I remember the first time I ever heard about emotional intelligence. It was almost 20 years ago at a Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. Bill Hybels was talking about self-leadership and mentioned an article he read by Dee Hock on the subject of emotional self-control. This talk was so popular, it eventually found its way into Bill’s foundational book on leadership, Courageous Leadership.
According to Dee Hock, “The first and paramount responsibility of anyone who purports to manage is to manage self: one’s own integrity, character, ethics, knowledge, wisdom, temperament, words, and acts…without management of self no one is fit for authority no matter how much they acquire, for the more authority they acquire the more dangerous they become. Management of self should occupy 50% of our time and the best of our ability. And when we do that the ethical, moral, and spiritual elements of management are inescapable.”
People with high levels of emotional intelligence know their strengths, their limits, and their weaknesses. Not only do they know these things about themselves, but they are not hampered by such knowledge and they can effectively manage each one. This affects not only how they understand and manage themselves; it also affects how they communicate, engage in relationships, make decisions, and handle stress. The higher a person’s position, the more emotional intelligence matters — it is crucial for successful leadership. According to Daniel Goleman, it’s the essential ingredient for reaching and staying at the top in any field.
Most of us that grew up in church recognize the following verses:
To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:19–23 (ESV))
But do we really understand them? More importantly, do we practice them? As our world continues to change and more of us are involved in some form of cross-cultural communication (you know, like a conversation with your spouse), the following points may help us as we attempt to master effective communication in a shrinking world.
What does a decentralized organization and chaos have in common?
They can make your ministry unstoppable. In my newest blog post on Church Central, I discuss the importance of a decentralized organization and harnessing the power of chaos. By learning to accept chaos, you may just open the doors to creativity. Who doesn’t love creative employees, right?
In this article, I emphasize the importance of decentralizing decision making within the church. Rather than one person (the overworked senior pastor) managing everyone, the responsibility and authority is pushed out to each department or team.
If we are going to see the church rise up and do its part in fulfilling the great commission, then we must learn to harness the chaos that comes from a decentralized organization. Adjust your expectations and allow others to be creative and take ownership of the ministry of your church (and yes, they might make mistakes along the way). Work on instilling your values and vision into others. Through this process, you will begin to see leaders rise to the top and they will prove that they can do their job without being managed.
Want to read more?
Check out the entire post on Church Central and learn more about the importance of a decentralized organization and the value chaos can bring to your ministry. How would you define your organization: structured and orderly or chaotic and messy? Leave me a comment here and let me know what you think about the power of chaos.
In the past two or three decades, there has seen an increasing number of books, conferences, and consulting firms capitalizing on the idea of the almighty vision statement. If we can just get the vision statement clear, memorable and repeatable then all of our problems will be solved. Our employees will work harder, our church members will give more, people will pay a premium for our products, and volunteers will beg to be involved. But what happens when our vision and mission statements are rock solid and crystal clear and still nothing has changed? It’s quite possible that our organizational design needs to be just as clear as the vision. Clear structure will help organizations attract and keep employees that fit as well as reduce confusion and complaint. While not as exciting and grandiose as “vision,” organizational design is no less necessary.
I have a new post on Church Central (The Incarnational Leader) and it’s being featured on their Facebook page this week! Check it out here.
In this post, I discuss the topic of servant leadership and the importance of immersing yourself into the culture you are leading. Check it out and leave a comment and let me know what you think.
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I recently spent some time at one of the premier universities in Texas, Texas A&M. What took me there was a project on strategic leadership and how it relates to organizational culture. In my opinion, there is no stronger institution in the area of organizational culture than Texas A&M University. I have watched firsthand how quickly and thoroughly Texas A&M has turned, two of my daughters into die-hard Aggies. Aggies are known for their fanatical pride in their identity as Aggies, the corps of cadets, their unwavering commitment to each other that lasts a lifetime, male yell leaders, their strong work ethic, 12th man, honesty, integrity, “the bonfire,” and service oriented attitudes. If I am going to get any answers on strategies used to create culture it will be from the Fighting Farmers. What I didn’t expect was that in addition to an organizational culture project, I would come away with profound insights into organizational change, community influence and personal integrity.
We’ve all faced them…from parents to presidents, managers to ministers; all of us have dealt with them. Each of us has made decisions that have profoundly affected others – those decisions that save the day for some and ruin it for others; whether it’s a teenager’s curfew, the sale of a multi-billion dollar company or who makes the final cut on a middle school football team. The stakes and possibly the responses are surprisingly similar. The leader has the individual’s or group’s best interest at heart and has the potential to end in a temper tantrum. The question is; how can we face those decisions with conviction, courage and confidence? One possible answer can be found in Numbers 25, in the story of an obscure man named Phinehas who found himself rushing out of church with a spear in his hand.
Giant Killers didn’t start off as a book centered on King David. It began as a study on Emotional Intelligence, the power of God’s grace and what it takes to succeed in life. Using David as my example emerged in a moment of inspiration while I was working in the yard one day.
Even Chuck Norris would be afraid of him