An article by Paul Blakey MBE
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog piece on New Wineskins for Christians Who Lead.
As I have pondered and prayed I have started to write some thoughts on what I think is the best type of leadership as we journey together towards the Promised Land. In the ‘New Wineskin’ blog I wrote: “This is a moment in history when new leaders and new leadership styles will be defined. The future is a blank canvas! The new breed of leaders need to dream, plan, be visionary and prophetic and lead in a different way to how we did before.”
These ten thoughts are: some from experience; some from my own developed style of leadership; and some from what I seek to be as a leader. It is not a definitive list and I think as we journey the list will grow and develop – but it is a start!
● Puts the growth of the organisation and others in the team at the forefront. An ongoing question should be around how much of what we do is bearing fruit (and this is for the organisation as a whole, individuals within and the leadership). Sometimes prayer and action towards cutting off non fruit producing branches is good!
● Is leading people on a journey, yet welcomes others to also lead on that journey, as the best leader equips, empowers, celebrates and releases.
● Responds promptly to communication recognising the other person’s time, energy and value they have given to sending the communication to you.
● Seeks to be a prophetic voice that is challenging towards different. The prophetic voice will be a voice of wisdom, creativity and insight often with a pioneering spirit (and may not always be welcomed. The influence and voice of others may mean you miss it or that you have to shelve it until later – frustration comes with leadership territory).
● Is a visionary who can see the new wine and help create and find new bottles for that new wine!
● Is a servant to those they are leading. Jesus, who modelled the greatest leadership style, was a servant leader. Never ask someone to do something you yourself are not prepared to do (never see yourself above cleaning the toilets, sorting out admin or washing up!)
● Will see the value in all but also recognise that not all are on the same journey. The best leaders will know when to cut people off and to distance from them. This allows some to start a different journey but can also be the point where you and your organisation / those you are leading flourish and grow (pruning is good and essential!)
● Recognises the importance of valuing and loving self – a leader cannot lead from an emptying self. It is a sad reality that some will try and empty the life out of you – bullying, judgment, criticism of leaders is common (and may be subtle at first but can grow and grow). Again pruning is good! “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” says Jesus (Mark 12:31) and Proverbs 19:8 “they who require wisdom loves themself” – know how to love yourself!
● Is a problem solver not a problem highlighter. If you see a problem then the best leadership works at solving the problem.
● Recognises and deals with issues and problems before they consume the life out of you / others / the organisation! A leader values those they lead, part of which is responding efficiently and effectively to issues and problems. Listening followed by action!
Christian leaders are called to do things differently. We can apply Godly wisdom and counsel in our leadership styles. We are people who should be lovers of God and lovers of people.
The new unwritten chapter I spoke about in my New Wineskins blog is beginning to emerge. The Promised Land is in view, new wild ideas are welcomed! This is our moment – God is calling us: to be brave; to be wild; to greater levels of wisdom; to be leaders who lead the leaders!
Let’s go lead…..
Paul Blakey MBE paulblakeymbe.com