References:

  • Spiritual Leadership: Oswald Sanders
  • Leadership and the One Minute Manger: Ken Blanchard

 

Jesus led with a developmental bias. The people around him were different because they encountered the Savior. We have all kinds of groups and individuals involved in our ministries: students, volunteers, parents, chaplains, supervisors, subordinates, and more. We need to lead like Jesus. The Leadership Effectiveness and Adaptability (LEAD) model is a paradigm for developing people or groups. LEAD is an intentional approach to leadership designed to allow Jesus to develop our own calling and ministry and, in doing so, positively influence others.

For many folks, their leadership models run something like this: You watch me; we’ll do it together; I’ll watch you; I’ll go off and train someone else. It’s a helpful model, but it focuses on the needs of the coach, not the player. LEAD, an approach to developing people and teams, was introduced at Community Director School. LEAD is also referred to as situational leadership because, simply understood, the LEAD model moves us away from using one leadership style for every situation. Ministry has a lot of diversity. LEAD helps a Community Director understand the importance of adjusting his or her leadership style to fit the developmental needs of the person or team that needs to grow in ability and willingness. We all know that we need help. This model challenges us to commit to developing ourselves and others around us instead of living with unfulfilled expectations for help. This has huge implications for a ministry that is based upon volunteer leaders.

Situational Leadership begins when the Community Director takes on the task of being active—versus reactive—in the leadership of Club Beyond at his or her installation.

The first step of Situational Leadership is evaluation. The importance of a leader’s diagnostic abilities can never be overstated. The Community Director must always be willing to access, “what is the task at hand?” and “are my volunteer leaders or an individual able and willing to accomplish the task?” Following evaluation, the CD places the individual or group somewhere along of the spectrum of developing to developed.

Now, having identified where an individual or group is along the spectrum, the leader applies the appropriate leadership style based upon the needs of the recipient.

Two final terms defined:
Directive behavior: the degree of direction a supervisor provides to a subordinate.
Supportive Behavior: the amount of support and involvement a supervisor provides to subordinate.

Bringing it all Together:
Chart 3 brings it all together by correlating developmental levels with appropriate leadership styles, as follows:

  • D1: Novice: This person or team needs an S1 approach. He needs much high direction because of his low competence. You tell this person what to do and help him gain confidence. This person needs a drill sergeant.
  • D2: Apprentice: This person or team needs an S2 approach. She needs high direction and supportive behavior. She has broken through to a higher level of competence, but now begins to make occasional mistakes. We must come alongside and ensure she maintains momentum in her role. We provide tools and feedback, and answer questions. Imagine that this person is learning to ride a bike and needs a parent.
  • D3: Journeyman: This person or team needs an S3 approach. He does not need a lot of direction; he needs to connect his competency with the understanding of mission and vision, especially when he struggles. He is on a roll, but any obstacle brings doubt. The appropriate amount of support in this situation helps him to “break through” and remain focused and on task. We provide tools and we empower, but mostly we walk alongside this person and paint the “why” of what we do. This person needs a coach.
  • D4: Professional: This person or team needs an S4 approach. This person needs very little direction or support.  She has ability and willingness. We just let her go both to perform and lead. We allow and even encourage risk knowing she functions at a level where she will succeed. This person needs a mentor.

In a subtle way, many of us think that what we need or the way we were taught is what others need. Leadership is actually quite different. Real leadership is a place where Jesus meets our calling and grows us to be the person others desire to follow even as we follow in His footsteps. The question becomes “will we grow ourselves and lead others or just get stuck copying what our leaders taught us?”

 

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