While there are literally hundreds of possible texts to base such a course upon, my choice for the study is short book written by Paul Powell titled Getting the Lead Out of Leadership. At approximately 120 pages, the book is not long at all. Nevertheless, it is an excellent resource that is chock full of insightful advice.
In twelve short chapters, Dr. Powell’s book covers all the basics required for effective leadership in the local church: Faith, Thinking, Goal-setting, Planning, Having Courage, Motivating, Decision Making, Having Determination, Relationship Building, Team Building, Willingness to Work Hard, and The Desire to Keep Growing.
Powell’s expertise was gleaned over decades of pastoral leadership. His principles are rock solid. But what makes the book so enjoyable are his illustrations. Many of these are personal ones taken directly from a lifetime of experience. But he also sprinkles in a great many from the lives of other leaders as well.
I want to share one such illustration here today. Powell outlines his chapter on Team Building as follows. A good Executive will do four things effectively: Recognize (all available talent), Organize (all appropriate tasks), Galvanize (all effective team members), and then Mobilize (all the forces).
To illustrate point three on galvanization, Dr. Powell shares a leadership insight offered by legendary University of Alabama head football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. He writes:
If anyone ever knew how to build a team it was the late Paul “Bear” Bryant, head football coach at the University of Alabama. He once said, “I’m just a farm hand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together, how to lift someone up, how to calm down others, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat together, a team. There’re just three things I’d ever say:
• If anything goes bad, I did it.
• If anything goes semi-good, then we did it.
• If anything goes real good, then you did it.
That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.”
At the end of the day, as Dr. Powell observes, leadership is little more than the ability to influence others. And Bear Bryant was right, a good football coach is able to influence every member of a team to be better in order to achieve victory together.
Granted, not everyone is called to be a football coach. Nor is everyone called to be a leader within God’s church. But sooner or later, all of us have some leadership role or roles to fulfill in life, be that in our families, our jobs, our community activities, or any of a dozen other such areas.
For this reason, I highly recommend Dr. Powell’s book. It is a short read; but the principles it contains will no doubt be applicable in a multitude of areas in the life of the reader.
http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php?id=146512, p. 98.