Friday, April 20, 2007

From "The Tests of a Leader"

The January 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review(The Tests of a Leader) was loaded with good articles.

One article, "Becoming the Boss" written by Linda A. Hill (pp. 49-56) , attempts to define what it takes to effectively manage and gain credibility with others. Here are three attributes (p. 53) she highlights:

CHARACTER - The INTENTION to do the right thing.

COMPETENCE - Knowing HOW to do the right thing.

INFLUENCE - The ABILITY to deliver and execute the right thing.

I thought about these three characteristics in light of Paul's directives to Timothy in selecting overseers/elders. It used to be taken for granted that pastors and lay leaders had the first of those three attributes nailed. We can and must live "above reproach" by the power of the Holy Spirit (1st Timothy 3:2) but solid character doesn't always equate to competence.

The Apostle Paul also said these overseers must "be able to teach" and "manage their own families well." Living the gospel and teaching the gospel are essential if the church is to keep its edge in culture.

Finally, Paul says the overseer must "have a good reputation with outsiders..." Character and competence provide the opportunity to exercise godly influence and that's the ultimate test of leadership.

“Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others to follow his or her lead...." J. Oswald Sanders (Spiritual Leadership)

How's your leadership edge?