4.08.2008

Willow Bound

I'm in the airport waiting to board my flight to Chicago for Willow's SHIFT conference. I don't teach until Thursday, but wanted to catch the entire conference from the beginning because it's always a great one.

Been pondering this today: What Kind Of Leader Am I, and What Kind Of Leader Do I Enjoy Following?

SELF-CENTERED LEADER focuses purely on his or her agenda and the tasks to fulfill that agenda. People are simply tools toward that end. If somebody can't help the leader achieve the agenda, the self-centered leader sees little use for them. People are only empowered to the extent that they are freed up to fulfill agenda of the leader. Ultimately, the completion of the project and the recognition of the leader is what matters most.

OTHERS-CENTERED LEADER focuses as much, if not more, on the people and the process as the actual agenda. People are viewed as team mates and considered to have just as much value, input and decision making power as the leader. People are empowered to think outside the box, make decisions, move forward. Ultimately, the completion of the project and the fulfillment and recognition of people on the team is what matters most.

It isn't always easy to break leadership down into those two categories, but I do think they are where most leadership starts...one or the other is usually the foundation for how one leads.

What Kind of Leader are you?
What Kind of Leader do you work for?
What are strengths and weaknesses of each type?

6 comments:

Mike Henry said...

hey Kurt!
I'm with a couple Middle School guys from California, also! We all wanted to see if you wanted to grab a bite sometime this week. Let me know!

-Mike Henry
mike@tbclodi.com

mike henry said...

or 209-367-3530

-Mike

Chris S. said...

See you there!

eric said...

The description of the Self Centered Leader is so negative. That this question seems to be answered before it is asked. Of course we all would want to be and follow the "Others-centered Leader". I would not say I fit into either of these descriptions though. I would say that I am like a self centered leader in that I have a weakness of not using others talents but relying on my own and I often do things on my own because I know how I want it done. I would not characterize myself as desiring recognition for the completion of a project though. I would also consider myself to be others focused whether it is on serving others or obeying God. If I feel God's will for a project I do tend to focus on accomplishing that project and do not delegate as much as I should, but it is not for recognition.

Kurt Johnston said...

Eric,
it is negative, but I'm suprised at how often I find myself slipping into the Self-Centered leadership camp. I think when I lead from my natural tendencies, the result is much more self-centered than others-centered.
Sure it's a rhetorical question, but one I need to remind myself of quite regularly.

eric said...

Kurt - do you think you fall into the self centered leadership because you want recognition or could it be that you just trust yourself to get the job done the right way?

do you think self centered is always negative?