Leadership and Organization

I’m attracted to church leadership and organization like a moth is drawn to flame. I know some people find it terribly boring, but I find it completely fascinating. I get enchanted just looking at it. The similarities with fire are almost scary. It moves and changes, comes in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. It is useful when it is working as it should, but violently deadly when it gets out of control.

Perhaps fire is the right analogy for this. I hadn’t really considered it before I sat down to write this post. But in the same way that fire is essential to our lives (or various modern forms of fire), leadership and organization is essential to the church. And at the same time we are drawn to it out of necessity, we are simultaneously pushed away from it out of fear and repulsion.

I’m sort of an amateur practitioner of leadership. I’ve been a natural leader my whole life, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been a good leader. I’ve followed excellent leaders as well as some that needed to get out of the way. I’ve read a bunch of books and held several positions that God has used to work on my leadership ability. Perhaps that I why I am so aware of my limitations.

Organization is the same way. I seem to have a gift at identifying process and projecting scenarios. I can analyze systems fairly easily and can put a model in motion in my mind and identify the weak areas. This isn’t anything to brag about. It’s clearly in the way God crafted me, and for a great majority of my life I have not understood those gifts and they have not brought a lot of service to God.

That is changing, however. I’m in a place in life now where I am using those gifts more. At the same time, I recognize that there is a lot I have left to learn.

So I want to talk about it. I have no idea how regular I’ll be on my blog, but I want to talk about things that excite me… like leadership and organization. And I need your help. I need to learn from you and hear your insights.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite leadership concepts:

It’s always the leadership’s fault. If things go well, their fault is to their credit. If things do not go well, they have no one to blame but themselves. If things fail, the leader has to admit that they led their followers to failure or they have to admit that they allowed their followers to go someplace they weren’t leading. In either case, whether leading to failure or allowing people to fail on their own, the leaders have failed and bear the sole responsibility for it.

4 Responses to Leadership and Organization

  1. Doug Young says:

    Looking forward to this bro. Thanks to you, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with stuff I was only marginally concerned with last October. Go figure!

  2. I need to mull over your favorite leadership concept. I’m reminded of the old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. I think I have seen some people who refuse to be led.

    • Brad Palmore says:

      Janice – Even in those cases, and I’ve been a part of many, it is the responsibility of the leadership to make sure that those individuals don’t negatively affect the rest of the organization, either by limiting their influence or chasing them off. The difference comes in contract between organizational and individual. As a leader, I can’t make any individual do anything, but my influence over the organization has to be such that I can get the organization to respond as I need it to. Tricky concept sometimes.

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