February 6, 2007

No Such Thing as a Complete Leader

Over the past week, I have posted several times on how those "50 Most Influential" lists and "Top Characteristics" lists can be demoralizing. (You can read the posts here and here). If approached correctly, they can help a pastor or leader learn, gain some insight, and possible garner a few significant ideas.

This morning I found an interview at Computerworld.com with Deborah Ancona that talks about the Myth of the 'Complete Leader.' She says that no one can do everything. Attempting to do everything only leads to burnout.

Deborah says there are four capabilities for any leader. They don't have to be have perfection in all the capabilities, but they must staff to the areas where they are weak. Here are the capabilities with my application to the pastoral role:

1. Sensemaking- this is the ability to make sense of the world around you; the culture both within and without the organization. As a pastoral leader you must be able to recognize what is going on in the culture around you, but also what is going on in the culture within the church you are leading.

2. Relating- this is the ability to build strong relationships. You have to be able to help the individual ministry teams understand and appreciate the other ministry teams. You also have to be able to help the church relate to the world and the world relate to the church.

3. Visionizing- this is the ability to provide the direction for the church. Someone has to know what the "end product" should look like. What is it you are trying to accomplish. Simply having a vision helps people know what to do, but often, and more importantly, it helps them know what not to do.

4. Inventing-this is the ability to create new ways to get to the vision. The old ways are simply not working. Culture has changed! We can spend our time lamenting that things are not as they were in the "good 'ole days," or we can take steps to reach a new generation with the Gospel.

The secret is to know your areas of strength and then find people with strength in your areas of weakness. You have to be able to give leadership away to those who are best able to get the job done. This takes trust (and time to build that trust), but will be the best for the church in the long run. There is a great chart at the bottom of the article.

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