There are a lot of leadership books out right now. Somewhere over the past 30 years’ businesses stole the churches mojo on leadership. Jesus was influencing groups of people who were influencing groups of people. That’s call Leadership. But somewhere, when we weren’t looking, Corporate America took Jesus’ Leadership styles and applied it to businesses. The truth is the principles of God are universal and all powerful. Whether King or Prisoner when you lean on the Word of God it works and will not return void. (Isa 55:11)
Right now the common words in a lot of business books are Strategic and Intentional. There’s a lot of talk about becoming Strategic Leaders and Intentional Leaders.
Strategic (data driven, information based) Leaders tend to lead from the Left Side of the Brain while Intentional (relational, emotional based) Leaders lead from the Right Side of the Brain. Today leaders understand to effectively lead, cast vision and empower those around us we must break down the barriers that tell us what we can’t do.
What does it take to be a Strategic Leader? What does it mean to be an Intentional Leader? How does this apply to us and our role in the church? Let’s talk about it.
1. Strategic Leaders
A Strategic Leader is someone who understands the relationship between the organization as a whole (the church) and their specific role (their department). They can identify connections, patterns and key issues that must be addressed. They asked probing questions, gather the necessary information and execute the vision of the organization with precision. This person tends to be dominated by the Left Side of the Brain. This is where logic, higher level reasoning, written and science skills originate.
The Strategic Leader is the one who hears the Pastors heart for the church and reaches out to leadership asking how they can apply it to their role. They don’t wait for an email, a video, or directive to move on what the Holy Spirit has already told them to do. Strategic Leaders move with a refined balance of direction and autonomy.
Questions Strategic Leaders Ask:
1a. Am I responding consistent with the overall vision of the church
1b. Are there ways in which it is inconsistent?
2a. What, if anything, is keeping me from settling on a solution or approach?
2b. How much more information do I need so that I can make the decision in a timely way, even if I am not totally comfortable yet?
3a. What are the most critical priorities for me or us to focus on?
3b. Am I sending any mixed signals about those priorities?
2. Intentional Leader
An Intentional Leader is someone who has purpose in everything they do. They don’t merely react to what has happened, especially problems. They consider the factors, think over the details, and make decisions based on how it will affect those around them. They can create a plan that supports the vision of the organization (the church) and the individuals involved (their relationships in their department). Intentional Leaders are not leaders-by-reaction but they watch what’s going on around them and the people they serve, all while learning. They are usually dominated by the Right Side of the Brain where creativity, imagination, insight and intuition originate.
Intentional Leaders know that paying attention to the situations and people around them provide valuable insights into what is important and how others feel about it. They listen to what others say, whether agreement or disagreement, with the intent to learn.
Questions Intentional Leaders Ask:
1a. Is how we’re doing things working or is it just good intentions?
1b. What other ways have those on my team thought of?
2a. Where can I increase my ownership in the department?
2b. What areas do I struggle in receiving feedback?
3a. Does my prayer life match my level of expectation from God?
3b. What are those I serve with praying for?
3. Strategic and Intentional
Leaders who are both Strategic and Intentional actively and purposefully use both sides of their brain, both sides of who they are to fulfill the needs of the organization and the people. They use everything God has given them to empower and grow those around them. They see the vision before them and are determined to achieve it and equip those around them to do likewise. They understand that if we fail to equip then we choose not to grow.
If we are to lead people into significance then we must embrace more than just what we’re good at but do everything in our power to get them there. Maybe you’re not good at engaging “the other side”, or just don’t want to. Leaders don’t do what they want to do, they do what they must do.
It’s time to move past the “Well, that’s just not me…” and do what must be done to achieve the goals and dreams ahead of us. It’s time to be both Strategic (Left Brain) & Intentional (Right Brain).