02] So, yeah, no, I remember seeing some of those images of people lined up and there was no one to take them and that was very awful images. Yeah.

Dr. John Johnson [00:04:12] So the plan.

Speaker 2 [00:04:13] Yeah. Yeah. Right. I mentioned this article. The leaders we need now again underscoring the complexity of leadership. Leadership changes with time. If you were to let me ask you in your generation, if you were writing this article, the leaders we lead now, what would be the first thing you'd say? What kind of leader is needed now? When I say now, given this emerging culture, given this day and age, given our context today versus what it was.

Speaker 3 [00:04:47] Yeah.

Speaker 2 [00:04:48] Sandy Okay. Yeah. A leader that can see globally and not so narrowly. Part of that is because to use like Thomas. Friedman's words, the world has become flat. So much of what we're doing over here affects what we're doing over here, and.

Speaker 4 [00:05:08] Someone who knows what the true objective is and isn't stuck up on just one method. And so so they're able to shift and take a new approach. What exactly was needed for gatekeepers as changes to speak the language.

Speaker 2 [00:05:24] So global flexible? Terry That's where you're going. Yeah. What would be another word to define a leader? That's the leaders we need now. Yeah.

Speaker 5 [00:05:37] Probably empathetic or sympathetic. The idea that they can actually understand what's going on. Common people.

Speaker 2 [00:05:43] Yeah, that's really true today, isn't it? I mean, I think that's a problem with probably some of the current. But we go back to political leadership again. I was reading of a conversation that Obama and Republican leaders who had a a rather heated discussion together, and one of them said the problem is you're moving faster than your constituency in there and you need to slow down to hear where they're at and see where they're at. Because I don't think you're aware of where they're at. And it's all back to empathetic leadership, right. That maybe some would say is really missing. We look at this three pronged definition followers. What's the second influence? Third goal, mobilizing towards a common goal. Is there anything missing in that? Or would you say as you think about your own definition of leadership, it comprises that. Do you see any glaring holes? How do you feel about this three piece definition of leadership? Makes sense.

Speaker 4 [00:06:56] I think the central point of view is giving. Mm hmm. Like within the body of Christ, there needs to be an aspect of character.

Speaker 2 [00:07:04] Yes, But in terms of defining leadership in the broad sense, leadership, not Christian leadership, but leadership values can be all over the place, can't they?

Speaker 3 [00:07:18] I think a good leader would invite conversation to be a dialog and seems like a good thing or a good leader with value in. Yeah, maybe not from different levels. Yeah. Mm hmm.

Speaker 2 [00:07:36] Yeah. Does that mean. Sure. Of course. What you're saying, Marcia, here's that influence can't just go in one direction. To a certain extent, leaders have to be influenced to. Right? They have to be influenced by their followers. Yeah. Where we would say there's a failure of leadership is when a leader becomes dominated by those that he's called to influence. We call it, for example, someone who is ruled by the polls, putting their finger up to see which way the wind is blowing, which way the influence is blowing. And we don't think much of leaders like that, do we? But there are leaders like that, aren't there, that Why did you make that decision? Well, I based it on what the people wanted. There's something good about, for example, and I put this in your notes, your John F Kennedy, who will see more when we see this movie. John F Kennedy, who had his presidency in the sixties, had written a book before he became president entitled Profiles of Courage. That book was about congressmen who had defied their constituencies. In other words, had done what they felt was right, even if it's not what their constituencies wanted them to do, but by their own convictions, said no. Even though my people want me to do this, this is not what I'm going to do. And he wrote a book entitled Profiles of Courage. So the question is where they leaders. I mean, is a leader, somebody who just follows what the constituents want. Is that a leader? But I think Marsha's point is but something of leadership has to be a leader who listens to and is sensitive to what the needs and wants. Back to Dominic's point about empathetic, right? I mean, empathetic to a certain extent is being willing to receive influenced by the follower. It creates a certain tension, doesn't it? I can say is a pastoral village. Okay. I need to lead the church forward into the future where we want to go. But I also know this, that I have to have my ear to the ground to hear what my parishioners will at heart as well. Otherwise, I may be out there leading the charge to the mountain and look behind me and realize, Well, nobody's there. Well, then that breaks down the first definition. A leader has to have followers. So what's the answer? I don't know if I'd really answer that, except to say there has to be two way, but. But there has to be, again, primary influencer. Yeah. You know, it's like if you have a if we say we're going to have a Bible study and we're all going to just listen to one another and learn from one another. And so let's start with Sandy. Sandy, what does this text say to you, Adam? What does it mean to you? Oh, that's great. You know, and well, here's what it means to me. So we could emerge out of that with no leadership.

Speaker 4 [00:10:56] Pulling the trigger.

Speaker 2 [00:10:56] We're just exactly we're just pulling the ignorance. So where there's leadership, there's a primary influence.

Speaker 3 [00:11:03] And maybe it's that style of leadership that I'm comfortable with is shared and that there's a collaborative process.

Speaker 2 [00:11:10] It's collaborative dialogical, but at the end of it all doesn't flatten out to egalitarian. That's the danger. And oftentimes that's the reaction to strong, authoritative leadership. I say you have a real dominant leader, and now that that leader's gone, there's a tendency to, you know, the pendulum always goes to extremes, right? Well, we want someone who's pretty passive dialogical, really wants to work, and then then you find out down the road if we just had somebody that would say, somebody to lead us, speak up, then we gravitate sometimes back to this strong, high control, authoritative leader. Remember when Jesus said to 5000, Remember that story? John six And what happened when he fed 5000? And what did they want to do? They wanted to make him king and they wanted to follow him because he was providing their needs. And the Jesus turned around and said, in a sense, I'm the bread of life. If you want to follow me, you need to eat of me. Well, they all scratch their heads and said, I was just thinking of tonight's dinner. Really? Actually, it wasn't. I don't know what you're talking about. So obviously he went off message for them, and they ended up. What? What did they do? They left. And then how many were left at the end of the 12. And what did Jesus say to them? What did he say? Oh, come on, you guys. Hey, hang on, man. I'm a leader and I need followers. And so please hang on here. What? He said actually just the opposite. You want to go also? Now, if they said, Yeah, maybe that's not a bad idea. It's just this is all getting kind of weird on us. You know? Would Jesus have still been a leader?

Speaker 5 [00:13:24] Well, not according to the storm, but it's still an influence.

Speaker 2 [00:13:31] Would have had any influence if they left. If Jesus said, Here's the direction we're headed to the cross, but nobody's there to follow would have been a leader.

Speaker 5 [00:13:45] In some sense, it would still have to be on a spiritual level. What he does doesn't depend on his followers.

Speaker 2 [00:13:54] Yeah, he'd still be a leader.

Speaker 5 [00:13:56] He'd still be the first born from among the dead.

Speaker 2 [00:13:58] But does that make somebody a leader?

Speaker 5 [00:14:01] I think in a sense. It would have been done in vain if you didn't have followers. On the contrary, I would say. But nobody would follow them.

Speaker 4 [00:14:12] Yeah. Who would have passed on the story?

Speaker 2 [00:14:15] Right. So would there have been leadership? Probably not. Right. So what's interesting is Jesus was in a sense, he was willing to put his leadership on the line, wasn't he? And the point is with this is the tricky thing about leadership. There are times leaders have to defy their constituents. I mean, Jesus wasn't going to give his followers what they wanted, and he was always doing that, frankly. I think of Mark chapter one. He heals Peter's mom and says that there was a steady line of people. The whole town came out and they wake up in the morning, he's gone. They find him out in the wilderness and they go, Hey, all these people are waiting for you. And he says, Let's go to other places. So I've come for this purpose to preach the kingdom of God.

Speaker 4 [00:15:13] When Billy Graham, designed to integrate their ministry team and invite black people to work with them to man, he went through incredible criticism and people dropped out. Yeah, because he chose to work with integrity instead of just right.

Speaker 2 [00:15:31] So we have to be careful with how much we measure our definition of leader by followers. Certainly, we wouldn't necessarily say a great leader has lots of followers. It's easy to have lots of followers.

Speaker 5 [00:15:45] Really good food.

Speaker 2 [00:15:48] Is good food and entertainment, you know. So we have to test each of these definitions, make sure we get it right. Is someone a leader? Because people have to follow sometimes.

Speaker 3 [00:16:04] I think I've worked in the many schools where there were principals who were not good leaders, but they were just in that position.

Speaker 2 [00:16:11] Yeah, no, I was in military school with the sergeant who was awful. We all hated him. He deserved to be hated. But, you know, he told us what we had to do, and we did it. Now, according to this definition, a leader, someone who has followers, we had to follow what he said. Does that make him a leader? No, we just have to think that through is is a person a leader, because people have to follow that person. A military can be a good illustration of people who are in leadership, but the people under him don't want to follow him, but they have to because otherwise it is. Yeah. So probably the ideal is what if we kind of sum this up? A leader is someone who has people who want to follow, right? They want to follow. Or something about this person is someone I want to follow, someone who makes impact just influence us, changes the landscape and someone who clearly has a direction. So can you think of somebody in your life? Think of somebody for a moment that you say, This person has been a huge leader in my life and then test this definition. Anybody have somebody that comes to mind when I say leader who almost instinctively comes to mind in your life? Maybe with your dad. Maybe it was a teacher, maybe it was a coach, maybe it was a writer. I don't know. Anybody have a person that comes to mind?

Speaker 5 [00:18:03] Tony I can't think of any tangible person. I realized that a little while ago. They don't have a tangible mentor to look up to, but.

Speaker 2 [00:18:13] Which maybe says something, doesn't it?

Speaker 5 [00:18:16] Yeah, it affects a lot of different aspects of the way.

Speaker 2 [00:18:19] I'm not seen says something about you so much, but may say something about the failure of lack of leaders.

Speaker 5 [00:18:29] For me, the influence that has affected me most is actually the writings of C.S. Lewis and the way that he approaches the world, his worldview with approach.

Speaker 2 [00:18:41] So would you define C.S. Lewis as a leader? Has influenced you to follow him? Is he taking you somewhere?

Speaker 5 [00:18:51] Yeah. Mm hmm.

Speaker 2 [00:18:54] Okay.

Speaker 3 [00:18:56] Somebody else that's not a mentor. Yeah. Yeah. Just within our family, we follow him. He's a businessman, the influencer. But he lives with integrity and a common goal to make the world and to run for time.

Speaker 2 [00:19:09] And his direction. Yeah. It's not my way or the highway. Right.

Speaker 3 [00:19:15] I see that with my mom. They just. They don't. But he is. Yeah.

Speaker 2 [00:19:21] Yeah. The prime influencer. Sometimes when I asked this question, a lot of times somebody would say, My dad, that's a blessing.

Speaker 4 [00:19:31] Someone I follow personally. But what else? First started out ministry soon realized that was really lacking in leadership skills. And but I love to read science fiction. And so I used to read all the Star Trek novels, and I started learning leadership lessons from the way the author would describe James Kirk actually started employing. Begun to embarrass him in the pulpit as they beat me up, you know, stuff like that. But know but I did learn some really actually tangible leadership skills from, you know, the insights that the author would say about even intentional things he would do in order to in order to command the respect of his staff. Yeah, stuff like that. So.

Speaker 3 [00:20:13] Hmm. Marsha, my daughter, went to West Point and.

Speaker 2 [00:20:17] Oh, he did? Yeah.

Speaker 3 [00:20:19] He just hasn't had a lot of roles of leadership in the community and in the family. She just always was and still is. Then, before I retired, became an all these girls. Master gardener. Now.

Speaker 2 [00:20:35] You still a leader?

Speaker 3 [00:20:36] I mean, he's constantly setting goals for himself. And then when he when he ran the senior Olympics three years ago, after I've been 15 years since he. And besides, if he had just recovered from prostate cancer and he was, his goal was to. And the most amazing thing was it was back in Pittsburgh, which is where we all came in and got to watch him. He was 17 at the time. And anyway, he's and he's always serving other people.

Speaker 2 [00:21:10] How old is he anymore? Wow. So how old were you when he was born? I mean, how old was he when you. I know how old Juma. When you were born.

Speaker 3 [00:21:21] Actually.

Speaker 2 [00:21:22] No. Excuse me. I shouldn't ask that question. That's a personal question. But he was a he was quite an older father, wasn't he?

Speaker 3 [00:21:29] Yeah, he's. You know, but the cool thing is, he started the track team for the three girls in the family. For me, I was very fast and I was not competitive. I just don't have it in me. I wanted everyone to have a tournament, but the cool thing was he got us into every level of track. I mean, I met I met Jesse Owens by running in the chair with.

Dr. John Johnson [00:21:55] Him.

Speaker 3 [00:21:56] And just all these great experience.

Speaker 2 [00:21:58] Yeah. So testing our three legs here follower.

Speaker 3 [00:22:05] Just all my girlfriends he recruited. Yeah.

Speaker 2 [00:22:07] People followed him.

Speaker 3 [00:22:09] Many people join our track team. Yeah.

Speaker 2 [00:22:11] Because he has huge influence. Yeah, And always directional.

Speaker 3 [00:22:17] Same rules. Yeah. Yeah, it's great. You got a really high in his company as a manager, and you went on an NBA and. Mm hmm. Anyway, he's the men's trainer, so I. Public speaker. Yeah. Man Roberts. Mm hmm.

Speaker 2 [00:22:33] Yeah. You know, a good question is ask yourself right now. Think about yourself along these three lines. Are you a leader? So do you have followers Who's who's following you? So it's an interesting question, isn't it? Hmm. If I look behind right now, who's is there anybody there who's following me in my influence or whatever all of that means. I had quoted from Margaret Wheatley, who interestingly looks at leadership from a lot of physics side of thing. It says A leader imagines oneself is like a beacon of information pulsing out messages, congruent messages, and over time a powerful field develops. So she's thinking like a scientist, a field develops, and with it then influence. This is what leaders do. So you come into a situation, as she would put it, a leader has to create a field. And this is how a leader uses energy, which he equates with power. Power is energy. What a leader does is creates this field. Let's say you as a leader, you come into an institution that you're going to lead. And let's say this institution has been pretty static. And over time people have lost their whole they've lost any sense of vision or direction, kind of circled the wagons rather than thinking outward. They think inward. They're just kind of hunkering down, just sort of surviving. So that creates its own field, if you will, right? Yeah. Now a leader comes in, let's say that's visionary, that wants to take them and think outside of their small box they've been living in. Give them hope, breathe in confidence, communicate women. Let's say this. What we're talking about is the church, this system with God called the church to be God called the church to be this. So what this leader does this is to me what the essence of leadership does. A leadership back to this definition of influence has to keep creating the field so that one day people begin to that's just the field they walk into. It's a field that's imaginative, that's looking outward, not looking inward, that sees we're not there, but we're moving forward. That's influence, isn't it? So ask yourself this question to you, and it's such an interesting question. Do you create fields? In the sphere of where you walk live, let's say Adam, who's been a youth pastor. Okay, Youth pastors. Fair to say, Adam, that that our leaders are creating a field, if you will. Maybe you're coming in to change one, but you're creating one that that when youth step into it, they sense, okay, this is about something. This is going here. This is. And if that's all true. That goes back to a a strong leader. It doesn't happen, apart from leadership is the point. This is what leaders do. This is by definition, who they are. If somebody says, you know, ever since you came here, things have kind of changed or. Well, that's like saying ever since you came here, you decided to be a leader. Well, yeah, that's what you called me for. This is what leaders do. If somebody gets up at the end of ten years of your leadership and says, you know, we're so thankful, Tim. Tim didn't stir up things. He kept things where, you know, kept things comfortable. We've we've had a great ten years together. My guess is you wouldn't probably look at Tim as someone who was a leader. Might have been a nurturer. Yeah.

Speaker 3 [00:26:52] Is there an idiom called Circle Influence? The same concept. The field?

Speaker 2 [00:27:00] Yeah. Well, I mean, we all have our circles of influence, right? That we run in. But I think what I'm talking about here is creating a a field, if you will, of influence. And what I've discovered, for example, as a pastor is creating that field takes lots of work and never stops. Right? It never stops. It only stops when you get there. But then a leader, in a sense, never gets there. It's all a lifelong journey where you're taking an institution. It's not like you stand up one day and say, We're here. We got here. That's great. So, you know, from here on out, we relax, we coast and we'll talk about this more in our in our course here that the definition of atrophy, or at least I should say not a definition, but atrophy always happens at the top. You know what I mean by atrophy? Well, back to the OHSU. When things atrophy, what do they do?

Speaker 3 [00:28:12] They're decaying. They haven't been used and.

Speaker 2 [00:28:16] Yeah, They're deteriorating. Right. And when does atrophy start?

Speaker 3 [00:28:24] Lack of movement.

Speaker 2 [00:28:25] So it starts right at the top of movement. Well, let me see if I can pull this together. What I'm trying to say. A leader realizes that atrophy always starts at the top. So you always have to keep moving people forward. Because if you take people to a false summit, if you will, and you say, well, we're at the top, okay, that might feel good for a moment. But what you've set up is atrophy to happen. Atrophy naturally happens when you hit the peak. If you haven't hit the peak, then atrophy hasn't started. If you're still moving, you're still using the resources, everything you're all moving above. Four years ago, I was playing tennis. I played a lot of tennis and I. I severed my Achilles tendon. I was going for a shot and there was just this big snap. My leg was at its. It was right there. You know, muscle, everything just. But at that moment, it started to atrophy, went into a cast. Ashley I was amazed how quickly muscle atrophy. I mean, within a week my calf muscle had felt like it had shriveled to half its size. I was so determined to not let my leg atrophy that even after a week in a cast, I started to get on an exercise bike that just even though it was really hard just to keep some movement because otherwise it just continued to atrophy. So atrophy is when things start moving in a sense, or in this case, they kind of start moving downward. The reason so many churches have atrophied is because a failure of leadership, a leader has to keep moving the organization forward. But if you assume you've made it to the top, you've set up atrophy. Makes sense, right? It's sort of like another way to say it. And again, we'll talk about this later. What a leader has to continue to do is you've probably heard this phrase is to keep creating new S-curve. In other words, whatever you lead has a natural inclination to slide over. It's just the nature of living in a fallen world. Everything atrophies and dies while our bodies don't. We want we don't want that. It's just a natural slide. It's inevitable. But what's inevitable physiologically is true. Institutionally, institutions tend to die. Right. Don't misunderstand me. They don't have to die. But they tend to. What is a great church today might be tomorrow's empty shell. Now that often happens. It didn't have to happen, but it does happen because of failure of leadership. And the failure is this here is that what a leader has to do is continually create new curves. And you don't create the S-curve here at the slide or down here where you're now working against the gravitational pull. You create a new S-curve where when everything's moving forward, when it's going well. So a leader by our definition here is directional. A leader keeps taking people forward, but you've got to keep looking at where the potential curve is. And way before that curve is you keep moving. Maybe it's a new vision, it's a new direction. But this is what leaders do. The moment you stop doing that, the moment you go, you know, I'm really tired. I don't think I can do that anymore. That's when you have to then down to our last theme transition, because you're no good to the organization. What leaders tend to do is they lead this great movement. They start to get tired. They just now move to hanging on and the organization starts to do this and then things start to die, which you have to keep doing, is creating a new S-curve, sort of like if you ever have and maybe you never will. But if you ever have the experience of climbing Mt. Hood, there's just something that happens. You take off, say, at one in the morning and make the great time to climb before the summer comes and the crevices open and rocks get loose. And that's how people get killed. But the optimal time. So obviously not in the middle of winter, but right now is the optimal time to climb Mt. Hood. Well, not today, but this time of year. On a sunny day. This is a great time. The snow's still firm, The crevices have an open and all that. But when you do that, you're climbing, say like for 3 hours and you go, Wow, we're almost there. And what you discover is there are a lot of false summits because your vision, you just can't see things. You don't see the whole thing. So you get there and you go, Oh, wow, You know, we got a lot further to go and you keep going another couple of hours and you see there it is. And you get there and then you realize as you get closer, it's another false summit. It's sort of that way in leadership. A leader in a sense. Would you see the analogy has to keep moving and not create false summits? Well, we're here. It's like our church just built this big new sanctuary. It's a wonderful achievement. But where leaders often fail and where I could terribly fail as a leader is if I said, Wow, we're done, let's celebrate. This is great. We made it to the top. That would be a horrible mistake. This tends to happen. The vision isn't the building. The building is not the summit. If we make the building, the summit, man, well, what happens? What's going to happen.

Speaker 4 [00:34:56] Once the luster wears off about the building, those two Now the big focus is that we got paid parking when we go to paint rooms. And so the real vision is lost sight.

Speaker 2 [00:35:05] Yeah.

Speaker 3 [00:35:06] Yeah.

Speaker 2 [00:35:08] Yeah. Oh, yeah. You killed the momentum. Plus you made a false summit out of it. The building is simply the way to facilitate the vision. It isn't the vision. My first church, I came there. They were the 75 year old dead in the water. So believe me, I know what it's. What it's like. I came to a church that was way past the peak, and. Atrophied in was somewhere down here. It was my first church and I thought, Oh my gosh, what do I do? How am I going to do this? And the more I got into trying to figure out the history of this church, what would explain? How did they get there? Here's what I discovered, that in 1966, they had built their sanctuary and they made a critical mistake of making the sanctuary their vision. Once it was built, guess what? Everybody did? They kicked back. Relax. Well, we don't have to do anything anymore. And they just kind of they just kind of drifted. And then that drift went, started to go for years, and then it just kind of died, you know? So leaders have to be directional. They have to realize that, you know, they got to keep working past the false summits and keep creating new skirts, keep leading people forward. It's the nature of leadership.

Dr. John Johnson [00:36:37] Something and the atrophy we need to maintain until we.

Speaker 5 [00:36:44] Get the climax.

Speaker 2 [00:36:46] There isn't a climax, though, is my point. There may be a climax for our leadership, we may say, and this is sometimes what wise leaders have to come to grips with. I've taken it as far as I can go. So I'd go back to Adam. Let's say Adam's got this great youth ministry. He's seen it flourish, grow. But maybe Adam comes to a point where he goes. I think I've taken it as far as I can go. Now, how does that happen? That happens, of course, if Adam stops his own personal. Let's face it, our most challenging leadership is self leadership. What leaders have to do is they have to keep pushing themselves, you know, thinking more expansively, moving, growing, understanding the times, what youth need today versus what they needed five years ago, etc. Fathom doesn't keep doing that. Then his leadership dies. He can take it no further and then he has to pull himself out. If he tries to just hang on, then he kills the ministry.

Speaker 4 [00:37:52] And so true. The personal life of the leader plays such a big, huge role. And a few years back, my wife was killed in a car wreck. And what happened was it created this incredible burst of movement in our church because everybody pulled together and then they saw their pastor move through that crisis intact. So there was this like really incredible peak of movement. But then, like about six or eight months later, I start dealing with the grief and I kind of just didn't really care about a lot of stuff. And so, you know, a lot of that involvement stuff slowed down.

Speaker 2 [00:38:26] That momentum just sort of flattened out.

Speaker 4 [00:38:28] I realized one day God was calling me Terri, go get off your can and you got to get moving again. Yeah. And that's one of the reasons I came back to school. But it caused a new burst of movement. And it's just like life is. There's a series of ways you go to whoever has this great insight. Let me throw this on shot, he says. You know, we often refer to as the husband as a provider. He points out that the origin of the word provider comes from the Latin provider, which means vision. Beforehand, the leader has to know where the group's going before, and then you've got to come back like a scout and the wagon train. He's got to come back and say, Hey, here's what's going on up ahead, you know, and here. But we got to go.

Speaker 2 [00:39:04] Well, and to add to that, back to Marcia's point and also make sure that he's involved in listening to where the people are, where they're at, and making sure that they're willing to follow. Yeah. At the same time, yeah, we've got 2 minutes before we take a break and then we're going to shift to our next subject. But any more questions? Thoughts on definitions that work makes sense.

Speaker 3 [00:39:29] Marcia You know, I influence children when put on the march, and I work with adults as volunteers, but primarily my influence has been on the children. I set goals and providing direction to all these groups, and I consider them a leader in this discussion.

Speaker 2 [00:39:54] Well, your role as the teacher is to lead these kids, right? Is that your primary mission is to lead these kids?

Speaker 3 [00:40:02] I think there's an aspect of leadership. I mean, I am a teacher, right?

Speaker 2 [00:40:06] Right.

Speaker 3 [00:40:07] It's not a function of getting a board combination, such as educating them and know.

Speaker 2 [00:40:16] It's not necessarily an age thing. I mean, it's more of the constituents you work with. Part of what makes up a leader is just if that's who they are, their gift mix. If that's a gift mix in your life, you're going to be leading kids. It's just your nature to lead them. Not all teachers maybe not necessarily lead, right.

Speaker 3 [00:40:37] The principal idea I shared earlier. Not all principals I've worked for. Yeah.

Speaker 2 [00:40:44] And probably as we all think of teachers we've had, not all teachers are necessarily leaders because it's true. Also, not all pastors are leaders. Fact, George Barna wrote a book some years ago in which he makes the case that most pastors, in his estimation, are not leaders. They are pastors. They're pastoral. They're nurturers. Doesn't necessarily make them leaders. And I tend to agree with him that just because you're a pastor doesn't mean you're a leader. And just because you're a teacher doesn't make you a leader. Just because you're a coach maybe doesn't necessarily make you a leader. Some coaches I've observed through life, it's just basic chaos. Athletes are doing their own thing. And we'll talk a little bit as we talk about acquisition of leadership. Let's take 10 minutes and we'll come back and then we'll work right up to 12 and give you a break. But we're going to shift now and talk about the need for leadership.

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