LEADERSHIP MATTERS by Roger Yancey, D.Min.

Who taught you to be a leader?  November is a month we gather with family and friends to express Thanksgiving for the many blessings of God in our lives.  Why not take a moment to reflect on those who taught you about leadership and how to serve well the body of Christ, those who invested in you and showed you by example the impact of a life yielded to the Holy Spirit and transformed by the pursuit of knowing Jesus?  I am grateful for the many friends and mentors I have enjoyed in my life.  One of those is Eric Gieger.  I came to know Eric more than a decade ago as the author of Simple Church.  We brought Eric in to lead a Ministry Staff Retreat and he did an outstanding job.  We then came into regular contact with each other when I served for 8 years as a LifeWay Trustee where Eric led various divisions and was the driving force behind the Gospel Project curriculum.  While Eric is now the Sr. Pastor of Mariners Church, he continues to be someone who challenges my growth through his writings. 

That’s why when Eric posted recently about a book authored in 2009 by Dave Ulrich, The Leadership Code, I was prompted to revisit the book and bring you the core highlights I have gleaned from it.  You can find Eric’s article on this book at https://ericgeiger.com/2023/09/the-leadership-code-a-framework-for-the-transferable-tasks-of-a-leader/.

A major takeaway of the book is that the core elements of good leadership are transferable from one role to another.  While there is a percentage of leadership that is “domain specific to an industry” and has to be learned over time, the essentials of leadership are the same from role to role.  Ulrich shares 5 Rules for leaders to be mindful of and to intentionally develop in their lives.  All leaders will have areas they are more easily competent in but all 5 are needed for effective leaders.  I encourage you to read the list and identify the area(s) you are the strongest in and the one you might need to grow in.

Rule 1: Be A Strategist – Shape the future. Deliberate leaders anticipate the future and work through the answer of “Where are we going?” looking at different possibilities and time frames.  They create a sense of urgency and work with their team to advance the ministry from where it is to where it is heading.

Rule 2: Be an Executor – Make things happen. Intentional leaders are focused on the question “How will we make sure we get to where we are going?” How will we achieve the change needed, build in accountability, create the plans, coordinate our endeavors, share information, and build a strategic outcome?

Rule 3: Be a Talent Manager – Engage today’s talent. Forward-thinking leaders answer the question, “Who goes with us on our business (ministry) journey?” They choose the right people for the right role and make sure they are equipped with what they need to succeed. 

Rule 4: Be a Human Capital Developer – Build the next generation. These future-focused leaders who are committed to discovering the next generation of leaders.  How we integrate them into present opportunities often provides the impetus for their personal growth.

Rule 5: Be Proficient – Invest in yourself. While this is the 5th rule it is critical to the other 4 areas as you can’t take people further than you are willing to go yourself.  You need regular time to self-develop and grow in your leadership capacity.  Unless you create the time and space for your own growth, it will never happen. 

I trust you will find the concepts in this book as helpful as I have in your own leadership journey.  While written from a business perspective, the leadership principles it exposes are found in the book of Proverbs.  May we all endeavor to grow in our own capacity for the greater glory of God’s Kingdom!

In Kingdom service,

 Executive Director, AMS