What is Leadership?

I am currently going through James Lawrence’s Growing Leaders and have found some interesting things that I thought would share.  One is about the important task of defining leadership.  Lawrence identifies five categories of leadership:

1) Leadership is a function – “Leadership is exercised whenever anyone influences another person.”

2) Leadership is a position – “Leadership is a position of resonsibility given to an individual.”

3) Leadership is a talent – “It is in the complex interaction of who we are (given to us through our gene code) and how we develop (given to us through our context and experiences) that leadership talents develop.”

4) God gives a gift of leadership – “Listed among a variety of other gifts, leadership is one of those that Paul identifies as part of God’s gifts to his people.”

5) God calls people to leadership roles – “The disciples were a mixed bunch of ordinary men, many of whom wouldn’t have passed the psychological profiles and assessment inventories of our day.  Yet despite their obvious weaknesses, Jesus called these men to be with him and to lead his church.”

Lawrence concludes by saying: “Leadership is therefore about function, position, talent, gift and call.  When we restrict our understanding of leadership to just one of these areas, we automatically elevate one aspect of leadership above others, and create an unhealthy environment for leadership to grow.”

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