Broadman & Holman
The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. PROVERBS 12:24
Everything rises or falls on leadership.” John Maxwell says this now! Lee Roberson, pastor of one of the largest churches in America, said it before him. And we forget who said it first.1
Counselors claim the presence of a strong and loving husband and father can make all the difference in the world for the family. Recent publications like Daddy’s Little Girl,2 The Mom Factor,3 and The Blessing4 all report the significant impact parents have on children, both positive and negative. Successful families rise or fall on leadership.
Some of America’s finest schools are located in inner cities marked by urban decay. They are the kind of institutions sociologists would claim are destined for failure. Indeed, many were once an embarrassment to their state educational agency. But the vision of a new principal and the passion of dedicated teachers together with the cooperation of parents and local community leaders have transformed dying schools into model schools—schools that teach students who learn and move on to institutions of higher education for further training as they pursue lofty dreams. Schools rise or fall on leadership.
The best team in the league is not always the team with the best players. When National Hockey League players were first allowed to play in the Winter Olympics, everyone knew Team Canada had the gold medal sewn up. But the Gretzky gang was shut out of the medals completely and returned home empty-handed. In contrast, the Montreal Expos have consistently placed near the top of the standings throughout the last decade, despite having the second-lowest payroll in the major league. There are no superstars on the team, but great coaches on the bench. In every sport, teams rise or fall on leadership.
Great men of God build great churches. When people think of the world’s largest churches, they usually think first of the pastor. To talk about Willow Creek Community Church is to talk about Bill Hybels. It is difficult to mention Saddleback Community Church without referring to Rick Warren. People are more likely to mention “Yonggi Cho’s church” than to call it Yoido Full Gospel Church of Seoul, S. Korea, the largest local church in history with over 750,000 members. Mention a great church in your community, and someone is likely to say, “Isn’t that where is pastor?” Churches rise or fall on leadership.
Overwhelming force is not always the key to great military victories. Ever since David defeated Goliath, great military leaders have used limited resources to win great victories. Sir Francis Drake was clearly outnumbered when he defeated the Spanish Armada with his leadership skill and inspiration. Germany clearly had overwhelming air superiority in the Battle of Britain, but England was led by Sir Winston Churchill, the one man who put a steel backbone in England’s resistance. George Washington’s army wasn’t much, but under his courage it was enough to defeat the largest empire in the world, the British, in the Revolutionary War. Great armies, navies, and air forces rise or fall on leadership.
Worthy causes depend on great leaders for success. Even when the cause is just, it is often neglected until embraced by a leader. Mother Teresa made people care about the poor of India. Elizabeth Fry embraced the cause of prison reform in her generation and transformed the character of Britain’s penal institutions. Throughout the twentieth century, a host of national leaders rose in various European colonies worldwide to lead their nations to independence. When a popular leader takes up the cause of some dreaded disease, only then are the funds raised to finance the research needed to find a cure. Worthy causes rise or fall on leadership.
Leaders alone achieve success in business. Having a great product or service is not enough in today’s competitive market. While having a loyal and committed team may help, they need a strong leader to show them the way. A strong leader can lead a team to overcome obstacles and accomplish their goals. It was obvious Microsoft would never amount to much in a market dominated by IBM, but Bill Gates gathered a team and made it happen. Today they know their greatest challenger may not be in an executive office in Silicon Valley. He may be struggling to make a new product or idea work in his garage, basement, or the spare room in his apartment. Businesses rise or fall on leadership.
Because we are so dependent on leaders for group success, it is not surprising that many have attempted to describe the essence of leadership. From the days of Nimrod, who led a group to establish a city and build a tower, people have tried to explain what makes a leader a leader. Often these definitions are like the blind man’s description of an elephant. When touching it, the blind man determined an elephant was four pillars and a wall with a rope on one end and a hose on the other. He was able to discern the parts but unable to see the whole.
Leadership may be one of those things that is easier caught than taught. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, attempts at defining leadership tend to focus on the parts rather than the whole. Various leadership definitions tend to focus in four areas. Some definitions describe leadership in the context of the person who is leader. Others describe the process by which leaders lead. Still others tend to focus on the leader’s ability to persuade others to follow. Then there are those who describe leaders in the context of the people being led.
Leadership does not exist without a leader. It has been said that leaders have two important characteristics: First, they are going somewhere; second, they are able to persuade other people to go with them. Tom Landry, long-time coach of the Dallas Cowboys, claimed, “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you are in control, they are in control.”5 If everything rises or falls on leadership, then it rises or falls on the one who is leader. Some students of leadership have even suggested it can be defined in the unique mix of certain personality traits.
Understanding the process by which leaders lead also provides insight into the nature of leadership. In one sense, leadership is the process of helping people do the worthwhile things they want to do. Good leadership has been described as the art of getting average people to do great work. At its highest, leadership consists of getting people to work for you when they are under no obligation to do so. That is why, according to Henry Cabot, “You lose leadership when you cease to lead.”6
Perhaps the briefest definition of leadership states, “Leadership is influence.” Ordway Tead described leadership as “the activity of influencing people to cooperate toward some goal, which they come to find desirable.”7 In a military context, it is the process by which one soldier influences others to accomplish the mission. Vance Packard called leadership “the art of getting another to want to do something that you are convinced should be done.”8 Apparently, Randy Houck agrees. He describes leadership as “getting people to do what they ordinarily wouldn’t do on their own.”9
It is virtually impossible to describe leadership without considering the group. According to the message in a Chinese fortune cookie, “He who thinks he leads when no one is following is just taking a walk.” In this sense, leadership is the art of changing a group from what it is to what it ought to be. Leadership is in part a function of group dynamics.
Like any other science, certain fundamental laws and principles govern the science of leadership. Various attempts have been made to identify and apply these principles to help leaders excel at what they do. Many successful leadership books tend to emphasize various expressions of a single law of leadership. These books appeal to leaders who are most comfortable applying that law of leadership. Also, certain laws of leadership tend to be more effective in some contexts. A more balanced approach to the science of leadership recognizes at least eight laws of leadership.
The first law of leadership is the Law of Dreams. People follow a leader who has a dream of a desirable objective. The Law of Dreams challenges the leader to direct followers to a desirable objective. When people buy into a leader’s dreams, they buy into his/her leadership.
The second law of leadership is the Law of Rewards. People tend to follow a leader who rewards them when they accomplish their goals. Everyone wants or needs something in this life. This law states the leader who rewards his followers with the things they want ensures they will continue to follow him. In many organizations, things that get rewarded get done.
The Law of Credibility is the third law of leadership. People follow a leader when they have confidence in his plans. They not only follow; they work . . . they sacrifice . . . they won’t give up, if their leader has a credible plan to reach the objective. The leader who believes in his followers usually has people who believe in him.
The fourth law of leadership is the Law of Communication. People follow a leader who effectively communicates his plan to reach the objective. Therefore, the successful leader must effectively communicate his ideas and plans to his followers if he hopes to motivate followers to reach the objective. People tend to follow a leader who gives clear directions. In contrast, as John Maxwell notes, “People are always down on what they are not up on.”10
The Law of Accountability is the fifth law of leadership. Many people find it easier to follow a leader who gives them specific responsibilities to help them reach the objective. This means the leader must know the specific contribution his followers can make to help ensure the entire group reaches the goal. Then he must hold each group member accountable to do his part. People don’t do what a leader expects, but what he or she inspects.
The sixth law of leadership is the Law of Motivation. Motivation is not stirring speeches, slogans, or threats. People tend to follow a leader who gives them compelling reasons to reach the objective. The primary task of the leader is to give his followers the best reasons to accomplish the objective. People follow you when you give them a reason to work.
The Law of Problem Solving is the seventh law of leadership. People follow a leader who gives solutions to problems that hinder them from reaching the objective. This means the leader must solve problems that hinder followers if he wishes to see his group move forward in reaching their objectives. The more barriers that frustrate your followers, the less likely your followers are to reach their goal.
The final law of leadership is the Law of Decision Making. People follow the leader who decides well when questions arise as the group moves toward accomplishing their objective. That means the leader must be a good decision maker. Leaders make good decisions on good information, bad decisions on bad information, and lucky decisions when they have no information.
Every Christian is gifted with a spiritual gift that influences the way he thinks and acts. Because people are gifted differently, they think and act differently, which is why leaders usually lead differently. Understanding our spiritual gifts will help us identify our potential leadership strengths. When various biblical lists of spiritual gifts are studied, there are usually nine task-oriented gifts that Christians use in effective ministry. These gifts include (1) evangelism (Eph. 4:11), (2) prophecy (Rom. 12:6), (3) teaching (Rom. 12:7), (4) exhortation (Rom. 12:8), (5) shepherding (Eph. 4:11), (6) empathy (Rom. 12:8), (7) serving (Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28), (8) giving (Rom. 12:8), and (9) administration (Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 12:28).
Evangelism is communicating the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit to unconverted persons at their point of need with the intent of effecting conversions. These conversions take place as people repent of their sin and put their trust in God through Jesus Christ, to accept Him as their Savior. Normally, those who are converted determine to serve the Lord in the fellowship of a local church. Those gifted in evangelism tend to lead by persuading followers of the validity of their plan and calling them to commitment.
The gift of prophecy is the creative application of a specific biblical truth to a particular problem, situation, or circumstance. The prophet “speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men” (1 Cor. 14:3). Also, the gift of prophecy is strengthened by one’s faith. Leaders who are gifted in prophecy tend to lead by attacking problems head-on. A prophet has negative motivation and will point out the injustice of the opposition, calling others to follow his plan to solve the problem and change the world.
The gift of teaching is the communication of biblical principles in the power of the Holy Spirit to others and demonstrating the relevance of those principles to the specific needs of their listeners. Those gifted in the area of teaching tend to be diligent students of Scripture who have accumulated a thorough understanding of biblical principles as a result of their consistent study habits. Those gifted in teaching tend to lead by collecting good data and communicating what they find to others who come to believe the teacher knows how to solve problems. Leaders who are teachers tend to lead by their insight into what needs to be done to accomplish an objective.
The gift of exhortation is urging others to act on the basis of their faith in God, advising others how to accomplish specific goals in life and ministry, cautioning others against actions that are potentially dangerous, and motivating others in the Christian life and ministry. Those gifted in exhortation usually develop practical strategies to accomplish goals and effectively encourage and motivate others to remain faithful in their service for God. Leaders who are gifted in exhortation tend to lead through their practical strategies (transferable concepts) and their ability to motivate followers to action.
The gift of shepherding is compassionately caring for others in your sphere of influence through providing spiritual guidance, nourishment, and protection from potentially destructive individuals and influences. Those who have this gift readily express their concern for others and are often looked to for spiritual counsel and guidance. Leaders who are gifted in shepherding tend to lead through building healthy maturity into their followers.
The gift of empathy (showing mercy) is discovering emotionally stressed and distressed individuals and ministering to their emotional needs. This gift involves expressing sympathy, empathy, and spiritual ministry to help alleviate the inner pain that is causing a person’s dysfunctional emotional response. Leaders who are gifted in empathy tend to attract hurting people and are somewhat effective in helping them rebuild their lives.
The gift of serving is discerning and meeting the spiritual and physical needs of individuals. Leaders who are gifted in this area tend to be supportive of others and concerned with helping them in any way possible. They often enjoy manual tasks. The leadership style of those gifted in serving is appropriately called “servant leadership.”
The gift of giving is investing financial and other resources in ways that further the purposes of God through individuals and ministries. Leaders who have this gift are inclined to be effective in raising and using money or resources for a wide variety of ministry projects. It is not uncommon for them to develop financial expertise in the process of developing their gift. They lead through budgets and financial planning that ensure the project is adequately financed.
The gift of administration is the management of human, physical, and financial resources through planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. The planning leader projects the future; establishes objectives; develops policies, programs, procedures, and schedules for accomplishing those objectives; and budgets adequate resources for the task. Organization involves developing an organizational foundation, delegating responsibilities, and establishing interpersonal relationships. Leading involves making decisions; communicating ideas; and selecting, enlisting, training, and motivating people. Controlling involves establishing performance standards; then measuring, evaluating, and correcting performance on the basis of those standards. Although God has gifted various leaders in different ways, some writers describe the gift of administration as the gift of leadership.
Leaders who understand the influence of spiritual gifts on themselves and their followers will let that knowledge change the way they think about ministry. According to Carl F. George and Robert E. Logan, “Developing a gift-based ministry is a two-fold process, involving both education and organization. It requires helping people to discover their gifts and finding outlets to use their gifts. Simply teaching about gifts is not enough; you must organize a system to guide people into appropriate ministries. Structuring the church in a way that encourages people to discover, develop, and begin to use their gifts will help your church function as a healthy body.”
In his book Spirit-Controlled Temperament,11 Tim LaHaye described four basic personality types that he called “temperaments.” LaHaye described these temperaments by using the language of ancient Greeks, calling them (1) sanguine, (2) choleric, (3) melancholic, and (4) phlegmatic. He was not the first to identify basic personality types or even the first to use these terms to identify them. His book was significant, however, in that it introduced the topic to a wide evangelical market and helped Christians begin to think of their own unique temperament. LaHaye developed an inventory to help people discover their temperament along with biblical guidelines to help them work through personal strengths while yielding themselves to God to minimize the effects of their natural weakness.
Sanguine leaders tend to have a lively outlook on life. They have the God-given ability to live in the present. They tend to be friendly and outgoing. They love people and have a tender and compassionate heart. They also can be restless. At times they are impractical and disorganized. They find it difficult to stay concentrated on reading the Word of God. Their basic problem is that they are weak-willed. They start many things but seldom finish them. They love to please everyone and talk about themselves (egotistical). Their warm nature can produce spontaneous anger, yet they never get ulcers; they just give them to everyone else. They are the type of people who repent for the same thing repeatedly. Their greatest needs in the filling of the Holy Spirit and Christian character are self-control, long-suffering, faith, peace, and goodness. The sanguine leader is a motivator and a people person who is genuinely liked by followers. However, the sanguine leader is not as reliable as leaders with other temperaments.
Choleric leaders are hot, quick, active, practical, and strong-willed. They are very independent. They make decisions easily for themselves and others. They thrive on activity and are prone to take a definite stand on issues. They are quick to recognize opportunities and push ahead. They have a well-organized mind and are often extroverted. On the negative side, they are often hot-tempered and may even be cruel at times. They do not show much compassion. They tend to be domineering and bossy. They find it hard to understand what Jesus meant when he said, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). They grieve the Holy Spirit through bitterness, wrath, and anger. It is very difficult for them to apologize when they are wrong. Their success often makes them very proud. They can be difficult to reach for Christ because they think they can do it on their own. Their greatest needs in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and Christian character are love, peace, gentleness, long-suffering, meekness, and goodness.
The leaders with a melancholy temperament are sometimes ones who are ruled by a black or dark impulse, but this can actually be the richest of all temperaments. The melancholy temperament is analytical, self-sacrificing, gifted, sensitive, and emotional. They may be somewhat of a perfectionist. It is not uncommon for these personality types to enjoy fine arts. They tend to be faithful friends and behind-the-scenes workers. The down side of this temperament is that they tend to be self-centered. Their tendency toward self-examination tends to paralyze their will and drain their energy. They also tend to be pessimistic, seeing many problems as larger problems than they really are. They are fearful about making decisions and moody with extreme highs and lows. Without proper discipline, they tend to be daydreamers and can be prone to seeking revenge. Their greatest needs in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and Christian character are love, joy, peace, faithfulness, and self-control.
The leaders with the fourth temperament, described as phlegmatic, are happy and pleasant people. They are cool, calm, easygoing, and well-balanced. They very seldom get ruffled. They have a very high boiling point, lots of friends, and a dry sense of humor. They are natural peacemakers. They are dependable, practical, and efficient—qualities that make them good diplomats, accountants, teachers, scientists, or counselors. The problem is they want to be spectators in life and try not to get involved with the activities of others. They usually do not take leadership on their own. They can be slow, lazy, and stubborn. They do not want to change. They usually lack motivation. When they think of projects, they are too unmotivated to do them. Their greatest needs in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and Christian character are love, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control.
The value in understanding your personal gifting and temperament relates to ergonomics. Knowing your natural strengths and weaknesses can be an important guide in determining how to do a particular task. When we work through our strengths, we achieve maximum results with minimum effort. In contrast, working through a weakness often results in fatigue. Carl F. George and Robert E. Logan advise, “Don’t minister in your area of weakness or nonstrength any more than absolutely necessary. It’s an open door to discouragement and often a waste of time.”
According to former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”12 Great leaders are students of leadership. A manual on military leadership claims, “Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience.”13 The motto of Moores Mill School captures this theme well, “Learning Today: Leading Tomorrow.”14
The focus of this book and the course based upon this text taught by the authors at Liberty University and elsewhere is to help you discover the principles of leadership and effectively develop methodologies to build leadership credibility. In the pages that follow, you will examine twenty-three approaches to building leadership. In the process, you will look at how each of these leadership styles fits into your own leadership kaleidoscope to enable you to become the kind of leader whom people follow. The study of leadership is the study of how men and women guide us through empty and frightening expanses of uncharted territory. Together, we will look at seventeen men and women in Scripture and the twenty-three ways they influenced those who followed them.
Abraham, the entrepreneurial leader, led his family and extended household through vision. He took significant risks when he left the security and familiarity of his homeland, leading his family from Ur to a promised land on the basis of God’s vision for his life. Initially, he did not understand that vision completely, but he knew it well enough to know it was worth pursuing.
Jacob, the pragmatic leader, led his family through various conditions he faced in life. The way we lead most effectively is often tied to the context in which we are leading. As the father of Israel’s patriarchs, Jacob modeled the principles of pragmatic leadership in a variety of situations with some success.
Joseph rose to a place of prominence in Egypt by leading through problem solving and strategic planning. In times of adversity, the key to leadership credibility is often how well the leader resolves problems. Joseph developed his leadership in the worst of conditions by using principles of decision making that later qualified him for greater leadership responsibilities. Many leaders who survive problems fail in times of prosperity because they lead without direction. Joseph modeled how to lead a country during an economic boom through developing a strategic plan that prepared the nation for the inevitable downturn in the economy.
Moses is among Israel’s most admired leaders in history. At various times in his tenure, Moses was the charismatic leader with a unique call of God upon his life, an administrative leader who learned the principle of delegation, and a people-management leader with a plan for conflict resolution. In difficult times, people tend to be attracted to charismatic leadership that confidently communicates an appropriate vision with divine authority. Moses modeled charisma in leadership when he returned to Egypt to lead Israel to freedom.
Many leaders limit their leadership potential or quickly burn out because they fail to delegate. Moses learned this principle and appointed judges to do work he was doing that could be done as well or better by them. Sooner or later, every leader encounters pockets of resistance among his followers. Moses faced this problem with the strong representative leadership team that he developed to assist him in people management and conflict resolution.
Joshua was prepared by the mentoring leadership of Moses to become one of the most successful military leaders ever. In contemporary business culture, an executive M.B.A. opens doors that are closed to those who lack formal education. Part of Joshua’s initial success as a leader is tied to his being mentored by Moses. The principles of mentoring in this relationship are key to effective mentoring today. But Joshua also modeled an important leadership principle in both the military and diplomatic phases of his leadership. Effective leadership leads from victory to victory.
Sometimes, important leadership principles can be learned from those who failed to live up to their potential. Research into the nature of executive leadership suggests the credibility factor in leadership is often closely tied to character. In his own lack of character, Samson demonstrated how a flawed character erodes one’s leadership influence. Also, people follow leaders who look and act like leaders. Despite beginning his career with strong popular support, King Saul illustrates the importance of meeting expectations in his own long-term failure caused by constant wavering.
Sometimes timing is everything when it comes to leadership. David demonstrated the importance of timing in his waiting for the right time to become one of Israel’s most successful leaders. His son, Solomon, faced the challenge of working through transitional times successfully. Solomon modeled the principles of transitional leadership when he assumed the throne of Israel from his father.
The greatest fear many leaders face is the fear of failure. Just as success gives leaders great credibility in the eyes of their followers, so failure creates a leadership crisis. Hezekiah modeled the principles of crisis management leadership when he faced failure and overcame defeat.
One of the greatest needs today is spiritual leadership. Leading people into a deeper relationship with and commitment to God requires a special kind of leader. Ezra was that kind of leader. His ministry among the Jewish remnant that returned to Jerusalem illustrates how leaders today can lead their people to experience God.
Motivational leadership accomplishes a task together, which none could do alone. Nowhere in Scripture is this better portrayed than in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls in fifty-two days. Nehemiah managed both the people and the project effectively to accomplish that goal.
Many of the world’s most effective leaders remain relatively unknown because they never held an office of leadership. This is the challenge of middle management leadership. Daniel modeled how middle managers can lead effectively through influencing their superiors.
Sometimes, leaders are called to lead in times of hostility and crisis. Times of great uncertainty call for great leaders. When the genocide of her race had been planned and prescribed by law, Esther rose to the challenge of the hour and achieved both the defeat of those who planned the crime and the security of her people who had been threatened. In her actions, Esther demonstrated a courageous approach to crisis leadership.
While He is more than a leader to evangelical Christians, Jesus is undoubtedly one of history’s most influential leaders. Jesus led through serving leadership and mentoring leadership. He proposed a view of leadership that differs significantly from the Machiavellian approach practiced by many political rulers. Rather, He taught how Christian leadership can find its credibility in ministry to others. He taught this principle to others and demonstrated it throughout His life. When He fulfilled His mandate as the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep, Jesus laid the foundation for pastoral ministry today.
One of those mentored by Jesus was Peter, a disciple who seemed to struggle to apply consistently all he had learned. He learned self-correcting leadership in spite of his failures and uncertainties. Time and experiences shared by leaders and followers often result in a strengthened and expanded sphere of influence. This kind of leadership differs from other leadership styles in that followers follow the leader they have come to respect, not withstanding past failures.
Paul is the last of the leaders we will consider together. Described by some as the most effective Christian leader of all time, Paul led through strategic planning leadership and disciple-making leadership. When engaged in a significant project, a carefully planned strategy enables the leader to accomplish the task at hand with greater success. Paul developed various strategies to help him in one of history’s most significant tasks—introducing Christianity to the Gentiles. Paul also understood that great leadership outlives the leader. He extended his leadership through the development of other leaders and the training of a new generation of leaders that would serve others when he was gone.
Many leadership books describe and promote a particular leadership style based on the premise that what worked for someone else in a particular situation will work for readers. Widely published testi-monials used to market these leadership books demonstrate that this approach sometimes works. But beyond the marketing glitz is a lesser-known reality. Some leaders try to apply the principles as they read, yet achieve failure instead of success. At least four factors contribute to this phenomenon.
First, leadership styles grow out of the unique personality of leaders. Just as most personality-type indicators identify at least sixteen distinct personality types, so there must be at least that many effective leadership styles. The way an introvert leads effectively may not work for the extrovert.
Second, leadership styles are only as effective as they apply to the unique needs of the group that the leader is attempting to lead. Just as individuals are different, so groups also have unique personalities. Politicians lead differently than generals in part because they lead different groups marked by a different culture. Even among politicians, four congressmen, each representing constituents in their respective home states—Alabama, Iowa, Maine, and Oregon—are likely to have different leadership styles because they lead different people.
Leadership styles are also a response to unique problems or situations faced by the leader and his group. The strong leadership style of Churchill that gave England hope during World War II was so unattractive to the country a year later that the voters turned him out of office. Churchill’s experience has also been that of other popular war-time presidents and prime ministers who failed in their reelection bids during a time of peace.
Finally, the effectiveness of a particular leadership style is linked to timing. Crisis management may work well for a leader initially, but if it continues too long, the leader may be suspected of manufacturing crises to continue his or her success. In contrast, servant leadership may be more effective in a longer-term situation. A business leader may need to refocus the vision of his company to turn things around, but once it begins turning a profit, he may want to deal in areas of customer relations and internal morale issues to ensure his company continues to remain profitable.
A Leadership Kaleidoscope suggests different approaches to leadership. Today’s leaders need to be able to adapt quickly to the challenges they face in a changing world. It is not enough to create carbon-copy leaders based on the experiences of military, industrial, political, or social leaders of previous generations. Rather, today’s leaders need to tap into the power of synergism and develop styles that are the convergence of many approaches welded together in the crucible of leadership itself.
The kaleidoscope was a popular children’s toy in the midst of the twentieth century. Although the toy was mass-produced, the picture it produced when viewed by the child was always different. As the child turned the movable part of the toy, he could change the picture he viewed. The alignment of mirrors within the toy meant every picture created appeared to have perfect symmetry. A Leadership Kaleidoscope encourages a blending of different approaches to leadership in the balance needed in the particular context in which you lead.
The moral leadership crisis faced in the North American business community today is a reminder that enduring leadership must be more than a methodology. More than ever, character counts. Indeed, character is essential to the concept of a leadership kaleidoscope. The moral character of a leader is reflected through the various leadership styles that have been grafted into his personal paradigm. Without it, the symmetry is gone, and like the child’s toy with a misaligned mirror, all that is left is confusion.
Leadership is more than a child’s toy. It is who you are and how you influence others to be and accomplish more than they are or could do otherwise. Your future leadership success emerges from who you are and how you use the abilities you have acquired. As you read this book, you will not be asked to buy into a one-size-fits-all leadership style. Rather, you will be challenged to modify your personal leadership style by incorporating aspects of almost two dozen different approaches to leadership. You will be challenged by the examples of leaders who accomplished much and those who self-destructed. In the process, you will have the opportunity to add to your personal leadership kaleidoscope and equip yourself for long-term leadership that can adapt quickly to the changing world in which we live.