In-Sight: A Leadership Revolution

It’s plain as day for those who have eyes to see….

We are experiencing a leadership revolution.  The old model that included top-down, high-control, chain-of-command, limited reporting systems, and high regulation is going the way of the dinosaur.

Rising in its place is a new model captured powerfully in two books which have come to my attention in the last two days….

First,  Joel Manby’s Love Works.  It reads like a modern-day exposition of the fruit of the Spirit, but it clearly says that the only kind of leadership that is authentic is one that leads with love in relation to all people, places, and things.  It is a style that values people, encourages them, learns from them, and sets them free to work with freedom and creativity.

The second book is Michael Slind and Boris Groysberg’s Talk, Inc.  It calls for the abandonment of old-style communication patterns which are based on a highly-controlled, one-way approach in which leaders rely almost exclusively on their reporting relationships rather than paying attention to the learned wisdom of the larger community.  The old-style insulates and isolates leaders, giving the appearance that they are “communicating” but only actually using perfunctory communication to frame and dispense what they intended to do all along.

These two books represent the tip of the iceberg—a leadership revolution.  Governing boards (whether in business or in the church) should make these qualities mandatory for any of their leaders, holding them accountable for creating a truly “loving” (relational) community that “talks” (converses) with all who contribute daily to the life of the institution.  Leadership is now a relationship, not a regulation.  It is a community, not an individual.

I hope you will read these books as soon as you can, and that you will adopt the principles they call for.  Failure to do this may “keep you in power,” but it will also mean you will become essentially irrelevant and an obstacle to the new thing God is doing on the earth today.

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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