[The Classic Christian Network] WEDNESDAY is WORD DAY: Leadership Studies (1-…

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

“Leadership Principles Study”

12 Studies in Leadership Weekly

-Barry Werner-

 

 

 

ONE

 

What is your sphere of influence? (66-5)

Written by Barry-Werner on April 24th, 2009. Posted in AccountabilityCharacterCommitmentCourage/Risk-TakingDependence on GodExhortationGenesisIntegrityLeader QualificationsObedience to GodOld TestamentPower and InfluencePurpose/Passion,Self-DisciplineServant LeadershipValues.

When defining leadership, many people have used the very succinct definition by J. Oswald Sanders where he simply states “Leadership is influence.” Every leader has a sphere of influence, people to whom their influence is direct and an extended sphere of influence where their influence is transferred through the next generation. According to Genesis 6:9 God chose Noah to be an influencer of an entire world starting over because “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time and he walked with God.” Read Genesis 6-11.

Just a glimpse at Noah’s sphere of influence comes when we understand a few facts about Noah’s life. 

Noah influenced God. God was making a decision concerning the total destruction of His creation and in Genesis 6 “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth …So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe out mankind, whom I have created,’ …But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” The way Noah lived his life being “… blameless before men and walking with God” influenced God to not totally “… wipe out mankind.”

Noah had influence to those around him before the flood. Again according to Genesis 6 when describing those outside of Noah’s family God said of men “… every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” For Noah to remain “… blameless among men” in this environment he had influence. For Noah’s family not to have been killed or outcasts but for other men to consider him blameless – Noah had influence.

Noah had the rare opportunity to personally influence every human being born on the face of the earth right up to Abram (who later was renamed by God as Abraham). According to Genesis 9:28 “After the flood Noah lived 350 years” and according to the account of the descendants of one of Noah’s son Shem in Genesis 11:10-28 Abraham was born approximately 292 years after the flood. Abram could have been 52 years old when Noah died.

Every leader has a sphere of influence. According to John Maxwell’s book The 360 Degree Leader, every leader has influence up, to their peers, and down to those on their team. If God allowed Noah to influence Him, his peers and 10 generations after him, something about Noah had to be special. That something according to Genesis 6 was Noah’s character.

How are you doing at building your character at the same time you are building your skills? Effective leaders know that character is the most important element in leadership.

Memorize Genesis 6:9 “… Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”

 

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TWO

 

 

Are you paralyzed by “now” decisions? (67-1)

Written by Barry-Werner on April 27th, 2009. Posted in Communicating VisionGenesisLeadership PrinciplesOld Testament,PrioritiesVision.

Leaders look ahead to next month, next year, to three and five year plans, to the next decade or even the next generation and beyond. They tend not to be paralyzed by the “now” decisions because they understand how “now” decisions fit into the future. Read the story of Abraham in Genesis 12-25.

In Genesis chapter 12 when God told Abraham “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great…and peoples on the earth will be blessed through you” Abraham caught a vision and a hope for fathering a great nation; a vision for becoming a leader that would have an impact on his generation and those to follow him. 

Leadership requires vision–dreams of what can happen now and in the future. This is true of leaders “at the top” and leaders that lead “from the middle.” Abraham experienced a God-given vision. The principles of Abraham’s vision have transferable principles to every Christian leader:

  • God-given visions begin with God’s priorities (Genesis 12:1-2). When a leader starts with God’s priorities they can maintain consistent direction and pure motives
  • God’s vision allows your vision to include others (Genesis 12:2-3). Effective leaders look beyond themselves.
  • When a leader receives a God-given vision, it connects with the leaders inner-hidden-deeper-secret desires (Genesis 15-2-4). God’s vision to Abraham and Sarah matched the desires of a barren couple. God knows each of us and matches His vision for us with an area of passion within us.
  • God-given vision is tangible and easily communicated (Genesis 15:5).
  • A God-given vision is bigger than the leader (Genesis 17:1-8). Abraham’s vision went way beyond his lifetime.
  • A Christian leader’s vision will have eternal value (Genesis 17:19-20). Abraham’s vision was more than wealth and fame; his vision affected the eternal destiny of millions.
  • God-given visions connect with the leader’s personal convictions (Genesis 18:9-12). God’s vision for Abraham mirrored Abraham’s values for family and land.

Do a personal vision analysis. Are you caught up in the tasks of the day being driven by the need for the next paycheck or are you looking ahead in your professional and personal life to goals that keep your passion alive.

 

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Three

 

Is your name synonymous with respect and leadership? (67-2)

Written by Barry-Werner on April 28th, 2009. Posted in AccountabilityCharacterCommitmentGenesisIntegrityLeadership PrinciplesObedience to GodOld TestamentPower and InfluenceSelf-Discipline.

Abraham is still held in high esteem by Jews and Gentiles alike. His name seems synonymous with respect and leadership. At least one of the reasons Abraham still enjoys this position of respect is because Abraham followed through on his commitments. Genesis 12-22 

  • When God called Abraham to depart to an unknown land, he went (Genesis 12).
  • When Abraham offered Lot his choice of land, he took what was left (Genesis 13).
  • When enemies abducted Lot and his goods, Abraham pursued the kidnappers and subdued them (Genesis 14).
  • When commanded to circumcise the males of his household, Abraham did it “that very same day” (Genesis 17).
  • When Abraham was asked to put his son Isaac on the alter he followed through to the last detail and only a last second intervention by God spared the young man’s life (Genesis 22).

Effective leaders make commitments and promises carefully because they are committed to follow through on the commitments they make.

 

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Four

 

Are you eligible for promotion? (67-3)

Written by Barry-Werner on April 29th, 2009. Posted in CharacterGenesisLeader QualificationsLeadership Development,Leadership PrinciplesOld Testament.

Similar to our education system, every leader will be asked to pass certain “tests” before there is a promotion to the next level. We have all been in situations where we were given a little to manage and as we proved we could handle the tasks, pressure, budget, timeline, manage the team, etc. we were given more responsibility. For the Christian leader, God provides tests as measures of progress in our character, our trust in Him and our willingness to serve out of love for Him and people. Read Genesis 22:1-18.

God called Abraham to climb Mount Moriah and sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. The very same miracle son he and Sarah had waited their whole lives for. God’s test to see if Abraham was qualified to become the father of the Hebrew people was to make Abraham choose between Him and his beloved son. Only after Abraham passed the test in his heart (and in his attitude) did God provide a replacement sacrifice and spare Isaac. Just a side note – Abraham’s trial foreshadowed what God intended to do with His one and only Son thousands of years later (the replacement sacrifice for each of us). 

Leadership tests differ from one another but they have a few things in common:

  • Testing precedes promotion
  • Leaders get tested at each stage of growth
  • A leader must pass the test to be promoted, if the test is failed, the leader will be re-tested prior to promotion
  • Tests almost always involve personal sacrifice from the leadership candidate
  • The greater the eventual responsibility of the leader the more the tests will center around character development
  • Tests are the leader’s friend; a leader’s growth stops the moment they resent the test or the situation that created the test
  • The goal is to pass the test

Self-promotion or promotion by others can never replace divine promotion. Like Abraham, trusting God with the things we love most is the test we must pass to move to the next level of usefulness as a godly leader.

How did you do on your last test that involved character? It is always pass/fail and never graded on a curve. If you passed, how can you build on that strength? If you failed, what is the root issue in your life that is keeping you from obtaining godly character in this area of your life? Once you discover and deal with that issue you will be re-tested and God will verify your progress (or lack thereof) to you.

 

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Five

 

Are you effective at solving problems? (67-4)

Written by Barry-Werner on April 30th, 2009. Posted in CharacterDecision MakingDependence on GodGenesisLeadership PrinciplesOld TestamentPower and InfluenceProblem SolvingSelf-Discipline.

A leader who can solve problems will have influence. We would like to believe that this influence would be positive but that is not always the case. When a leader solves problems from a core of bad character or with the wrong motivation and selfish ambition they will become a negative influence. Read Genesis 16:1-16.

Abraham and Sarah had a problem. They were past the child bearing age and Sarah was barren. God had promised them offspring that would grow to be as numerous as the sands of the seashore and the stars in the sky. It did not appear God’s promise could be fulfilled unless Sarah took matters into her own hands. Sarah saw the problem and felt compelled to solve it. Sarah decided that God’s promise to Abraham could be solved through a child from her servant Hagar. 

A problem solved with human wisdom and contrary to God’s plan will not be a solution with good results. Hagar and Abraham had a child but this did not bring peace or happiness to Sarah, in fact, she despised both the child and Hagar. Effective leaders consider God’s principles and promises when solving a problem.

A couple of practical suggestions using a common sense cycle in solving problems:

  • Identify the goal rather than just the problem. Write it down in a single sentence.
  • Evaluate the goal against Biblical principles and God’s promises to you.
  • Once the goal is identified, identify the single greatest constraint or potential problem that will keep the goal from being achieved.
  • Brainstorm possible solutions to this one most constraining problem – 10 minutes only please and try to get some out-of-the-box ideas on the board along with the practical.
  • Choose the single best solution that fits within God’s principles to solve the problem; even if two solutions seem like they would work, stick with only one.
  • Write the single best solution into a single sentence.
  • Develop a plan to implement this solution.
  • Determine staff needed; complete a budget and implementation timeline and develop needed reports to monitor progress.
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