A question of leadership


When “it’s the economy, stupid,” I’m of little help. My understanding is limited to the School House Rock-type cartoon that shows the animated dollar bill bouncing more slowly between banks, businesses and individuals during a recession.

An economics class never showed up on my schedule in college — and I have not been burdened with a family inheritance to manage. So I have no idea what the power structure in Washington should or should not do in this time of financial crisis.

However, I am intrigued that several columnists and commentators this morning are talking about failed leadership. They point to a lame-duck, unpopular president and a house speaker who gave an untimely partisan speech.

Most politicians are just pointing toward each other to assign blame for a failed bailout proposal designed to get the economy back on some part of the track.

Leadership is an interesting concept. My earliest sense of a good leader was someone who made a big splash with their personality and possessed a strong ability to persuade.

Getting someone to follow you may make you a leader, but not necessarily a good leader. It depends on where you take others and how you treat them.

My current view of leadership is more focused on accomplishments than personalities. Leaders can come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

Strategic thinking is what I admire most in a leader. This is someone who listens to the many good, bad and mediocre ideas being bounced around and then pulls together the best of the bantering and shapes it into a plan that is clear, concise and widely embraced.

Whether it is in Congress or in the church, good leadership is needed. Without it, our messes seem to just get messier.

2 Comments

  1. John Pierce wrote:

    ((Strategic thinking is what I admire most in a leader. This is someone who listens to the many good, bad and mediocre ideas being bounced around and then pulls together the best of the bantering and shapes it into a plan that is clear, concise and widely embraced.

    Whether it is in Congress or in the church, good leadership is needed. Without it, our messes seem to just get messier.))

    I’m going to agree with your last point first 🙂

    Your notion that a consensus opinion cobbled from amongst partisans constitutes good leadership may not be ideal. Part of the issue is that nobody actually knows and most of our Congress Critters do not understand much of the complexity. Thus they have little to contribute and thereby revert to being true to their nature …. politicians.

    The dilemma is real, however the sky may not actually fall. For instance even though the stock market fell a record amount of dollars yesterday, it did not lose a record amount of the DOW index, and some of that has bounced back this morning without any major news of resolution.

    What is not even being mentioned by any Congress Critter of any stripe is looming issue with Social Security where we have to ponder how much trillions are rather than a few hundred billion.

  2. No organization can rise above the level of its’ leadership.

    Effective leadership has to find consensus that empowers strategic action.

    If strategic thinking is finding the least offensive common denominator, the pastor is worthless for the Kingdom. In the end nothing good for the Kingdom happens and nobody respects you.

    If strategic thinking is seen as a discernment process then Kingdom things can happen. A leader needs to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, after all it does not flow through the pastor to the people exclusively. A leader then takes the best ideas that move the church to live out its’ mission and shepherds them into action.

    Real leadership talent is demonstrated in pulling together the various parts of the body and helping them work together to be God’s people in the place they are planted.

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