Peter Block’s quote above puts us of a mind to mention a basic principle of the Lead Like Jesus Movement and S3 Leadership: Effective leadership begins on the inside.
Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges, founders of the Lead Like Jesus Movement, made that point very early in their book Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time [LINK to Amazon w/our code]. It’s critical, they added, that every leader answers two questions:
Most of us think the second question is the most important one in life. But Blanchard and Hodges insist that the first matters more — and, indeed, provides us with the foundation for answering the second question. With that first question we confront the most important leadership issue of all — “choosing the primary authority and audience” for our lives. Whom are we trying first and foremost to please?
We all know from both the Old and New Testament scriptures what the answer to that question should be. But we also probably know how difficult it is to live according to the mandate to honor and serve God first. As Hodges says, “We’re all self-serving leaders some of the time.”
The sorrow in that is that modern empirical research shows that self-serving leaders are not effective leaders over the long-term. Organizational guru Jim Collins notes that the leaders of the very best organizations today are distinguished by their “humility and will to mission.” They serve something greater than themselves, and by doing so, attract others to the same selfless service on behalf of a common mission.
That’s why we teach that becoming an effective leader begins in the heart — with what matters most to us. And ultimately, no person or thing is as deserving of our devotion and commitment as God, who created us and sustains us in each moment.
As you develop as a leader, keep asking yourself those two crucial questions offered by Blanchard and Hodges.
And continue to evaluate yourself by referencing the three principles in the S3 leadership framework, as outlined in The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus: Introducing S3 Leadership — Servant, Steward, Shepherd:
- S1: Servant — it’s not about me.
- S2: Steward — it’s not mine.
- S3: Shepherd — people are precious.
Copyright © 2010 Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute, 208 E. North St., Durand, IL 61024. Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced so long as there is full attribution, our web site is listed, and any electronic reproduction includes a link to our site: http://www.yeshualeader.com.