...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hall of Fame Weekend: Phony and Real Leaders

Some who call themselves the leader are, in fact, not. For example, in family systems theory, often the true leader is not the one who has the overt, official title or role. For example, many women were actually the leaders and the "quarterbacks" of their families, even though males may have had the higher status culturally.

In systems like churches, it is interesting to see who the real leaders are. They are not always the ones who tout it and shout it. In fact, these folks may be more insecure than really confident in their own sense of leadership.

My gold standard of leadership is very similar to what Marty Shottenhiemer said when he was coaching his first NFL team, the Cleveland Browns. He said the greatest of all coaches are the ones who are, first of all, able to see a future Hall of Famer and then, to assume the responsibility for this potential to be realized. If the player is supposed to make it to Canton, Ohio, then the greatest coaches make sure that destiny is fulfilled.

Leaders are true developers and know how to maximize the folks around them. They encourage, not coerce. Their love for people shows because they respect others. More than their idea of leadership. You are blessed if you get to be in ministry with such a leader. They are truly rare indeed.

John Maxwell can write fifty more books on leadership, I don't care! If I could choose to be the kind of leader that Marty described, I would, by God's grace and gift.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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