Monday, May 16, 2011

A Leader knows who is out of the system and needs special help.

A Leader knows who is out of the system and needs special help. Edward Deming
In  the church we have just had "Shepherding Sunday" with the major theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  Such a model of leadership involves knowing the people you are chosen to lead and being in relationship with them to the point that you know them and they know you.  It is is a Trust building process.  Part of the trust is knowing that when help is needed, the right person will be there not to ridicule, embarrass, but to support, mentor, coach, teach, or model what is desired or needed. 

Good leaders know their people, understands their gifts, skills and passions, and then removes the barriers that block the potential successful efforts of the members of their staff.  It is akin to shepherds, knowing the way to places that will support the sheep and their needs for food, water, sanctuary, and safety.  The sheep know the shepherd's voice and follow that one person alone.  They do not respond to unfamiliar voices. 

Leaders need to take the time to be known by their constituents.  It is in times of trial, change or challenge that a familiar voice that has implicit trust also built into it is a good thing of comfort to those seeking someone to make a decision and lead.  If that trust has not been built, tried and shown to be sound, people will waffle and not respond to needed direction or affirm the leader's influence.  They don't know their leader or worse yet, don't trust them!  Many a leader take extremely long walks with nobody following them because they are not trusted, or known by the very people they feel called to lead.

Leadership is nothing more than relationships, relationships, relationships, with a healthy dose of trust to glue it all together.  When mixed well, the needed influence for leadership will flow and be present. 

One other major teaching I have received in times past is that Sheep are not to be set as the goal of life.  They are dependent, not very smart, smell bad, and are shorn of their coats on a regular basis.  I have always taught that sheep are the innocent or naive people that are out of the system, either the church or the business system they are entering, and it should be the focused intent of leaders to transform those sheep into shepherds within a certain length of time.  Raising sheep to shepherd status is a leadership purpose.  Keeping sheep - sheep is the act of a tyrant!A Leader knows who is out of the system and needs special help. Edward Deming

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