Principles of Effective Leadership - Lesson 7
The Context of Leadership (Part 1/2)
In this lesson, you delve into the context of leadership and its importance in determining effective leadership styles. You explore various factors such as historical and cultural influences, organizational structure, and communication and decision-making processes. You learn about different leadership styles, including situational, transformational, and servant leadership, and how they can be adapted to various contexts. Lastly, you gain insights into practical applications of contextual leadership, such as developing emotional intelligence, building trust and credibility, and fostering a positive organizational culture.
The Context of Leadership (Part 1/2)
I. Defining Leadership
A. Leader with followers
B. Leader with influence
C. Leader mobilizing people towards a goal
II. Importance of Leadership
A. Bringing people together
B. Centering core values and vision
C. Maintaining momentum and redrawing S-curves
III. Acquiring Leadership
A. Summons or calling
B. Lifelong learning and experience
C. Innate gifting
IV. Context of Leadership
A. Understanding the context
B. Adapting to cultural and situational differences
C. Determining the appropriate leadership style
- 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
The Context of Leadership (Part 1/2)
Dr. John Johnson [00:00:00] Help us to have clarity and teach us a lot more today. It's not easy being leaders, and we need to have really good skills to do it. So we pray your wisdom. Thanks for everyone here. Amen. Okay, So leadership, what do we say about leadership? Leadership, Three things. First of all, it's just got to make sure we have these. A leader is someone who has followers. So that's quite obvious leader, someone who has followers. Secondly, a leader, someone who has influence by influence. Meaning what. Change, The impact, right? They come in a room and there's influence. There's direction. Yeah, well, and that leads to the third, right? A leader is thirdly what someone who is. Yeah. Mobilizing people towards this particular hill. Leaders are directional by nature. They're going somewhere. If you are status quo, stagnant, drifting, standing, and that's the posture that you're most comfortable with, I would say, Well, then, okay, but don't consider yourself a leader. No one follows signposts. We follow People who are moving, who are directional leaders, are part of movements. So we started with that. So make sure you you know, those three can them almost in your sleep. We said that leaders are important right? Their need for because of why what a leaders do can underscore their importance. Where are they necessary.
Speaker 3 [00:02:03] They bring a lot of different goals.
Dr. John Johnson [00:02:06] Yeah. So they bring together people they bring together and begin to center core values, get people on page with a common vision where we're going, What else? Why are leaders important?
Speaker 3 [00:02:22] With the S-curve, they maintain momentum.
Dr. John Johnson [00:02:25] Yeah, they are catalysts to US curves. And then they are critical to redrawing s curves. They are critical to the ongoing movement. Again, leaders make things happen and they keep things That becomes a great challenge of leadership. One thing to make things happen, it's another to maintain. Some of us are really good at initiating, right? But sometimes the real challenge is as things begin to get comfortable and things are kind of moving to just kind of relax. And when you're relax, there's dangers. You remember what we talked about. You can hit what drove in atrophy, right? And atrophy is what.
Speaker 2 [00:03:11] Happens at your high.
Dr. John Johnson [00:03:12] Point. Atrophy always. Yeah, always comes on the other side of the high point. So you've got to keep drawing the s curves and not celebrate at false summits. Oh, we made it so we didn't make it. You know, in a sense you don't make it if you really feel you've made it. If you say, I can't take these people any further, I brought them to this summit. Well, then for the good of the people you lead, get out the way. Let somebody else who comes and says and almost sees where you're standing as sort of like base and sees a new summit. I don't think it has to be. I believe it doesn't always have to be somebody else. It can be you, which means you have to keep dreaming. You have to keep seeing another base. Excuse me, another summit. Don't keep saying another base, but you got to keep seeing another summit. If you keep dreaming, if you keep growing, you keep stretching your imagination and all. You'll keep seeing more summits. When you come to a place where you can't see another summit, that's when you know we'll talk about this and transitions. That's when you know you need to move. Maybe you need another environment to see a new summit. Maybe with these people you just can't see another summit. That kind of happened to me in my first church. I really looked around and said, these people, this is their summit. I could dream new summits, but they don't want another summit. They're comfortable with this. I could have stayed and it'd be nice. We'd have a nice gathering and things would be comfortable, but I would have died inside. This is what leaders do. They're the catalyst for change. And then they are. The energy also keeps things moving. That puts a lot on us, doesn't it? That's a lot. But that's the nature of leadership. We didn't talked about acquiring leadership. Acquiring involves what? How does one become a leader and vision? Well, I mean, that's a component of being a leader. But how does one become a leader.
Speaker 2 [00:05:27] In times of crisis? They're called upon.
Dr. John Johnson [00:05:29] Okay. Part of leadership is a summons, a god moment, perhaps in your life. God calls you Scriptural example would be someone. Like who?
Speaker 2 [00:05:41] Okay.
Dr. John Johnson [00:05:42] Isaiah. Yeah, I'd say a six God intercepts Isaiah, right? And calls him to leadership. Moses Exodus three The burning bush. This was Moses, this call. This summons other scriptural exodus. Abraham Abraham Yeah. So Genesis 12, Abraham gets his summons. Yeah. Gideon's a great example. Nehemiah Nehemiah one. He receives a summons. How do we acquire leadership? We acquire it in part by the summons God puts on our life. Maybe you've had that summons in your life. Maybe not yet, but it's maybe around the bend. Paul on the road to Damascus had his summons to leadership. He was called to lead the church. He didn't know it at the time, obviously, but this was his summons. And Jesus gave his summons to various disciples like Peter. We see summons. What else do we see as necessary to acquiring leadership?
Speaker 3 [00:06:52] I'm putting time into developing.
Dr. John Johnson [00:06:54] Yeah. So part of it is that we don't come as a finished product. There are a lot of rough edges. Leadership is a lifelong journey of learning. It will take our whole lives and more to learn about leadership. So we learn. And learning can come in lots of ways, right? Like where can learning happen? Well, you'd better be able to answer this one. Can happen right here. But we're talking about leadership. We're teaching leadership. But it often comes in other ways. Like what? Experience.
Speaker 2 [00:07:34] Mentor.
Dr. John Johnson [00:07:35] Mentoring, Crisis. Wilderness. How did David learn how to be a leader?
Speaker 2 [00:07:46] Talent like Goliath?
Dr. John Johnson [00:07:48] Yeah. Great challenges. God, bringing all these desperate people out into the wilderness to hang out with him. And he learns how to be a leader with them. A lot of our best can be in the wilderness. Joseph 13 years, right? 13 years. Pot offers home. Prison could appear to have been wasted time, but really it was all leadership training to be second only to Pharaoh in the world's largest power. God uses training. He uses his calling. But what else? One more thing. Acquiring leadership requires. Yeah. Something God innately puts in us. Right? How do I acquire leadership? Well, to a certain extent, I'm born with it. Is that my gift? That's an important question to answer. Let's say even in the church, just because a person is a pastor does not mean they are a leader. Just because a person is an elder doesn't mean the person is a leader. If we claim to be a leader, how is it we became a leader? Well, and part of it is because we were gifted right from the start. You either are gifted or you're not. It's not something you can now. Leadership theory and books would say you can acquire it by training at all. And I would say to a certain extent. But I think the very best leaders, it's in their sweet spot. If it's in your sweet spot, doesn't mean you automatically be a great leader. You still have to do the training and all, but at least you're building on something.
Speaker 2 [00:09:39] That doesn't have the kind of character and technology.
Dr. John Johnson [00:09:44] Well, yeah, I mean, we'll we'll move to talk about that today. That's part of what a leader must have. But in terms of acquiring leadership, those are the three things. Summons. Born with and learning about. So what I want to do here is for the sake of what we're doing with this video is I will now look at our next major theme in that context. And what I want to do is I will take these in bite sized pieces, talk about it for a little bit, and then we'll come back and we'll discuss it. Okay. So we'll kind of do that throughout the day. Context of Leadership. When I first put together a course on leadership, I didn't really think about this particular section until I started reading, and different books began to teach me that critical to really being an effective leader is having a great understanding and important understanding of context. In the notes here, the importance of understanding context. The first point to make is that every one of us as leaders works in a context, one that we're called to influence. And if we're going to influence this context, we have to understand the context we are in. And when I say that, what are the expectations here? What are the norms? Who are the people? What are their backgrounds? What is their education? What is their ethnicity? What are their expectations? What is their readiness to follow in terms of follow? What is their inclination to do that or not? Some cultures are more inclined to follow just by their very culture. Others have been born resistant. In a certain sense, we're all born resistant to following because we're all born rebels. Some cultures are more inclined to follow than others. What style of leadership is going to be required? I mean, if I am a pastor in the West or a pastor on the East Coast or a pastor in the Southeast, probably will require a different kind of leadership. What's the context? What kind of style of leadership is required to be a leader of 3000 people or a leading 30 people? It's going to be different, right? What is the nature of the people that I'm leading? What are they used to? For example, What is the context of that? For example, when I pastored in Europe, there were a number of churches that were established in Europe, international churches, largely American churches that were established by Southern Baptists to be churches planted next to major Army bases. In a sense, they were sort of a you had the chaplain in the service on the base, and they're sort of right there as kind of the next step. So they typically were composed of military people. In that context, what would a leader come in, let's say a pastor? And what would the people expect the pastor to act like?
Speaker 3 [00:12:56] A lot of authority.
Dr. John Johnson [00:12:58] With a lot of authority. Exactly like an officer. They would give room and almost expect a pastor say, look, I want this done. I want three of you to carry this out. This is our mission. This is our goal, is our strategy. Let's get there. Try that in more an independent northwest. So let's say a pastor in that context moves to the northwest to lead a church. If he doesn't understand the when I'm talking about the context, that could be a train wreck. Right. The problem is we're generally blind to the distinctions and we fail to see what's really there and we don't address. A lot of times the real issues is just critical. We understand the context. Now what I want to talk about are three broad contexts. So that's what we're going to cover this morning. Talk about for a while. We're going to talk about the cultural context in a briefer way. We're going to spend some time and drill down and talk about the social context, and then we're going to talk about situational contexts. I'm going to give you a lot of information here today, and we're going to talk about it. But if you are going to have any chance of being an effective leader, you have to understand these three contexts. If you don't understand these three contexts, you're not going to be an effective leader. Let's start with cultural context. In any setting, especially today. There are a multiplicity of cultures. We use the church as an example here. Some churches will try to actually dedicate themselves, strategize to have a model cultural context, right. Examples. We have seen you take Rick Warren, Saddleback Church. So here's Saddleback started originally with Rick Warren saying, okay, I'm going to go and I'm going to get data right. So I'm going to go and I'm going to get a sort of demographic. And what he discovered in this demographic is this area is largely made up of what he called Saddleback. Who do remember Saddleback, Sam. So what does Saddleback Sam look like? Well, he's kind of a young professional, carries a briefcase, works in an office, likes this kind of music, etc., etc., etc.. So once he defined Saddleback Sam, then he designed his whole church to reach Saddleback Psalms. So that means the music is going to be just this kind of music. It's going to reach just this kind of person. It's going to be in the setting that Saddleback Sams are comfortable in. It's not going to look like an old traditional church. It's going to be like a big office, not a warehouse, but it's going to be a professional looking office because this is the world Saddleback Sam works in. Was it a success? Well, obviously it was a success because like tends to be attracted to like part of what makes that work is we tend to gravitate to people like us because we like us. That's kind of how it works. Hybels did the same thing at Willow Creek. One of his very first books was on Charged Harry and Mary. You ever see that book? So Unchurched Mary? Mary was what? It was a book about who Harry is and who Mary is in terms of who they're going to reach. Same thing as Saddleback, Sam. This is what Harry looks like. Young, professional, etc., etc., etc.. Mary looks like this. So they designed the whole ministry to reach Hornchurch, Harry and Mary. Did it work? Well, from a pragmatic side, both of these worked. Is that what we're mandated to do scripturally? That's another question. We're not going to get into here. The point I want to make is that what was the cultural context of these churches? How would you answer that question? What's the cultural context? Affluent. White collar, white collar.
Speaker 2 [00:17:18] Upper middle class.
Dr. John Johnson [00:17:20] Okay. We're all kind of saying the same thing here. Let's broaden that out.
Speaker 2 [00:17:24] Probably younger, middle aged.
Dr. John Johnson [00:17:26] Younger, maybe 30 somethings, whatever. So we've got affluent, 30 somethings, young children. So really young families, probably a big booming high school ministry. Adam, is that going to be on the horizon yet? One day it'll be huge. But right now we've left out something else. Culturally, what if we left out? It's a very important piece.
Speaker 2 [00:17:54] Mostly Caucasian.
Dr. John Johnson [00:17:55] Mostly Anglo. White, white, Anglo. If you were to come into that context as a leader. You'd have to understand that, wouldn't you? In fact, you wouldn't be invited to be a leader, probably, unless what.
Speaker 3 [00:18:11] You saw in that.
Dr. John Johnson [00:18:13] You were the kind of person that could attract that kind of person. If you couldn't attract Saddleback, Sam, it wouldn't be the place for you. Cultural context coming in now that would look radically different, obviously, than than a church over here that's intentionally multi-ethnic, multigenerational, that would look hugely different. So my church in Europe had about 35 different nationalities, everything from Pentecostal to Anglican. Little kids, high school, college, older adult. To understand that context, to be a leader, a person probably from Saddleback Church would have would have what flourished. Probably got killed, especially if they took a lot of their values and strategies there. They would end up the church was just gradually shrink and shrink And shrink And shrink to who? The young Anglo professionals that are expats overseas. That's what it would look like. My point is, is that leaders have to understand the context they're in. And a big part of it is cultural context. There's a guy named Lincoln Felter who wrote a book about this, and he talks about styles of leadership that need to understand the leadership culture, if you will. And he breaks it down into four. There is what you have on your notes. There is the authoritarian. In this cultural context. Leadership is therefore more directive. It almost can move to autocratic. That is. What do we mean by autocratic? The leader is sort of my way or the highway, right? The way it is if you don't like it. Well, okay. There are other churches. It's defined by structures and discipline and rules and chain of command. Chain of command is really important. It's top down. This is the way leadership is. If you are in that church, let's say in Europe, next to a military base, you're going to tend to have in the culture this kind of understanding of leadership. It's authoritarian. It's directive. It's, as I say, top down. Then there is a second major category, and that's hierarchical. And in this, the leadership is more participative. It's like presbytery is where we have our council, our. I forget now what they call it, but where they come together and make decisions. But it's a shared responsibility. It's what we do. We make decisions as a group. We also discuss them as a congregation. Then there's a more flattening. With each one down, the culture becomes flatter, there's egalitarian, and then this. There's a strong group participation. Hey, if we're going to make a decision, we're going to do this as a group. We're in this together. So leadership has only so much power influence here. There's access for everybody to leadership here. What's required is group consensus.
Speaker 2 [00:21:35] And we say that's kind of the mob credit.
Dr. John Johnson [00:21:40] Yeah, Democratic might be another way to put it can sometimes look like congregational churches where the congregation makes all the decisions. And then on the other extreme is the individualistic. And here there's no formal leadership, no recognized leader, no formal organization. In a certain sense, everybody is a leader. While we may gather in the same place, we're all pretty much doing our own thing. And the point therefore I'm making is that the first thing to understand about context is that different cultures have different context for leadership. It's important to understand that now where it was really challenging in Europe, was it with a multiplicity of cultures? Well, you can imagine the challenge because the Nigerians had their more recognized understanding of authoritarian leadership, wanting the pasture to be sort of the tribal chief. They're used to that. They expect that. On the other hand, an Eastern European over here who's grown up with always a resistance, a questioning, a rebelliousness to leadership. It's just in their blood. In a sense. It's almost necessary, would view leadership very differently. Perhaps I've used the illustration. It'd be like being in their home and saying, you know, could you pass the pepper away? That kind of culture. What I put in the notes here is effective leadership pays attention to culture rather than insisting on, Look, this is my culture. A leader has to say, what is the culture I'm stepping into? It's sort of like uninformed missionaries who step into a culture, as they tended to do years ago, not so much anymore, but to come in and rather than contextualize, try to understand the culture, learn from it was to come in and say, Here's my culture, these are my values, this is what it is. So you need to conform to us. Which often led to a lot of unfortunate results. This is culturally insensitive pastors, again, who step in with their own style without checking in to see what the culture expects. It's not that there's necessarily a correct culture, if you will. That's not the point I'm making here. As much as to say understanding the cultural context helps you to define the kind of leader you have to be. And if you don't pay attention to that, you could get in huge trouble. Okay. So let's stop for a moment and talk about this here. Thoughts, questions? Yeah. Dominic.
Speaker 2 [00:24:33] How would you realistically go about finding out about a culture? You ask whoever you're replacing and being funny or how do you go about that?
Dr. John Johnson [00:24:44] You might really start by looking at the structure and saying, Okay, what kind of expectation? Let's say if we're talking about a pastor. What kind of authority to they give him? How much decision making does he have? They might say, well, he's just one of a group of elders and all the decisions are made corporately, not singly. I'd look at the leadership structure as it is. But that wouldn't tell me alone. Sometimes things can be set up. It doesn't mean they follow it. So that's where maybe talking to the leader who is leaving and just say, Tell me about that leadership culture. Is it more authoritarian? Is it more hierarchical? Is it more egalitarian? What are the expectations here? But again, you have to be careful. Maybe the guy is more egalitarian in style and they're used to more of a hierarchical. And that's the reason he's leaving. They're frustrated. They're just saying, Will somebody lead? On the other hand, he might be very authoritarian and it hasn't worked because they're more used to hierarchical. So he might leave out of frustration. These people aren't following. No, it's they're happy to follow. They don't just don't want to follow a dictator. I would ask a lot of questions and it's important you do that wherever you go as a leader, because first of all, it's important you understand your style. How are you more comfortable leading? For me. I'll tell you one of the greatest challenges I have, both in my last church and my present church, is we're very multiethnic. And the problem is everybody has a different expectation of style. So I'm talking to my Korean pastor yesterday. He says to me, he says, John, you need to understand that our people look to you as their father. I said, Well, I'm not their father. I'm a shepherd, but I'm not their father. Well, but you need to understand. You are. No, you need to understand. I'm not. And there's a tension there because I don't want to be their father, because in their cultural context, it implies that they want me to say, okay, sit down, shut up and be quiet. My style of leadership is not all the way to consensus, but is nonetheless saying we make our decisions by thinking together. I'm not an autocrat. Then I've got to say post-mortems over here that want you to be that or almost to the end of individualism. That's the challenge if you decide to lead a multiethnic, multicultural environment. So when you ask the question, what's the cultural context here, just knowing that doesn't help a lot in terms of how you lead. So yeah.
Speaker 2 [00:27:44] I've been able to put forward a kind of higher something like a respectful Graceland. Look at that Tim Johnson issue. They said, We want you to be the pioneer and make their respect. Right?
Dr. John Johnson [00:28:04] DAVIS Yeah. I remember the first time I taught overseas in Manila, and I came to a class of about 42 students. Most were Asian. So I come walking in with my, you know, my notebook and everything, and I walk in and everybody stands up and I'm thinking, Well, this is good. I like this. Good morning, Dr. Johnson. It's very different, obviously, here. I mean, none of you stood up when I walked in. Of course you wouldn't, and I wouldn't expect it. It's this is our culture. We are not inclined in our culture to authoritarian leadership, are we? We tend to get very turned off to that. We don't look at a leader as a father. We don't look to our president as a father. Yes. We have to understand, don't we? And as I say, the real challenge is when you're in a mix. So do you do you shift? Do you come out of one meeting as father and move into another one as almost non leader to challenge?
Speaker 3 [00:29:12] Do you discuss that with your congregation so they're not?
Dr. John Johnson [00:29:16] You know, in this case, I haven't so much. I probably will find myself needing to from time to time because while I've been there ten years, we still face lots of tensions because of different expectations. You almost have to probably start by just individual groups. Probably it's a good idea. Any questions on any of these others in terms of culture? So we're just focusing on the cultural context. We start with this. Every context has a culture, right? I mean, that's a no brainer. Culture is we're not outside of culture. We're part of culture. Culture is us. Whatever you step into to lead where you're called to give leadership, first thing you need to stop is ask yourself, what's the culture here? What's the dominant culture? What's the expectation? If you come in too strong, you can make some really major mistakes.
Speaker 3 [00:30:18] There's no leadership in a single person. So we're all very individual.
Dr. John Johnson [00:30:22] Yeah.
Speaker 3 [00:30:23] Interesting. Collaborative.
Dr. John Johnson [00:30:25] Yeah. And part of it is because it's how you survive. I don't know if this is an overstatement, but if you had a classroom full of Jewish people from Israel, they would all be quite individualistic. And the reason goes back in their very DNA, back to the Holocaust. Everybody had to learn how to be a survivor. You couldn't depend on you had to depend on yourself. And I think that's why even today, Israel is a very difficult place to lead. I mean, when you look at leadership dynamics in Israel, they're always fighting, but it's because their DNA is to survive on their own.
Speaker 2 [00:31:06] The context of the culture will affect the leadership and the way the leadership can change the context or the other way. So some culture, when anyways, subconsciously will affect the leadership.
Dr. John Johnson [00:31:27] We're going to have some impact on the culture. But, you know, culture is very complex and very deep. So even if we come in and say, I'm going to change the culture here as a leader, going to have a pretty difficult time. The more I study culture, the more I realize what a naive statement it is to say we're culture changers. Well, maybe don't understand culture. For example, when I was in Beirut here just three or four weeks ago, teaching leadership, it's going to sound strange to you, and I don't know if I've shared this, but there's a lot of cultural arrogance with Middle East people, particularly Lebanese. Did I share this with you? How they just love to ask questions. So here I am and I can hardly get very far down the road. Dr. JOHNS You know, and so I'm thinking, Wow. I like this. I mean, the students are engaged, they're alive. You know, they're not just sitting there like bumps on the log. And this is good. One of the Lebanese said to me on the break said, well, you need to understand something about our culture. What's that? Well, we like to impress people with our knowledge. I realized that because with each question people would ask, they would go on for a long time, and I'd find myself going. So. So what's the.
Speaker 2 [00:32:54] Question?
Dr. John Johnson [00:32:55] Oh, well, my question is, you know, but they would have this long preamble expressing what they know that's understanding the cultural context. Right. So I was reading that one way. Now, it's not that I was totally wrong. They do like to be engaged, but I was missing some subtleties that were going on. My point is where I'm going is these cultural layers. What explains that? It was interesting. I was reading Ezekiel and Isaiah. You remember back when both of them at times gave some of their greatest. I just got to think about this, but they gave some of the greatest indictments towards like the King of tire. Remember that king of tire is even likened to Satan? Because. Why? Because of his. Any guesses? Because arrogance, propensity to pride and arrogance. If you go back some time and read some of when you get to this part of the prophets where they are making their indictments on culture and Tire Sidon, which is where what part of the world. Lebanon goes back to Phoenician culture. A very proud people. Why has Lebanon fought so much? Well, part of it is because there's just so much pride. So what's my point? There are these deep cultural layers that go back all the way back. So am I going to come in and change the culture? Well, maybe I'll make some impact as a leader, but I'm not going to change the culture. It's too deep. It's too vast, is too complex. Why am I saying this? Because as a leader, understanding the culture, if this culture that you're stepping into is very different than your culture or your style of leadership. But you go, But I'm going to change this. I would say. It's a setup. You might have some influence, but my counsel to you would be, you know, don't do it. If a church in Boston sent me a letter and said, Would you consider coming to be our pastor? I probably wouldn't give it a lot of consideration, no matter how great it looks. It's a very different culture. People have a very different approach to things, to leadership. It'd be a mismatch, I think, anyway. I'm not saying you should do that, but you really want to give that a lot of thought. When you come in, you understand in this cultural context what style of leadership people are used to or what they expect or what they need. When I lived in Europe and I pastored an international church in arts wasn't next to a base. Ours was very different than most of those. It was more of a corporate culture because most of the expats were business people. So in that kind of culture, what did they expect of the leader? What did they use to organize? Very organized, efficient, a bit of top down, but they want to have a seat at the table. Let's say a pastor in Rome of a more of a Southern Baptist Church culture, which is, by the way, its own culture. It was next to an Army base and he was a retired colonel. And let's say he was saying, you know, John, I'm kind of wrapping up here. I think you'd make a great pastor. Would you consider coming to pastor this church? Would I do that? Of course I'm not asking you Go. I don't know. Would you? And I would say, knowing my style of leadership. No, because what would they expect of what we've just talked about? What would they expect me to be? What kind of leader? Very authoritarian. Right. And so if I said, no, I don't want to come on, we're going to work as a consensus. Well, I might have some people going. You know, the problem with this guy? He doesn't know how to lead. And what they mean by that is we're used to somebody who says this is the way it is. So you've got to know this context, understand it, know yourself and your style. That's the point. So I think we're ready for a break. Right. We're going to come back in 10 minutes and then I'm going to lead you through the next context, which I find is particularly fascinating, the social context.