RELATIONAL LEADERSHIplesson 2 - INFLUENCING With SERVANTHOOD
INFLUENCING With SERVANTHOOD
“These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves.” Jude v12 There are five pictures of bad leader-ship in the book of Jude. His first picture of bad leadership is of shepherds who feed only themselves. These leaders use their power for their own benefit. Servant leadership is about leaders who serve others.
ONESIMUS: LEADER AS SERVANT
It was a painful experience for Onesimus, the runaway slave, to leave Paul in Rome and return to Colosse to face the wrongs he had done to Philemon, his former slave master. Paul did not allow Onesimus to travel alone. He sent Tychicus, “a faithful brother,” with him. All of us need a Tychicus to encourage us and to hold us accountable. Good leadership is challenging and demands that we grow. Paul did not send Onesimus back to lead the church. He sent him back to serve. History tells us that Onesimus became the bishop of Colosse, but he did not return as a bishop. He returned as a servant.
LEADERSHIP IS A RELATIONSHIP OF INFLUENCE
Leadership flows from serving others, not from the status of a position. Having a title does not mean you are providing leadership. Leadership is dependant upon people accepting our influence.
STYLES OF LEADERSHIP
Leadership is a relationship of influence. This influence is perceived by the people who follow us. It is important to remember that our followers have a choice, and our leadership is always dependent upon their choosing to follow us. As leaders we should choose a leadership style that is adapted to the maturity level of those who follow us.
A “DIRECTING” STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
We “preach” to them. This is where leadership usually begins. Our followers are low in competence and confidence and we tell them WHAT TO DO. We provide specific instructions and closely supervise their performance. We do a lot of instructing but provide them with little relational encouragement.
A “COACHING” STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
We “teach” them. At the next level of maturity the followers still do not
know how to do a task, but they are willing to learn so we tell them HOW TO DO IT. They are now willing to accept responsibility for the job. The leader must explain decisions and give the follower more emotional support.
A “SUPPORTING” STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
We “encourage” them. Our followers have reached the maturity level to be able to do the job but still do not have enough confidence to do it alone. Now we tell them WHY TO DO IT. The leader should engage the follower in sharing ideas and asking them to help make decisions. The important thing the leader shares at this stage is emotional encouragement.
A “DELEGATING” STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
We “release” them. The highest level of maturity is when the followers know how to do the work and are willing to accept responsibility for it. Now we tell them WHEN TO DO IT. It is time to delegate the task trusting the follower to take care of it. They are able to run with the task and need little emotional support.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE LIVING ORGANISMS
Leaders must adapt their leadership style to the maturity of their followers. The way you choose to lead is not up to you. It is determined by the maturity level of your followers. Followers move back and forth on the maturity scale. Any changes in responsibilities will affect their level of competence. A leader should want people to grow and always be moving them toward greater maturity. Success in leadership is measured by the growth of your followers; not by how many followers you have.
SERVANT LEADERSHIP EMPOWERS PEOPLE
Both the leader and the follower profit from a good relationship. They are both maturing in the process. The follower is growing in leadership skills. The leader is growing by added influence and reduced burdens.
REHOBOAM: THE FOOLISH KING
I Kings 12:7 “If you will be a servant to these people today.., then they will be your servants forever.” Leaders hold something very fragile in their hands, the hopes and dreams of people. These must be held gently with respect, not crushed in the fist of power. It is sad that Rehoboam refused to listen to good advice and divided his kingdom. He was a forty year old king who acted like a fourteen year old young man.
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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton
Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry.
He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.