Updated: Sep 28, 2020
BUILDING THE FRAMEWORK
"Who should I be leading?" This was the question that rolled over and over in my mind. I had just completed my Masters of Ministry Leadership through Rockbridge Seminary, and I was working at Christian life Fellowship serving in the area of Ministry Development. Pastor Dean asked me about basic leadership training, and wanted to know what I would include. A myriad of ideas about leadership development circled through my mind—there were so many things a leader should know! What would I consider to be fundamental to grow in leadership? One of the basic questions I asked myself was "Who should I be leading?" Of all the books I'd read on leadership, Ken Blanchard's Lead Like Jesus came to mind. This was the perfect place to start.
Blanchard's diagram looked like a baseball diamond and started with leading myself, progressed to leading others one-on-one, moved on to leading a team, and then to leading an organization. The idea was to continually move around the basses. I was in alignment with these domains of leadership.
I realized that the first person I needed to lead was myself. Before I could influence others, I needed to settle some things in my own heart so that I could learn to be a servant leader like Jesus and lead from the "inside-out." "Inside-out" had become a theme in my life. Ever since God showed me that "what's in my heart comes out in my art," I was keenly aware that what ever was in my heart was going to find it's way out in my words or behavior.
I also realized that I should be leading others, one on one. I knew I was called to influence, and that did not always mean directing teams or inspiring large groups. My everyday relationships provided perfect opportunities to lead through relational influence.
Next was team leadership. I had learned so many things about leading teams that I wanted to share with others. But I also realized that not everyone was called to actually lead a team, let alone an organization. So this is where Ken Blanchard's diagram broke down in my mind. Instead, I began drawing boxes on the whiteboard, one for each leadership domain—Lead yourself, lead one-on-one, lead a team, lead an organization. I placed arrows to show the progression.
But I wanted to show that we must continually be leading ourselves. We should also be continually mindful of our relational influence even if we are focusing on leading a team. And if we are called to lead an organization, we must also be mindful of the principles of team leadership as well as leading well personally and relationally. I added arrows to show the on-going care that must be taken to grow in each area.
As I studied my little framework and began to work with it, I realized that I also wanted to add another domain that brought the leader's focus beyond the organization they served, I added another box and called it "community leadership."
As I studied my little framework and began to work with it, I realized that I wanted to add another domain that brought the leader's focus beyond the organization they served, I added another box and called it "community leadership."
And there is was! This was to become my framework for leadership.
While I was developing my little framework, a myriad of ideas were swirling through my mind. I had learned so many things that would be appropriate to share for each domain. My next logical question was,"For each of these leadership domains, what should I do to lead effectively?"
What should I do to lead effectively? As I began to answer this question for each of my domains, this is where I began to realize that literally everything I had ever learning about leadership fit someplace on my framework. I realized that I could continually build on this framework, growing in leadership for the rest of my life!
Watch for more thoughts on each one of my five leadership domains.