Principles of Effective Leadership - Lesson 8

The Context of Leadership (Part 2/2)

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.

John  Johnson
Principles of Effective Leadership
Lesson 8
Watching Now
The Context of Leadership (Part 2/2)

The Context of Leadership (part 2)

B. The contexts we face (cont)

2. Social context

a. Structural

b. Human resource

c. Political

d. Symbolic

  • 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 2/2)
Lesson Transcript

Dr. John Johnson [00:00:01] Right. Okay, we are ready. Let's move to the second context. First one we're talking about is cultural. And there are several different, as we've talked about, for at least cultural context we need to be aware of. And now we're going to talk about social context and the same thing. They're going to be for different social context we need to be cognizant of. I mentioned Lincoln Felter as someone who helped me to think about the first one, a couple of guys. Bowman And Diehl there. In your bibliography, help me to think about social context here a lot. Their book is Reframing Organizations. What I'm going to share for a little bit here has real interest to you. Then I'd really encourage you to read the book because I'm just giving you a broad overview. Leaders, as they would underscore, need to understand the social layers. And there are these four social layers. So imagine. Think of it sort of like this, that when you walk into a room or you're with a group of people, you're going to lead. Realize when you walk in, there are four social layers that in a sense each require a different set of glasses. And this is sort of the working thesis I'm really using all morning here. You can't afford to just look through one set of lens to be an effective leader. You need to understand all the cultures going on. And if that weren't enough, I mean, that can be complex enough, right? Just as I illustrated. Now you've got the social layers to deal with by social layers, he says. The first one in is structural. When you put this set of glasses on, suddenly what you see is you see the structural frame of the group. Then by structural frame, it's sort of like going through an X-ray and you see an X-ray and now you see the skeleton of a person. You're seeing the structural frame. You're seeing a person in a different way than you would without that. Right? It's sort of like that's what you're doing. So you put on this pair of glasses and you see the structure. By structure. What do we mean here? We're talking about what is the flow chart? For example, what is the constitution? What are the bylaws? What is behind this group? What's the structure that they are being guided by? What are their goals? What are their strategies? What is their vision statement? What is their strategic statement? What's their operational plan look like? This is the kind of language. So the thing that we're interested in, in this frame is what are the performance indicators? What are the expectations? And every group has those and some very small to some very highly technical way. What's the order in terms of how things happen? Let's say this group is going to make a decision. What? What's the structure? Who decides? Is that group consensus? Is that one person? What do we have freedom to talk about in terms of change and what things can we not change? What's the order? Who's responsible? What's the again? The authority, the vertical coordination here, the procedures. A lot of organizations, they have something that looks like this. It's either on paper or not on paper, but it's something like this. This person is responsible for these groupings. And under here are these groups. You know, that kind of thing. Obviously, it's critical you understand this because let's say as a leader, you say, you know what, I think this what we're going to do. Well, somebody might go, excuse me, do you know where you are on this? You're operating like you're here. Oh, I'm sorry we didn't tell you you're here. You're here to serve us. Maybe this says congregation. And you thought it said the leader. It's really important to understand the structure. What does this look like here? What are the timelines? What's the accountability? An example in my first church maybe I've used is forgive me if I did, but an illustration of when we decided to change the Church covenant. So the church covenant was this dilapidated, old out-of-date that needed rewording re language. So we did all this work, brought it to the congregation. It would have been really nice. Just say, Here it is. But it had to have congregational approval. And not just congregational approval. It had to have unanimous congregational approval, which means what means just one vote. Just one little vote could end the whole exercise. And that's all it took. And that's all that happened. That's understanding the structure, flawed as it was. That's the structure. What Bowman and Diehl do is they they help by giving metaphors and they break it down into these four pieces. So each of these so like the metaphor here is machine factories, if you will, The central concept for rules, goals, policies, meetings, the image of leadership is a flow chart, as I put here, an architect, an analyst, if you will, expressed in mission statements and operational plans, etc.. And every organization has a frame like this. So what's the leadership challenge is to look not so much at the individual but at the structure and make sure you're asking yourself, what does that look like? And you're making decisions based upon what is best for the organization, not what's best for the individual. Part of the leadership challenge is especially I'll say when you're starting off is to look through, put this set of glasses on and you might put them on, as I did in my second church in Europe. I put this on and I went, Oh my gosh, this structure is flawed. It's terrible because in Europe, my church may have mentioned was led by elders. And then there was also a deacon board, and then there was, oh, yes, the elder deacon board. And under them were all of these committees. There were like, I remember counting almost up to 40 committees. This was only a church of about 320 people. Imagine trying to make a decision. Well, the elders going to talk about it, but then the deacons have to get on board. But then we'll get the elder deacons and what you can see. So basically, when I put this pair of glasses on and I saw the structure of through the structural frame, I realized, oh my gosh, we're never going to make any good decisions, at least in the six or seven years I'm going to be here. It'll take forever. And the problem is, is that this church had a turnover rate of about 35, 38% a year. It's an expat church. People come and go in, corporations send a person over with AT&T, they go to our church. They're there about a year and a half. AT&T calls and says, We're sending you to Bangkok. Now, most of the people I pastored were like pawns on a chessboard. Big corporations just moving all these, you know, pawns all over the place. So imagine trying to make any kind of leadership decisions with people coming and going and a structure like this. It's chaos, right? First of all, just trying to get people to fill all of these. I got the leadership together at a certain point after a few months and said, Guys, this structural frame is just nuts. So I didn't say quite like that, but we eventually got it to just a set of elders and five committees. And now in a much leaner way, we can make decisions much easier. So part of the challenge is to see what it looks like, see the flaws, try to address them and correct the problems. Then make sure you honor this frame when you make decisions. So let's stop here for a moment and talk about this. You're clear What What I'm talking about. And you might say, Well, I don't know if that applies where I'll be. Lee No, it applies wherever you lead. Every group you leave will have a structural frame somewhere. They'll have some understanding of the flow of how decisions are made and who has the authority to make them. It will be an important task for you to always evaluate it. Many of the people you lead are going to be so thick into it they won't know how to do that, or you're going to have the challenge of some who are too tied to their piece of power and won't want to let go. And you're going to have to gently but firmly work through detaching them from this so you can change the structure around. If I have a deacon who likes his authority and you're trying to shift the deacons from a board to just a group, some of them won't want to let go of that. I'm a real proponent of having just one board and where you need more than one board, you're going to have people competing questions, thoughts, comments.

Speaker 2 [00:10:34] When I first heard the pastor just because of my personality, I guess. But my board. But six guys and we have this kind of night to the roundtable, kind of. That's the way we perceive it. Mm hmm. We come here to talk about stuff.

Dr. John Johnson [00:10:48] I'll put your swords down. Yeah. Yeah. Pointing in.

Speaker 2 [00:10:53] It was. It was a great experience, though. Yeah. There's a lot of camaraderie. And then the after, you know, they had this really adversarial relationship with the former boxer, and it was almost like they felt their purpose was to check everything the pastor is doing. And it was really a frustrating thing at first, but somehow I managed to get back to that King Arthur kind of thing, and people didn't like that eventually left. But now we're back to that. Knights around the round table kind of experience, and it just flows like that. So it's not a situation where, yeah, you mentioned changing the culture. I don't think you change culture, but sometimes you can kind of annoy the people that don't like it and they leave and that's a good thing.

Dr. John Johnson [00:11:36] But it's important when you interview somewhere to ask the hard questions. I mean, you've got to be careful not to go too far. And they feel like they're the ones being interviewed because that can turn people off. But at some point you have to say, Now I just need to understand what's a cultural leadership look like here? What's the culture like? What do you want a leader to be? And here's my style of leadership. Can those things work? And let's say you have a board of leaders who go, Well, we're not quite there, but that's where we want to go. Okay, good. So that way when you're when you face resistance, you can say, well, the main leaders are going that direction, but if not, you're you're never going to get there. Let's talk about the second one. The second social layer or the second set of glasses you have to put on are what they call the human resource frame. And the emphasis here is now, you're not looking so much at this. It's not the X-ray screen, looking at the skeletal structure. You're looking at the flesh and blood. Now you're looking even beyond the flesh and blood. You're looking at the emotions. You're looking at the at the heart, the feelings where people are. The core assumption here is that leadership is a profoundly human endeavor and that this organization ultimately is made up of people, of individuals who have needs and feelings. They drive to school just getting a phone call of a brother in New York or we're all wrestling. We're all here with our own issues that we're facing and struggles and distractions and heartaches and hopes and psychological needs, etc.. The metaphor then, is not the machine in this case. Appropriately, the metaphor is family, and the central concepts are need skills, relationships, belonging, security, rewards. One could go on. The image here of leadership is I need to come alongside and empower and support and encourage be a servant. And that's expressed again in leadership in terms of caregiving and empowering. The leadership challenge in this case is to make relationships a high priority. Part of the leadership challenge here is to be visible, to be accessible. Somebody calls you up, a lady calls me Sunday night over an issue in our church, and she says, Someone said, I could call you because you're accessible. Well, that's nice to hear. I hope I am. If I am, if I'm perceived that way, part of that is because of wearing these glasses. I've seen where people are at and what their needs are. How we do that is to make sure we're investing in lives, we're spending time, we're getting in touch with people. We're making use of their skills and their abilities. Because I'm in a large church now and I'm not in a mid-sized church like I used to be in my first two experiences. I don't get to get out as much as I used to. When you're pastoring like a 300 member church and there are just two or three of you, you have to see a lot of people. When I have eight or nine pastors and I have a Bible, occasional situation like I'm in here teaching and then leading over there doesn't leave a lot of room to seeing people one on one. So I'm preaching, I'm working with the board, I'm working with the staff, but I've found nonetheless, I still need to get out. I need to counsel with people. Not as much as I used to get into. People's homes can never get away from that because if you do, you lose sight of the human resource frame. You start approaching people as digits or, you know, numbers, giving units, whatever. The challenge is to stay in touch with people. What Bowman and Dale are saying is that in a social frame, you've got to look at the structure. But if you just are wearing the structural frame glasses all the time, what might happen? You might just run right over people, right? They might become a very unapproachable and impersonal leader, might be highly effective, highly structural, very dedicated to proper procedure. Few moments here. Let's talk a little bit about this when any questions.

Speaker 3 [00:16:29] Almost at the end of this point in the leadership challenge it was promoting from within. Yeah, as a poor record. What do you mean? But they don't look.

Dr. John Johnson [00:16:40] Like in transition. So a lot of times where I'm familiar with it because this is where I work a lot is at, let's say, at the pastoral level. So we have a pastoral the sleeping nurse look outside for somebody out there that can come in and maybe we need to, but we don't do enough. And this is why I said at the beginning of the class, I'm really committed to developing leaders within because they become as noticed, she says. The leadership engine. Most organizations, especially churches, don't have a very good leadership engine, so that what happens is when they need leadership, what are they going to do? They're going to look outside. Sometimes it's healthy to look outside. You can become too insular. You need that breath, if you will, that new way of thinking that maybe you've got to use two things within your ethos here. I would say we tend to make too much mistake of going that direction and not developing it. Sort of like to use analogy, let's say like in baseball, okay, you can have a team that's largely built by its farm system. I like to follow the Padres not because they're a great team, but because I'm from San Diego. So the Padres have a farm system like every and the first starts with triple-A. Do you know who their triple-A team is? Oh, here's a big test for you. It's Portland Beavers. Yeah, this is their triple-A club, then Double-A. And that's. I think it's Vegas. And so it's single-A. So guys work through the system. They make it up to Double-A, they make it to triple-A. Always the goal is to get to the majors. Great teams tend to have great farm systems. They go out and they find their prospects. They build them up. They grow them in the organization. Grown, you know, sort of homegrown tomatoes tastes a lot better than store bought is sort of the that's what I mean. Sometimes a home grown pasture tastes, if you will, a lot better than a store bought by the way. And I mentioned this later. There's an interesting study a guy from Harvard did in Harvard Business School on superstar. In the corporate world, leaders who tend to corporation goes after the superstar. They have a CEO that's resigned or left. And so they go after, let's say maybe Hewlett-Packard goes after this person at IBM because they're great and they bring them over and they become sort of a failure. He did an analysis of whole lot of organizations and discovered, for the most part, superstars fail when they transition, like, let's say, back to pastures. So this guy's a great youth pastor, dynamic ministry, 250 kids in his youth group, and he comes over here and he can't get the group past 35, and it's just going nowhere. It's the same guy. But what this guy discovered is that we tend to make the mistake of because our superstar here, they're going to be superstar over here. And what he discovered is that behind every superstar is a we're back to the word we're talking about today, a context. The context makes you more than you realize. So just because you're great over here in this context, you may not be great at all. That's another reason on the homegrown idea. That's a long answer. Anything else? You understand this one here. Now, what is it? You as a leader, then? You're you're a visionary. You want to take and move people forward. That's what leaders do. But you've got to put this pair of glasses on because what is it you want to see? And you might say, Here's the mountain, let's go for it. Come on, everybody. But before you do that, you've got to put on these glasses because what is it you need to see? In this frame.

Speaker 3 [00:20:54] Do the people want to?

Dr. John Johnson [00:20:55] Yeah. What are the people's dreams and their own hopes? What do they want? Maybe they don't want to be this kind of church. You better make sure you understand their hearts. What else is it that you need to see when you put these glasses on? What am I looking for when I'm looking at the human resource frame? What would you look for?

Speaker 3 [00:21:22] What are people after that?

Dr. John Johnson [00:21:24] Yeah. Can we do this? I mean, who. Who are the people on my team? To go back to a sports analogy, if I'm a coach and I go, Man, we're going to be an offensive powerhouse. This is our strategy. Well, you better put on these glasses and see. Do you have any running backs? Do you have any wide receivers? Do you have a quarterback? Well, no, but I got man, I got great defensive linemen. I've got great linebackers. Well, that's fine if your intent is to be a defensive powerhouse, so you better see who you have on the team. Yeah. What else are you looking for in the human resource frame? You put these on and suddenly you may see what. The morale. Right. Maybe you have a great idea, but maybe people are just. Right now, they're exhausted. Maybe they've got a low morale. Maybe they don't believe they can do it. Maybe they've been told for years they can't. And now you're telling them they can, but they don't know that yet. You could make a premature decision. You might also put on these pair of glasses in the human frame, checking hearts, and you realize, oh, this could be a painful thing. You might realize their hearts aren't with you. You're just not connecting. That can mean maybe this isn't the right place or can mean I've got a lot of relational work to do. So before I give this charge, the train's leaving from the station. Come on, everybody, get on our. Get off! You might stop and go. Wow. I don't think there are going to be many people getting on the train because I haven't done the hard work of just sitting down and having coffee and listening. Structural is who makes the decisions? How do we make these? The human is. So what are people feeling and thinking? Yeah.

Speaker 3 [00:23:37] I remember a year ago I was considering an internship for the Women's Center. I was the back of the writers conference. I had a number on my team with a very, very strong personality I had known or through classes, but as it turned out, she ended up dominating most of the first few initial meetings. I was advised to develop an agenda so that she would follow the structure. I think it was intuition. I realized I needed to befriend her. I started to sense that need to develop a relationship with her outside of our meetings. She came from a very corporate. Environment. Six figure income. Just very strong personality. But I felt I had a proper relationship with her.

Dr. John Johnson [00:24:30] Yeah, and it does. And yet it's sort of a segway to the next one, which probably recognizes because the third social frame is the political. That human frame part. You know, sometimes we have to look in and see into the heart. Maybe underneath that resistance is a deep mistrust. And maybe it's a deep mistrust not because of anything personally with you, but with leaders in general, because maybe two leaders they've had in their life have maybe there was moral failure, maybe, you know, something that just they put so much of their trust in and they, you know, the rug was swept out, pulled from under them. Believe me, you will face people like that and you will realize this is something different. There's some deep relational work, some trust I'm going to have to build. But Marcia leads us right into the third one here. Let me talk about this. And that's the political. I like the first two. It's all about understanding the ecology, the ethos of this place in this frame. As I put it here, it's recognizing that this group I'm leading to a certain extent, is a collection of coalitions, not always, but most of the time interest groups or really tribes of whom you sort of have to bargain and seek to influence. And you have to bargain in a sense, because a lot of the decisions you're making as a leader go back to allocation of resources, make sure you're hearing what I'm saying, because this is very important. When you lead a group to a certain extent, part of what you're doing is pulling together resources to get to the vision. Every vision is going to cost resources, right? Any movement, any direction, any heel you're going after is going to demand resources. It's going to demand resources of people, their time and their money and lots of other things. And that can begin to lead to conflict because everybody has their own idea of where the resources need to go. Behind that becomes influence and power. This is part of what you face. This is why he says the metaphor here is jungle. Because it can feel like that or mob. And the central concepts here of leadership are power and conflict and competition coalitions. And the image of leadership shifts now from sort of father, friend, brother, sister to politician negotiator. And it's expressed in the church in different ways influencers, church moms, church bosses, pastors. When I first went into the ministry in a sort of naive, idealistic way, I said, Well, you know what? You can count on this. I'm not a guy that's going to play politics. Because largely when we think of politics, we associate it with what, something that's unethical or questionable. It's not a delightful part of leading, for sure. But I've discovered that is really naive because every church is a compilation of coalitions just by the fact that many churches or many organizations, but especially churches, are composed of networks of relatives. I've been at my church and I'm still discovering, Oh, I didn't realize you're oh, you're the cousin of Joe. And I didn't realize it. If we were to take a village and just do a schematic of tribal relationships. There would be a lot of pieces right at him just from private a little bit. You've seen you've seen wow, this is a collection of tribes here. And one of the things I've discovered with tribes, especially family tribes, is blood is thicker than water. And if you upset a tribal member without even realizing it, you've typically what you've upset. The tribe organizations will have its politics again, back to allocation of resources. Everybody's politicking for power, for prestige, for position, for where the money should go. And the challenge here is to be direct and diplomatic, to develop a direction and agenda. Part of it is mapping your resistors. So back to Marsha. Marsha is leading and she begins to discern, here's a resistor. Okay, so you map, who are the people resisting you? And you map, of course, also your supporters. And you kind of have to map your terrain, as I put it here, know where the mines are buried and identify the principal agents and then begin this long, hard work of building a base of support, establishing networks, finding out who the stakeholders are, getting them on your side. As I put it here, it's persuading and negotiating and sometimes coercing if necessary. I found in most of the churches I've led, there are the official leaders and the unofficial leaders. A lot of times, unofficial leaders can be like the church mom who wields a lot of influence and power, or the person who has a lot of money and who's been there for years. This has a lot of leadership challenge, but it is a frame that if you're going to have much success, you've got to be able to see and understand. Okay. So let's talk about this one for a moment. Questions, comments.

Speaker 2 [00:30:32] I was talking with a pastor that I used to work for years ago, and he was telling me that he talked with this guy, that he's a technology consultant for a lot of big corporations. And he told him one of the first things I do when I come into an organization where there is ineffectiveness and stuff going on. First thing I do is I kill the wizard. And so what does that mean? Well, there's usually in every way related to the church, because you're talking about who really holds the power and when you can. You want to diffuse situations. Do you think there's some times when you may just have to? Unfortunately. Remove someone from a position like that, feeling like soundboard guides, and if they're the worst, sometimes they have all these little things they do, but they won't really teach it to anybody else. You ask them, Hey, would you please teach a protege so that if you're saying, yeah, it's like they like to feel like they're the only one in the wizard, You know.

Dr. John Johnson [00:31:31] Maybe another way about it is that this is where you've got to develop a leadership culture and teach leadership and teach what godly leadership is. Leadership is Christ defined leadership, which is a very different paradigm, isn't it? It's not about who has control and authority, it's about serving. It's Ephesians for Paul saying that, you know, God has given gift to leaders. To what? He's given gifted leaders to first 12. Equip the Saints to do the work of ministry. Why a sound board guy or anyone who has some form of leadership? What is a lot of their mandate scripturally is to equip saints if it begins to become turf issues, control issues. That's where you have to say, I think we're really misunderstanding what leadership in a Christian context is. We're teaching a course here on leadership, but we're also teaching, of course, on what is Christological leadership, if you will. And that looks very different. And that's where and where it really rubs is here. I mean, this is a tough part in our church right now. We're right in the vortex of this. I had to make a very difficult, painful decision here. I am the executive pastor a week ago to release to staff. A big part of it has to do with the fact that we're doing what a lot of institutions have to do, and that's to downsize going through this economic rally we're in. It's very painful. It sort of created a firestorm, though, and not that I was surprised. I knew it was going to come. I mean, this is where I have to wear this frame to see the social frame. So I'm looking here and I'm looking at the tribes, for example, and the tribes are starting to form and have their tribal gatherings and their tribal meetings. Because when you make a decision like that, it's going to affect different tribes differently. In this case, it gets back to power allocation of resources. Who has the call on that? So there's a lot of unhappiness by some people who say, well, no, I think the resources should be allocated this way. There's a lot of work that's going to have to be done. I don't know what the fallout will be. I have several wizards, it feels like, out there, and you're trying to say, hey, you know, we need to sort of come together. And I don't know if that would be possible, but right now you have to play a certain amount of politics, negotiate. Listen, understand, in our church, what makes it hugely complex is we're intentionally, by design, a multiethnic, multi generational church. So any decision you make, so you have these ethnic tribes and you have these generational tribes, any decision you make affects all these diverse tribes, and every decision is going to have a different kind of effect, isn't it? It forms for me anyway, perhaps one of the most complex leadership challenges I've ever faced. This is where it would be very much easier to have a Saddleback Church. You make decisions based on what's going to have the best effect for this one tribe. So it requires a mix of listening. At times it requires you're just going to have to trust it. Sometimes it's going to require look at you're going to have to get on board with this. Or maybe this isn't the church that you need to be part of. Obviously that's one of the last places, but sometimes you have to come to that place. I had to take one of my staff members, in fact, and just kind of literally grab by the shoulders and say, you've got to decide if you're going to be on this team or not. With hard decision sometimes just going to have to do that. And it's very unpleasant, especially if it's a really personal friend. This is part of this particular frame. Other thoughts.

Speaker 4 [00:35:52] In this world, it's difficult for us because we are Christian. They don't like anything like politics, you know, because of the politics of the war. We we began to some notions that lasted like a make the valley them. Right.

Dr. John Johnson [00:36:12] Right.

Speaker 4 [00:36:13] Right. Is it linked to the extreme Is a feeling in power or something. Yeah and it can be to something leadership in itself. We don't like that. As a young man like Aristotle said that he said that man in a political animal.

Dr. John Johnson [00:36:33] And much of what we do is political. I mean, much of our interest is political. Watch the news at night. How much of the news, what percentage would you guess is political? It tells us something about ourselves, doesn't it? I majored in political science. I have a fascination with politics. Politics is a neutral word, of course, in a sense, like power. Power's neutral. It's when it's abused, it becomes something bad. You notice if you look on page six here. It's worth noting these things down at the use of power becomes a key resource. And I mentioned what some of the forms of power look like. There's the assigned power. And this is my role. I'm a pastor or I'm a board chairman. There's information and expertise, power. So some people will wield power just by the fact that they have more information, and knowledge is power. There's a lot of truth to that statement. When somebody comes in and somebody is sort of the expert, everybody gives a lot of power to that person. Problem is, in a church, for example, is when people think they are the experts and with that, then assume power that maybe they have, but maybe they don't. There is the power of the control of rewards like the Finance Committee who allocate resources. Well, there's a lot of power there potentially. Part of politics is making sure you're on the good side of them, you know, as they make decisions where the resources will be allocated. There's certainly the power of personality and there's coercive power as well. Some people will try to assert power by just reading scripture and assume that gives them power. We can use power in all kinds of ways. In this frame is where you will have to deal a lot with power. Power struggles, your own sensitivity to how you use power and always know there's a line where you can cross and then it becomes abusive. Leader is always exercising power. It's important in a sense. We develop a really good theology of power. Any other thoughts on this particular frame?

Speaker 3 [00:39:01] She was talked about this a little bit and you talk about fines and abuse of power. One thing I learned there is when the leadership don't listen. That seems to ring true to my church experience. Maybe my experience as a woman, the man I loved, were leaders I trusted and I felt we're listening to some of the suggestions that were raised.

Dr. John Johnson [00:39:29] Yeah. It's always that tension of trying to figure out. Some people can use listening as code for my way. So what were you weren't listening to me know. I heard clearly. It's just that we're not going to go that direction. Sometimes we have to be really careful how we define listening so there can be an abuse on that side, but there can certainly be abuse on the other side that says, look, this is just the way we're going to go. I'm sorry and not listen. It's always a challenge with leadership to know how far you listen. Winters across the line. It's kind of fresh for me. We had a kind of an open air meeting about some of our decisions here, and some people want to monopolize the whole time. So I said to one man, I said, okay, I think we've got the point here. Now you need to listen. No, I don't need to listen any more. If we keep listening to, you will nullify other people's opportunity to speak. So it's always a tricky thing, right? It's important to listen. How far do you listen? Who do you listen to? What do you listen to? Sometimes you have to say to some people, okay, you've crossed a line here. This is no longer about issues. This is personal. At this point, I'm not listening anymore. And you're going to face this. Sometimes people say, well, you know, the problem with Terry is he doesn't listen. That might be somebody who Terry has wisely said, this is where I stop listening. We also have to define what we're willing to listen to. As leaders, we owe it to people who we hope will follow us to listen. But you can almost carry that too far if you're not careful. The challenge is you can let a group be held hostage. If I was to go back in my almost 30 years of pastoring and correct, I think would be fundamental mistakes I've made. The mistake I tended to make is to let people hold the institution hostage because I had this hope that well, over time they'll change. I'll win them over. I always want to hold out that hope, but I probably would be less inclined to think that way today. I think at a certain point I'd say, you know, I've done the best I can see that you're not going to accept me as a leader. It would probably be in the interests of this organization that you find another place. That sounds kind of harsh, doesn't it? But as I look back, I think organizations I have led have suffered needlessly because of people who want to control, who like power, won't let go of it and won't do anything until they get their way. And I've tended to ere too far in just letting the ship stay at anchor in the harbor when we could have made major movement. That takes a lot of wisdom, though, doesn't it? You know, you have every now and then that story of a person. You look back and go, Man, Yeah. Jim was one of the hardest guys to work with, but today, what a great leader. We came to a place of really loving and trusting. You long for that. You want that. But here's what I painfully learned. There are some people that as much as you long. And what? That it just isn't going to happen. And what you have to discern is what is this really about? Maybe I've said this, but where you have to be most alert is that person who comes up to you on day one and says. Glad you're here. You can count on me. I'm going to be a great supporter. Sometimes those turn out to be your greatest adversaries, because what they're saying under that is as long as you carry out what I want you to do, the moment you start to move your own course. There are some people that can't accept that won't let go. Then we'll fight you and resist you. And what they'll begin to do is hold that institution hostage. So I had a man in my church in Europe who was my board chairman. He was one of the key guys who influenced the church to bring me as pastor. But early on, it was clear I wasn't going to be his. Yes, man. So he just, like on a dime turned and he became my adversary for six years. I mean, determined to destroy me. And at times I'd go to other elders and. John, just give it time, work, you know, just. Well, then I found out that actually he had done that with my predecessor. And then, as it turned out, he did it with the two pastors who came after me. Finally, the church recently said, Leave. Just please leave any left. It's been a different context. I look back now and I think to myself because my gut at time said I should have. I should have just said, please leave. I'm not leaving. But you're leaving because in a certain sense, we held the organization hostage. Now, that's part of politics. It's painful. So part of what you always have to do is check your heart all the time. Lord, in my Is this becoming a power issue for me? I've got to really look at that. Okay, let's look at the last one here and then we'll take a break. I like this one. This is an important lens to look at, too. In every organization, every group we lead has what he calls a symbolic frame. And the emphasis here is on meaning, belief, faith. Think of it if you want to just put in the margin. The key word here is story. Every group has a story that identifies them, defines them, and the really smart leader is the leader who says, I got to know the story here. So like your interview to lead an organization someday, one of your first questions really should be this. What's the story? People might look at you and go, Well, Jacinto, I know there's a story. How did you begin? And every organization is a unique story with its rituals, its ceremonies, its heroes that define it. So listening to the story, oh, you know, our first pastor, he had this great vision and we did this or, you know, had this leader, amazing person. You know, this is just something that defines us. When I came to Village, I realized because I and I knew this coming in, a big part of village's story is global. It's just this global church. It's known nationally for that. So imagine if I came in and said, you know, look, let me make one thing clear here. We've had deficit issues in the church. And you know what? Here's what I've discovered about missions. Missions are not cost effective. We put a lot of money out. Let's say we're doing great things in India or Lebanon. If you stop to see the return. I mean, these aren't global ventures that have high profit margins. This isn't Frito-Lay selling potato chips in Poland that every now and then stops and says, okay, for our international effort, are we making a profit on this? Because if we're not, maybe we should not do it. So here's the deal. We're not making a profit, so we're going to stop these global ventures. We're going to kind of take all this vast amount of money for short term missionaries and all this money we flood in to help all of our partnerships. Imagine what we can do here, a village, if we take all that money and impart that way. Let's take those people that are training and preparing and they expend all of this energy downtown Beirut, downtown Portland. Come on. We're going to be far more effective. Can you imagine what would have happened to me? I could make really a pretty compelling case if I was approaching it. Or how about this? What if I said something like this? I know where this multiethnic church. But you know what? Let's be honest, folks. The Hispanics do not pay their way. All right? It's costing us a lot of money. And by the way, the Koreans, you know, for all their talk, they're really not paying their way to. I'm going with my core constituency. That would totally be blind. It would be not putting on this set of glasses. I put on this set of glasses and I go, Whoa, okay, what's the story here? Well, this is our story. Every corporation, in a sense, every institution. When I walk to Nike, which is just down the street and have lunch with someone over there. You ever been to Nike headquarters? What do you notice when you walk in there? You feel what? Don't you feel a story? You walk down the hall, Do you remember? What do you see when you walk down the hall? Choose. Oh, yeah, you expect that. But you see these mini statues of athletes. There's that Dan Fouts building. There's a Tiger Woods building, and you walk in. And what do you see? The story. This isn't just a place designing shoes. This is part of a culture story. And they have their symbols. Well, what are their symbols? What? Hayward Field. Steve Prefontaine. She's Steve Prefontaine as sort of one of their mythical heroes. Who was Steve Prefontaine? Sandy. He was the runner, right. Who kind of helped get Nike on the map were Nike shoes. World class runner took the logo, so to speak, and his name, and it began to help build something. He was killed in a car crash. So in a sense, that creates even more mythical proportion to his his life. He's one of the heroes. So if I'm working at Nike or let's say I'm going to come in as the new CEO and I'm being brought from the outside, what Bowman and deals would say is, if you're going to be an effective leader, you better understand the story, the culture. You better know who Steve Prefontaine is. Makes sense. That's part of what we mean. Or the HP way. It's not so much this way today, but in Hewlett Packard culture, they had what they called the HP Way. I one of my closest friends, just retired as vice president. He would talk about the HP way to HP Way was we go out and we find the very best people and we become a family. And through thick and thin, we stay together and we are about excellence. Or Nordstrom. Nordstrom has its own story and it's all built around customer relation. The customer's always right. This is part of their symbol, their culture, their story. So as a leader, it's really important that you come in and you get in touch with with that culture or story. Imagine if you were called to be the new president of Moody Bible Institute and you didn't have a clue who Dale Moody is. I know you better. Or if you went to Dallas Seminary and you didn't know who Lewis Perry Schafer is or Harry Ironside. That's part of the story. You've got to understand that wise leaders, he would say, understand this piece. So no. One, the symbols, the slogans, the rituals, the ceremonies, and by ceremonies, rituals. What's on the calendar? What are the celebrations? So, for example, when I became pastor of this church in Europe as a church, we had this fraternal relationship with Southern Baptists. I don't have any Southern Baptist background. So at the first annual meeting of pastors in this and European context, almost all were Southern Baptists but me. And again, it's its own culture. And a guy came up to me and said, which is probably what they do at Southern Baptist Convention, says. So how'd you do on the Lady Moon offering? I went. Excuse me. What? What are you talking about, Lady Moon? Well, I didn't know Lady Moon is like, famous, famous missionary. The Lady Moon offering every year is the big missionary offering. You know, with Southern Baptist, you have these indicators, right? Performance indicators probably is. How many baptisms, How many members? What's the giving? And what did you give to Lady Moon? It's kind of a checklist that tells you if you measure up why? It's part of their story. It's she's a symbol. It's part of the ritual. So the metaphor here is theater or temple. The central concept is emotion, feeling, ceremony, tradition. The image here of a leader is inspiration. What that means is, is that your leadership task and structure. Okay, you're still with me. Structure means the leadership task, because you've got to understand the skeleton, right? You've got to see that that's your task. Human resource. You've got to see the heart where people what are they feeling? What are they thinking? Politics. I've got to see the tribes. I've got to understand the coalitions here. My leadership task, in a sense, is to tell the story, to fly the flag, if you will. And it's expressed again as prophets, enthusiasts, storytellers. The challenge then, is to discover the history and draw upon it and articulate it and inspire and use symbols. That's what great leaders do. A president gets up and he makes a major speech and he has 13 flags behind him. He never knows that how they carefully put the symbols. People have to see the symbols every now and then. When the country's going through a really tough time, the leader has to stand up and say, let's remember our heritage and we've been through this before. We can do it here. Remember when this is part of leadership, storytelling, the symbolic frame? It's a great frame. And I want to just emphasize this because this is where leaders, I think, can really make a major mistake. I would say a major mistake I made in my first church is I didn't take the time to understand this frame when people began to let the church die and became resistant to change, etc., and all of these hard things, and I couldn't seem to connect with them. What I should have done is studied their story and where I could have stood up and said, Wait a minute, folks, this is our story. We've always taken risks. Now what I want people I think I would have because I think they would have said, Hey, he's one of us. He's no longer an outsider. In fact, he's telling our story better than we know our story. That's why a great, great challenge here is to try to be the chief historian, because then they'll say he understands us and now you can inspire. I wish I had known that because that's how I would have used my talks. Instead of just saying, look, here's what Scripture teaches us. Okay? People want to know that, but they want to know, did you know our story? Okay, Question Starts this frame clear? Yeah. Marcia.

Speaker 3 [00:56:01] Actually, when you were one of the Southern Baptists, I did go to the Southern seminary. You were talking about factors on the. They have a hall on campus? Yeah, they have all the presidents picture. Known tells the story of the institution and the nomination and the story.

Dr. John Johnson [00:56:24] They get it like here, our seminary. We don't do a good job. We don't tell our story. When I went to Dallas Seminary, the first thing they do is tell you their story. You kind of feel like, okay, I'm a Dallas man. I know. And when it feels I'm a Western woman, I mean, we have a great legacy. We have a great story. We just don't tell it. And that's one of our weaknesses, because if people understand the story, they're more inclined to say, I want to be part of this. I'll stay committed to it. So the first thing a Dallas seminary is they'll do something like this or say, you know, let me tell you a story. When this institution was just getting going and it was just barely surviving financially, there were core people that met in a room one day to pray and they told you this story. And so in this group were people like Lewis Perry Schaefer, Harry Ironside. Those names may not mean anything to you, but they were great, great saints and written some great books. So they prayed. Harry Ironside got on his knees and he said, Lord, you owned the cattle on a thousand hills. We know you owned everything. If we're going to survive as a school, you need to help us. Well, about that time that Harry Ironside is praying, the secretary gets a call from a businessman in Fort Worth, which is just right next door to Dallas. He was a cattleman and he had this big train load of cattle and he sold and he didn't know what to do with the money. And God just put it on his heart to give to a seminary. So he calls the Seminary Dallas Seminary and says, I've got this check for you. I just sold my cattle. So Secretary tapped on the door there, praying, and Louis Perry Schaefer goes to the door and she whispers in his ear this phone conversation. Louis Perry Schaefer, what do you think? Of course, he he comes up to Harry. He whispered in, Harry's here. Harry God sold the cattle. We're all listening. Right. So what happens? I mean, what happens inside when you hear a story like that? You're just coming in. You're a new student. What goes on inside of you, right? Yeah. There's a sense of, Wow, God's doing something. And I want to be like the next chapter. The story didn't stop there, and I'm going to be part of this. I want to get in on this story. See, that's what it does. From that point on, I was more than just a student taking classes. I became part of a story. I still feel that to this day. There's power in that, but we typically don't do that very well. I'm not sure why. Okay. Ready for a break? Let's take a look. Come back about 1025.