Topic: To which of the 8 character studies from this week’s Howell readings (OT Leaders) do you relate most in regard to your own leadership path? How do you most imitate the character, and what do you want to add to your life to emulate this person?
I found the definition of biblical leadership,” Is taking the initiative to influence people to grow in holiness and to passionately promote the extension of God’s kingdom in the world” (Howell, 2003, p.3) to be insightful and edifying. I thought about Jesus and how he influenced people. I realized that he provided a living example of biblical leadership. According to Howell (2003), biblical leadership has the following characteristics; proactive, purposive, and comprehensive. Biblical leaders are proactive when they take the initiative to influence others towards holiness of character, and obedience to God’s plan. The idea to help God grow in others their character, and provide them with life-direction. To lead with purposive, helps instruct the biblical leader to be mindful of God’s overall plan when leading. To provide a comprehensive in approach to biblical leadership. Due to the fact that God’s plan has an over-arching strategy to impact people for His glory, biblical leaders are mindful of the comprehensive nature of God’s plan.
These three key characteristics to biblical leadership has provided me clarity and an encouraging approach to thinking about what leaders do. When I thought about which biblical figure that I most related to it was Jesus’s leadership path. His character was formed in a way to meet many life difficulties and challenges. What Jesus leadership style teaches me is the importance of reducing my “self-reliant” approach and aligning a thought-action approach that is mindful of being “God reliant”. This ‘reliance on God approach’ to living life and leadership makes sense to me. This was discussed in ‘Part 6-Profile of Servant Leadership’ of the Howell book and I wanted to answer the question of “which biblical leader I wanted to imitate”. It would be Jesus whom I’d like to imitate. The Servant Leadership model which embodies the characteristics of Jesus is how I’d like to develop in myself.
I resonated with the “putting others first” approach of Servant Leadership model. The Servant Leadership model was discussed by Greenleaf (1977) in his seminal work “The Servant as Leader”. In his seminal work “The Servant as Leader”, Greenleaf (1977) introduced his basic ideas on servant leadership. According to Greenleaf, “going beyond one’s self-interest” was the core characteristic of servant leadership; although mentioned in other leadership theories, it has never been given a central position as in servant leadership theory. The servant leader is governed by creating opportunities for followers to help them grow. It is also important to realize that according to Greenleaf the servant leader is “primus inter pares” (i.e., first among equals). Servant leaders do not use their power to get things done but use persuasion to convince their staff. In addition, and more explicitly than in any other leadership theory, servant leadership theory places the leader in the role of a steward who holds the organization in trust.
Greenleaf, R. (1977) The Servant as Leader
Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ
Howell, D. (2003) Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership
Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, OR