Thursday, November 17, 2016

leadership through a theological lens

As I was talking with a group of people from the Emerging Leadership Academy at HHSC this past week, the discussion came up of how one's view of God shapes one's leadership.  As I have thought more about that over the week, it has struck me how true this might be.  Here are a few examples of how one's view of God might impact leadership understanding and behavior:

  • there is no god...this view puts humans at the very center of the universe, a place that leaders might find themselves more vulnerable than they should be
  • there might be a god, but it is of no importance to me...similar to above, hubris is the downfall of many who find themselves in a leadership position
  • there is a god, but he/she has very little to do with my life...leaders are in positions of power and authority (often a god-like position); a theological view of a god who is not important could put a leader at a disadvantage if they see their role in that same way
  • god is a judgmental figure who punishes those who are bad and rewards those who are good...leaders can sometimes see their role in this same light and begin to base their actions toward others in a similar way
  • god is a nice person who looks over people and protects them from troubles and hardships...leaders can end up in a similar role, always rescuing others from making mistakes or not holding them accountable
  • god is someone I can call upon when I am in trouble...followers might see leaders like this and, if leaders accept that role, will find themselves fixing problems rather than moving the organization toward the future
  • god is both king and shepherd, one who rules the world with might and cares for people through love and mercy...this paradoxical view of god might provide leaders with a balance in their lives - or could lead toward dualistic behavior and actions
This list is not exhaustive by any means...nor is it meant to pigeonhole one's belief system with their style of leadership.  It is a reminder for all those in leadership roles that the better they understand themselves and their relationship with a greater being or entity, the more conscious they will become of how their style of leadership impacts others. I am a firm believer that everyone has a theological view of the world, and when leaders take the time to think through their view they begin to better understand themselves and be better leaders of others.

1 comment:

gmoore said...

I couldn't agree more that leaders (in fact everyone) can benefit from better knowing themselves. Though I would have to challenge the notion that everyone has a "theological view of the world"......