Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The "Work-Around" Leader

The "Work-Around Leader" is a person in a leadership position in a given organization around whom the organization's members must "work" in order to accomplish the organization's goals. In the Bible, King Saul comes to mind. In politics, I regret to say, the current President comes to mind or the Republican leadership of the last decade. In my law firm, in my family, I worry that I am that person, maybe not always, but sometimes - too many times.

The anti-thesis of that sort of leader is Jesus, the quintessential servant-leader. His working approach to leadership was that the mission was not all about him, the mission was redemption. He allowed himself to be crucified in order for us to be reborn. He ascended into heaven so that the Holy Spirit could pour out on us, replacing him, in a sense, as far as the earthly, imminently personal manifestation of God is concerned. When we look at Jesus' organization, among other things we members realize who the problem is, and it's not the leader.

But what are those of us to do who populate organizations with earthly work-around leaders? What opportunities, for example, do work-around leaders present to us? (It's easy to identify the problems they appear to cause.) I have a notion that leaving the subject organization is not the only opportunity available and that, sometimes, leaving is not even on the table. So, then, what does God call one to do in such a case? And not to do?

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