LEADERSHIP & “It is about vision, but management is about solving problems”

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/22/17.

I ask my students the difference between leadership and management. Here are some quotes I’ve used to describe my thinking:

“Leadership can be more prestigious, more exciting and more visionary.  But management, that’s about solving problems”


“Management is what’s missing in our ministry leaders.”


“If you get kicked out of a church, it’s usually not because of bad theology or even poor leadership … but because of bad management.”

“Leadership is about vision, but management is about solving problems.”

LEADERSHIP & If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.

“If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously.”

– Romans‬ ‭12:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬.  Read more at … http://bible.com/116/rom.12.8.nlt

LEADERSHIP & Ministry at the Speed of Trust

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In these three short videos, Steven M.R. Covey explains how trust is built upon three elements: engagement, change and multiplier. Watch these videos to understand how to expand a foundation of trust.

Watch the videos here … http://www.speedoftrust.com/

EQ & How Emotional Intelligence Is Defined & How It Became a Key Leadership Skill

by Andrea Ovans, Harvard Business Review, 4/28/15.

…The term was coined in 1990 in a research paper by two psychology professors, John D. Mayer of UNH and Peter Salovey of Yale. Some years later, Mayer defined it in HBR this way:

From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.

It took almost a decade after the term was coined for Rutgers psychologist Daniel Goleman to establish the importance of emotional intelligence to business leadership. In 1998, in what has become one of HBR’s most enduring articles, “What Makes a Leader,” he states unequivocally:

The most effective leaders are all alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but…they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. My research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.

The article then goes on to introduce five components of emotional intelligence that allow individuals to recognize, connect with, and learn from their own and other people’s mental states:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation (defined as “a passion for work that goes beyond money and status”)
  • Empathy for others
  • Social skills, such as proficiency in managing relationships and building networks

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/04/how-emotional-intelligence-became-a-key-leadership-skill

LEADERSHIP & A Definition by Peter Northouse

pp. 6-7.
Northouse Leadership Defined Theory 6th ed p. 6 copy
(page 7)
Northouse Leadership Defined Theory 6th ed p. 7 copy

LEADERSHIP TRAITS & Research Offers Alternative List of the 12 Qualities of Effective Leaders

Proven management surveys yield new list of 12 keys to ministerial effectiveness.

by Bob Whitesel, Strategies for Today’s Leader Magazine.

Recently there has been a proliferation of books purporting to help distinguish between highly effective church leaders from those who are less effective. However, most of these books are based on anecdotal observations. In other words, one, two or even a dozen illustrative examples are given to support a certain list of effective leadership skills. While this type of research is helpful, the reader may wonder if it stands up to quantitative verification.

A study by Robert Herman, professor of organizational behavior at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Martin Butler, professor at Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, looks at the qualities that characterize effective religious leaders (Butler and Herman 1999). Working with leaders, pastors and laypersons within the Church of the Nazarene, Herman and Butler’s research exposed twelve (12) characteristics of effective church leaders.

The study employed two popular leadership questionnaires and a lesser known ministry orientated version. The Managerial Practices Survey (MPS) is well known with strong reliability and validity (Yukl 1990). A second survey, the Leader Behavior Questionnaire (LBQ) is likewise broadly utilized and reliable (Sashkin and Burke 1990). The third is a lesser known survey titled the Ministerial Effectiveness Inventory (MEI) (Malony and Majovsky 1986). It is fairly short adaptation of the “Profiles in Ministry” survey developed by the Association of Theological Schools.

Their research revealed that effective leaders are:

(1) Managers. Sample question: “This minister checks work progress against plans to see if it works.”

(2) Problem solvers. Sample question: “This minister handles church-related problems and crises in a confident and decisive manner.”

(3) Planner. Sample question: “This minister plans in detail how to accomplish a task or project.”

(4) Delegator. Sample question: “The minister presents a policy or strategy in general terms and then asks you to determine specific action steps for implementing it.”

(5) Inspirer. Sample question: “This minister develops enthusiasm for a task or project by appealing to your pride in accomplishing a challenging task or doing something never before done.”

(6) Change agent. Sample question: “This person has been able to help this church adapt to changing conditions.”

(7) Shepherd. Sample question: “This persons shows that he/she really cares about people.”

(8) Communicator. Sample question covers the ability of the leader to clearly state directions and views.

(9) Multi-tasker. Sample question: “This minister uses a style of leadership that is flexible and responsible.”

(10) Student. Sample question: “The minister demonstrates a style of lifelong learning through continual education, research, and study.”

(11) Servant. Sample question: “The minister does not frighten people off with his/her dominating, superior attitude.

(12) A person of integrity. Sample question: “The minister’s lifestyle does not involve illicit sexual activity and/or gambling.”

REALITY IN ACTION: Ministers can be taught to be better planners, delegators, change agents, multitaskers and problem solves. Thus, lay leaders will want to encourage their clergy to read books, attend seminars and peruse periodicals that deal with strengthening these characteristics.

Ministers should also look for mentors who exemplify the above stated characteristics. A good question for a minister to ask him or herself is “who do I know with the following characteristics…?” and then ask oneself the questions stated above. Remember, care for individuals (the shepherding skill), the servant motif, and personal integrity are usually not learned in seminars or books, but by observation and tutorship.

Seminary and ministerial training programs will also want to take into consideration how they are fostering the above skills. And pastoral search committees may also wish to ask some of the above questions to their prospective candidates, or better yet the candidate’s former lay leaders.

Butler and Herman have done the church a great service by clearly delineating some of the key attributes of ministerial effectiveness. By considering these research generated skills we can better asses our leadership development and sharpen our ministerial skills.

Quotes from the above article:

“Often one, two or even a dozen illustrative examples are given to support a certain list of effective leadership skills. While this type of research is helpful, the reader may wonder if it stands up to quantitative verification.”

“Working with leaders, pastors and laypersons within the Church of the Nazarene, Herman and Butler’s research exposed twelve (12) characteristics of effective church leaders.”

“A good question for a minister to ask him or herself is ‘who do I know with the following characteristics…?’ and then ask oneself some of these representative questions.”

D. Martin Butler and Robert D. Herman, “Effective Ministerial Leadership,” Journal of Nonprofit Management and Leadership (1999), 9:229-239.

Download the article here: ARTICLE ©Whitesel STRATEGIES Research Offers Alternative List of the 12 Traits of Effective Leaders

©Bob Whitesel, “Research to Reality: Research Offers Alternative List of the 12 Traits of Effective Leaders,” Strategies for Today’s Leader Magazine (Corunna, IN: The Church Growth Center, 2001), p. 38.


SERVANT LEADERSHIP & New Managers Need a Philosophy About How They’ll Lead

(an excerpt) The idea of “servant leadership” is a great place for new managers to start. Robert Greenleaf coined the term 35 years ago, but the concept is still vital and empowering. Granted, “servant” doesn’t sound nearly as powerful as “boss,” but it has the potential to deliver far more of what most of us are really after: influence. The reason is simple. When you have a servant mentality, it’s not about you. Removing self-interest and personal glory from your motivation on the job is the single most important thing you can do to inspire trust. When you focus first on the success of your organization and your team, it comes through clearly. You ask more questions, listen more carefully, and actively value others’ needs and contributions. The result is more thoughtful, balanced decisions. People who become known for inclusiveness and smart decisions tend to develop influence far more consistently than those who believe they have all the answers.

Servant leadership is most powerful when applied to managing employees. The first step in embracing this mindset is to stop thinking that your employees work for you. Instead, hold onto the idea that they work for the organization and for themselves. Your role as servant is to facilitate the relationship between each employee and the organization. Ask yourself, “What will it take for this employee to be successful in this relationship?” And, “What does the organization need to provide in order to hold up its end of the bargain?” When these questions drive your thinking, you advance both parties’ interests. (The same principles apply to managing products, supply chains, and customer relationships, but we’ll keep our focus on employees here.)

Does servant leadership prohibit telling people what to do or correcting their behavior? On the contrary, it means that you must do these things to facilitate an individual’s success within the organization. The key is that your mind is in “servant mode” when you perform the daily tasks of management.

Read more at …,https://hbr.org/2015/09/new-managers-need-a-philosophy-about-how-theyll-lead