Without apology I will warn you now that I will from time to time, use references to the Bible in this blog. You may be certain I am not a Bible thumper and I am NOT trying to convert the reader to any religion! But I spent a quarter of a century training leaders of non-profits, including a good number of mission organizations and churches. Of one thing I am certain,
The principles of leadership are universal.
They apply in every era, in every culture, and across language barriers. They were true yesterday, true today, and will be true tomorrow. In fact, the test of a valid leadership principle is its universal application. I will go so far as to say that
If a principle does not have universal application it is not a principle at all.
It may be a leadership practice. Leadership practices must change from place to place, time to time, setting to setting. Effective leadership practices evolve from and are rooted in sound leadership principles. For example, every culture has an “on time” meaning. In the United States in the business world, on time means on time. In other cultures within the US and in other parts of the world, on time can mean as much as 2 hours late. Being punctual is a principle, being precisely on the clock is a practice.
So, references to the Bible, or for that matter any body of literature, have their place in this blog and in our lives inasmuch as we can extract from them universal principles by which we can direct our intentions, order our lives, and measure our progress.
The principles of leadership are foundational.
They are the truths upon which effective practices are built. A solid leadership experience must have a solid foundation. Effective leadership must be built on truths proven in real life, refined by challenge, and tempered by experience. They are not theoretical. They do not emerge from academia except that analysts have identified their use in real life. If you build and implement your leadership practices based on techniques without understanding the principles which birthed them, your effectiveness will be limited to a specific setting or culture. Practices that work in the board room do not necessarily translate well to the shop floor, but the principles that spawned them do.
So, beginning with the next blog entry, I want to examine the 4 Key Indicators of Effective Leadership. These 4 reveal foundational principles that not only define leadership as a concept, but diagram leadership as a practice. I can say without apology, the 4 principles upcoming form the framework of ALL LEADERSHIP PRACTICE.
Stay tuned, entry #1 will be up soon