Monday, September 28, 2009

My thoughts on Leadership

My goal is to use a participatory style of leadership in my executive duties at Willoughby Hills Friends Church. The power behind this style lies in relationship. Through relationship I believe people have the power and ability to influence and affect others and to be affected.

I believe that power and change must be the product of relationship in the Church. In a participatory style of leadership all involved work together in dialogue gathering information, assessing the changes going on in the organization and environment and what these changes demand in response to the purpose of the organization. It also involves people assessing and improving their own abilities to respond to the challenge to change that surface both internally and externally. It involves using the leadership in the people who are present to make the best decisions possible and to be constantly looking for and developing new leadership resources.

I am convinced that for maximum effectiveness to occur through participatory leadership WHFC will need authentic, continuous conversation and genuine dialogue throughout the entire organization. This is my greatest challenge at this time. The intelligence of our organization must measured by her ability to gather, assess, process, and respond to information based upon the mission of the organization. In order for this to occur we need greater flow of information.

I am in the process of charting the current flow of information and hopefully I will be able to discover several areas of improvement and re-map to enhance communication and the vital flow of information.To this end our leaders must strive to keep two questions in the forefront of their thinking. One, what is the quality of relationship in the organization and two, who in the organization is not contributing? It is the leader's goal to remind and help everyone in the organization pay attention to the information flowing into, out of, and through the organization.

It is also my responsibility to pay attention to the overall relational vitality of the organization and provide a point of convergence for the flow of information particularly for staff, elders and denomination. It is imperative that I pay attention to the past and re-present it through various forms of communication so as to maintain consistency, continuity and help people connect our values with God, one another and their world in a contemporary setting. I must ensure that our vision be collectively shaped by past history, current practice, and future opportunities and call.

It is also my responsibility to build trust in the organization. Trust is essential otherwise the organization will be fearful and reactive to the information received and will naturally squelch open dialogue, curiosity and creativity. Trust is built through service to one another, showing respect, being truthful, acting appropriately, being competent and emotionally healthy, and by demonstrating a dependence upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit and a life centered in Christ.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings.

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