[The Classic Christian Network] WEDNESDAY is WORD DAY: Leadership Studies (19…

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Last Chance Bible Study Network

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Every Wednesday We Post Studies in the Word

(google: “Last Chance Bible Study)

“Leadership Principles Study”

6 Studies in Leadership Weekly

-Barry Werner-

19-24

 

 

How do you counteract discouragement? (70-2)

Written by Barry-Werner on May 19th, 2009. Posted in Communicating VisionEncouragementExodusLeadership Development,Leadership PrinciplesOld TestamentVision.

Leaders must repeatedly cast the vision, however, if your team is discouraged, the vision you cast may be undermined. A Spirit-empowered leader counteracts discouragement by the constant restatement of the vision and consistent action toward the goal. Read Exodus 5:22-6:9.

In Exodus chapter 3, God had Moses assemble the Hebrew elders and tell them of His vision to give the Hebrew people “…a land flowing with milk and honey.” God told Moses “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him…” The initial response to the vision was positive and the people embraced Moses’ leadership. When Pharaoh did not immediately comply with their request discouragement set in. 

Once a team is discouraged, their interaction with each other will reinforce the perceived problem and there is a potential for the negative synergy to take the leader and the vision down. I had a firsthand look at how this happens during my time in Viet Nam in the late ‘60s when troops in my unit lost confidence in the mission. I also had a firsthand look at a great leader, our new CO, who refocused us on our goals, returned us to a disciplined unit, restored our pride in being a Marine, and brought focus to the mission we had been sent to accomplish.

When discouragement invades a team, a leader must display consistent character to their team. That does not mean there will not be a temptation to be discouraged but the Spirit-empowered leader will find the source of power God provides to rise above the discouragement.

Several times during the months between initially casting the vision to the Hebrews and Pharaoh finally allowing the people to leave Egypt, Moses found himself seeking God to reinforce in his heart the vision that he had been given. Even though there were no initial successes, Moses was consistent in looking to his source of strength and his actions did not waiver. Moses constantly restated the goal that God had a plan for the Hebrews and that there would be a great reward if they did not give up.

An effective leader must anticipate setbacks and rise above team discouragement. They cannot ignore it but their actions must influence the team to move pass it. The wise leader refines the vision statement so it can be stated in very simple terms, can be remembered and visualized by everyone on their team, and helps the team crystallize the reward that will come when the vision is a reality. The constant restatement of the vision (the goal) allows the team hope and hope allows a team to break the bondage of discouragement.

Do you shape your team’s emotions or do your emotions mirror your team’s emotions? Effective leaders lead!

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Are you the worker or the leader? (70-3)

Written by Barry-Werner on May 20th, 2009. Posted in AuthorityDecision MakingExodusLeadership PrinciplesOld Testament,Power and Influence.

There is a tendency by leaders, who by nature are achievers, to personally do the work or micro-manage others through a project. Even Christian leaders who believe they were called to a specific task, who believe God staffed their team and who trust that the same God that leads them leads each member of their team often micro-manage decisions. This is a false form of godliness that deceives and puts the trust in our own abilities rather than the sovereign God. Read Exodus 18.

The Hebrews had left Egypt under Moses’ leadership and Moses had settled into his leadership role enough to send for his wife and sons to join him. His father-in-law, Jethro, brought them and spent some time with Moses before going home. During his time with Moses, Jethro had an opportunity to watch Moses serve in one of his leadership roles as a judge of the people. At the end of the day Jethro asked Moses, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” 

Many leaders make the same mistake Moses made. They assume because they were God’s person when the project started that they are the only person qualified for every job all the time. Jethro quickly put Moses through a course in Delegation 101. Jethro told Moses, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.” He instructed Moses how to choose qualified leaders and helped him create structure and organization for the task of judging the people.

Effective leaders focus on the tasks that only they can do and delegate all other tasks to qualified, trusted members of their team. And as Jethro instructed Moses, effective leaders give the responsibility and authority to their team so they can complete the assigned task and only get involved again at points when the team needs help because the problem is too difficult for them.

As you analyze your leadership, where are you not giving the authority to accomplish the assigned tasks?

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Do you have a short and long-term plan? (70-4)

Written by Barry-Werner on May 21st, 2009. Posted in Communication SkillsLeadership PrinciplesLong-Range PlanningNumbers,Structure/Organization.

Effective leadership involves planning. Planning is generally cherished by the more naturally introverted leaders who find their energy from times of solitude and generally not-so-cherished by the naturally extroverted leaders who find their energy with people. But for leaders to become all that God intended them to be, no matter their personality, they will have to find a method of planning that allows them to live within their personality and still create carefully thought out short and long-term plans. Read Numbers 10.

Estimates say there were approximately 3 million Hebrews that left Egypt under Moses’ leadership. We know that God determined the times and directions of the Israelites’ movement. They had no way of knowing in advance whether they would camp in a particular location for a few days or for a year. Each time they set up camp, they had to do so as if they might be there for a lengthy duration, but they also had to be flexible enough to break camp at any time. If there was not a carefully thought out plan in place to add order to pack up, march out and set up all 3 million Hebrews would have lost motivation for being part of this team. To put some personal understanding to the scope of this task, just think for a moment what it takes to get your family fed, dressed and into the car to get to church on time. 

Similar to what happened for Moses in today’s scripture, godly leaders will get some portions of the plan as direct revelation from God. God’s direct revelation generally gives us the structural bearing beams of the plan. God told Moses that he needed to assign specific tasks to individual tribes and that he needed a system of signaling the entire Israelite camp when change was needed. Moses and his leadership team needed to figure out the details of how this would be implemented.

A few elements of planning that Moses used that are basic to effective leadership:

  • Moses gave momentum to the plan by starting with the big picture. God had a plan for the Hebrews to travel to a land He had selected for a permanent home and moving was just a means to this much bigger vision.
  • Moses developed a communication system; sometimes communication to just the leaders and at other times for the entire community so he could fulfill the necessary communication concerning the plan.
  • Moses applied the lesson he had learned from Jethro as an ongoing management principle instead of one time advice.
    • Moses broke down the 3 million Hebrews into manageable groups and developed manageable goals for each unit.
    • Moses established structure, organization and a chain of command as part of the plan so the plan functioned with a minimum of frustration.
    • Moses understood the importance of key individuals in critical roles to insure the plan had its greatest chance for success.

Effective leaders understand that even a very complex plan is made up of simple elements; they start with the big picture, determine the elements and organize the project with logic and common sense.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being near perfect, evaluate how often you communicate the big picture when motivating your team for the everyday tasks.

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Do your circumstances determine your character? (70-5)

Written by Barry-Werner on May 22nd, 2009. Posted in CharacterHebrewsIntegrityLeadership PrinciplesLoyaltyNew TestamentNumbersOld TestamentPersonal Development.

A leader must have faith in their team and be prepared to lead with equal effectiveness regardless of current circumstances. Read Numbers 11-14.

Moses faced open rebellion from the people concerning the kinds of food God was providing. He had his senior leadership lose confidence in him after a marriage to a non-Hebrew. He had 10 of 12 tribal leaders refuse to follow the established course and timeline after they saw the potential problems in the land God had promised them. He faced a total collapse of confidence by all the people when the 10 tribal leaders brought their report out of the leadership team and took it public. Yet when God was ready to strike down the people, Moses begged God to give the people another chance. 

Efficient, responsive teams require a leader’s confidence and an investment of the leader’s time. Effective leaders do not let the circumstances or the current state of their team determine their personal character, their consistency, or their loyalty to the team. Godly leaders see each team member as a man or woman created in the image of God and look for their potential.

Leaders can increase their loyalty to the team by:

  • Praying for the team regularly
  • Practicing principles of servant leadership
  • Remembering the team is depending on them
  • Knowing the team will imitate their leader
  • Investing time and energy to learn about their team i.e. know the name of their family members, their non-work interests, etc.
  • Celebrating achievements along the way
  • Leading by example

Hebrews 13:7-8 “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

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Would God say you are humble? (71-1)

Written by Barry-Werner on May 25th, 2009. Posted in 1 PeterHumilityIsaiahLeadership PrinciplesNumbersOld Testament,Philippians.

In a number of instances Moses’ actions showed he was a humble man and a servant leader. Think for a moment about his father-in-law’s advice to put structure and organization to the process of settling the people’s differences. Moses could have decided that he was God’s chosen leader, he was the leader of 3 million, he was the one God used to part the sea, God spoke directly to him and he did not need advice. He could have rationalized that the people and his core team would think him weak if he took advice. He could have, if he was ruled by arrogance and pride, but a leader ruled by humility can learn from the team around him. He not only took Jethro’s advice but he demonstrated a real change in his leadership utilizing the advice several times during the 40 wilderness years. The greatest validation of Moses’ humility came directly from God.  Read Numbers 12:1-8.

The quality of humility flows out of a proper assessment of ourselves before God. Moses was a powerful leader, but he was also a humble leader because he saw himself in the light of God and sought God’s honor and reputation, not his own. When leaders come to grips with their desperate need for the grace and mercy of God, they develop a teachable spirit, they seek wise counsel and they are willing to be under authority. 

“The high and lofty one who lives forever, whose name is holy says, ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the hearts of the contrite’” (Isaiah 57:15). God also says, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). The Bible repeatedly emphasizes that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Leaders who are proud have an inappropriate and inflated view of themselves as modeled by Aaron and Miriam. They attribute their accomplishments to their own efforts and fail to acknowledge that everything they are and have comes directly from God’s hand.

Humble leaders “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). This will be a struggle for leaders their entire life. Only through continually yielding our life and success to God and by seeking His power to live as a humble leader will we be able to be this kind of leader. Just as at the moment of your salvation, when you finally yielded your heart to Christ and put your total trust in Him, becoming a leader with humility will require the same deliberate commitment. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Would your team “rate” you as a humble servant leader based on your actions over the past year? If not, where can you change?

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Do you effectively communicate with those who work above, below, and with you? (71-2)

Written by Barry-Werner on May 26th, 2009. Posted in AuthorityCommunication SkillsExodusLeadership PrinciplesLeviticus,NumbersOld TestamentPower and InfluencePrioritiesTeam Building.

Aaron, Moses’ brother, lived the leadership experience of most leaders. Like Aaron, most leaders will not be the final authority; most will lead from within the organizational chart not the top. Most won’t have a perfect track record of performance, but take courage in that position because God used Aaron to accomplish critical leadership functions for His kingdom and Aaron’s leadership left a mark that can still be seen today. Read Exodus 4:10-17; Exodus 32:1-6 & 19-29; Numbers 12:1-3; Leviticus 8:1-9.

Aaron was not God’s choice to lead the Hebrew nation from captivity in Egypt. He was selected by God to assist Moses. Aaron did not always understand the vision and he did not always perform in support of Moses but Aaron had key roles to play as God accomplished His vision for the Hebrew people. Most leaders, like Aaron, will serve in the middle of an organization and must learn to have maximum influence without having the final authority in either the vision or the process.

In his book 360 Degree Leadership, John Maxwell gives us some practical ways to be effective “leaders from the middle.” According to Maxwell, “360 degree leaders influence people at every level of the organization. By helping others, they help themselves.” The 360 degree leader will influence down to those who work for them, they will influence laterally to their peer group and they will influence up to those in charge.

The “leader in the middle” needs to see themselves as divinely positio

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