Leveraging Your Leadership Style

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Many current writers on leadership suggest that because leaders are born, that position and power are the key factors. Leveraging Your Leadership Style challenges EVERY person to recognize that since leadership is influence, EVERYONE is a leader. Each person who has influence in the lives of others has a leadership opportunity. Self-leadership, family leadership, work-team leadership, and community leadership are all about people learning to tap into and trust their leadership potential and their leadership ...

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Overview

Many current writers on leadership suggest that because leaders are born, that position and power are the key factors. Leveraging Your Leadership Style challenges EVERY person to recognize that since leadership is influence, EVERYONE is a leader. Each person who has influence in the lives of others has a leadership opportunity. Self-leadership, family leadership, work-team leadership, and community leadership are all about people learning to tap into and trust their leadership potential and their leadership style! Seizing the leadership opportunities in your life by understanding your own style and the style of others, coupled with commitment to integrity and a clear vision of a preferable future, will facilitate maximum impact in your leadership life. Leadership is a matter of motivating, encouraging and guiding people to a destination together. Leaders take people where they might not dare to go if left to their own devices. In order to accomplish this, leaders utilize a leadership style. Many styles of leadership exist, but what Leveraging Your Leadership Style will do is go a step further into understanding how each person leads based upon their unique, God-given personality or specific temperament. Each person has a leader within, but they must tap into their unique strengths and improve on their weaknesses in order to be the leader God intended them to be.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687653973
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 121
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. John Jackson is the Senior Pastor of Carson Valley Christian Center, which he planted in 1998. In one exciting decade, CVC has grown from its core of eight adults to have a God-sized impact on the suburban and rural areas surrounding Minden, Nevada. John has more than twenty-five years of leadership experience in both the non-profit and profit sectors, and serves as the Executive Director of Thriving Church Ministries (www.thrivingchurches.com). His books include Leveraging Your Leadership Style, Leveraging Your Communication Style, God-Size Your Church, and Pastorpreneur.

Lorraine Bossé-Smith has more than twenty years’ experience in Corporate America. She is President of Concept One, Inc., a corporate training and consulting firm, as well as The Total You, a wellness and fitness center. She is a dynamic speaker, inspiring and engaging audiences nationwide. She is the author of Finally FIT, Fit Over 50, Leveraging Your Leadership Style, A Healthier, Happier You, and I Want my Life Back!She lives in Loveland, Colorado.

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Read an Excerpt

Leveraging Your Leadership Style


By John Jackson

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2008 The United Methodist Publishing House
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-687-65397-3


Chapter One

The Lost Art of Leadership

Leadership is an art, not a science. Over one hundred years of leadership writing has brought American society to a fundamental truth: Leadership is about people ... and people are messy! Today, in the early stages of the twenty-first century, we are learning that leadership is a human endeavor that demands skill and grace not easily learned in educational, corporate, or seminar settings. Good leadership skills are good relationship skills. Leaders who lead well are self-aware and capable of influencing others by the strength of their character and the boldness of their vision. Effective leaders attract followers who are willing to trust them with their vocations and their futures.

In my (John) own leadership setting, I have a rare privilege. Our organization is young (less than ten years old), and staffing would typically be a major concern. Of the eight major staff people I work with on a regular basis (four of whom report directly to me), I have known three of them for more than twenty years, two of them for more than fifteen years, and one of them for more than ten years. The privilege of relationships built over time has allowed me and staff members to develop trust and confidence tested over time and through the journey of life together. The leadership culture that we have created today, and the decisions we make together, are based on years of trusting and tested relationship investments.

It's About Character

Because leadership is ultimately about character and influence, we believe that every person can exercise some measure of leadership. Leadership may initially be "self" leadership, but it can ultimately expand to influencing others in light of the organic nature of character to "breed" itself in others. Character doesn't stand still ... it moves to influence others. Because character influences others, we offer this resource to equip leaders to leverage their leadership style by connecting leadership and personality style in a positive and winsome combination.

Leaders who can adopt this vision of leadership (relational influence and compelling vision) will find themselves consistently building trust and developing relationships that last. My personal tendency is to be very task oriented. But I realized long ago that no tasks of lasting value are ever accomplished in organizational settings without buy-in of a large number of people in an environment of sustained healthy relationships. In order to leverage their leadership style, readers will need to learn their own leadership style (you'll discover that in chapter 2 and following) and the styles of others. But learning your personal style and those of others will not be helpful unless you commit to building an environment where relationships are valued and relational health is encouraged.

In addition to a commitment to relational health, leaders must also embrace a compelling vision of the future. In the Bible, Isaiah 26:3 says that God "will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in [God]." Leveraging Your Leadership Style will help you measure your success as a leader in light of a firm purpose and a clear vision of your leadership role. We think that success in life comes from mastering specific disciplines and putting those disciplines into play on the field of life.

Have a Clear Purpose

One of the most successful books in recent history is The Purpose Driven Life by Dr. Rick Warren. In his book, he includes a number of key concepts worth our attention: "The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind or even your happiness." "It's far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions."

Our understanding of life is that our purpose is found in right relationship to God through Jesus Christ. We believe that when you discover that purpose, it focuses your life and gives meaning and value to your life. When you have clarity of focus, then you can maximize the energy you apply to specific circumstances. Once your vision, focus, and energy are all aligned, we think that life becomes a glorious and grand adventure!

Leaders Are Growing People

Leaders are growing people. They begin by growing themselves, and then they grow those around them. Leaders create a growing environment because they have a vision for themselves, their people, and their organizations. The leaders we have been most impressed with over time are those who are growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I (John) have been impressed with many leaders who have continued the discipline of personal growth through the course of their lives. Watching people who grow people has personally motivated me to be a leader who invests in the lives of others. In our own organization, we regularly invest in training, development, and personal growth for each of our team members. Further, we regularly "benchmark" our organization with other excellent organizations so that we can learn from people and places where growth is taking place.

Investing in Others for Maximum Impact

Leaders invest their lives into the lives of others for maximum impact. One of the paradoxes of leadership is the need to be growing so that you can give yourself away. The more that you give yourself away, the more you need to keep growing so that you can keep giving. The more you grow and give, the more fruitful your leadership harvest will be! Even the Bible says, "You reap whatever you sow"! (Galatians 6:7). It is particularly true in human relationships that people who invest themselves in others will never lack for an opportunity to make a positive difference. Robert Schuller, founding pastor and visionary leader of the Crystal Cathedral church in Southern California, has long told pastors of local churches that "the secret of a growing church is so simple ... find the hurt and heal it!" The same is true for leaders: invest your life in others, and you will always have a leadership harvest in the relationships of your life. Those who learn what Leveraging Your Leadership Style is all about will have taken the strategic and relational steps to become a peak performer in each of the dimensions that John Maxwell and others have identified for success.

Leadership Practices

Frances Hesselbein, head of the Drucker Foundation (founded by management guru Peter Drucker) and former head of Girl Scouts of America, is one of the keenest observers of the state of leadership research and practice today. In a summary statement about leadership practices, she observed:

All the effective leaders I have encountered—both those I worked with and those I merely watched—know four simple things:

1. The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers. Some people are thinkers. Some are prophets. Both roles are important and badly needed. But without followers, there can be no leaders. 2. An effective leader is not someone who is loved or admired. He or she is someone whose followers do the right things. Popularity is not leadership. Results are. 3. Leaders are highly visible. They, therefore, set examples. 4. Leadership is not rank, privileges, titles, or money. It is responsibility.

Hesselbein raises several key issues of "leadership practices" that will be important for readers to lift up in their own leadership experience:

1. Leaders have followers. We do not believe this relates to position but rather to influence. John Maxwell regularly says that, "Leadership is influence." At the most basic level, we agree. We suggest that good leaders are those who exhibit positive and proactive influence in the context of relationships.

2. Leaders have a vision of what the "right things" are personally and organizationally. Leaders we respect and admire are able to capture a clear view of the future and align their actions and the organization's resources in the pursuit of the future vision they see.

3. Leaders model character and integrity. More on this later, but we believe that other studies (e.g. Kouzes and Posner, The Leadership Challenge) have identified credibility/integrity as the single most important leadership trait.

4. Leaders accept responsibility for results and consequences. Leaders don't blame others; instead, they personally shoulder responsibilities and create an environment where others want to be part of the team and to go where the leader takes them.

Leadership Opportunity

Leveraging Your Leadership Style takes the position that the fundamental issue for leadership is not personality style or innate gifts and talents. Each person who has influence in the lives of others has a leadership opportunity. Seizing the leadership opportunities in your life by understanding your own style and the style of others, coupled with a commitment to integrity and a clear vision of a preferable future, will facilitate maximum impact in your leadership life.

In our reading of leadership literature and in our personal experiences, we believe the issue of character is nonnegotiable for effective long-term leaders. We know of no single greater leadership quality than this simple issue of leadership character. All the skills and training in the world will not, over the long haul, overcome a deficiency in character. Further, we believe character is lived out in the context of relationships. Because relationships are where leadership character is tested and demonstrated, we have chosen to focus Leveraging Your Leadership Style on the interaction between leaders and other people. We do not believe that leadership operates in a vacuum. Leadership is nothing, if not people driven.

It has been my (John) privilege to work in a variety of nonprofit organizations and in the for-profit private enterprise sector for the past twenty-five years. During those years, I've witnessed some amazingly talented people, and many of them have had strength of character and healthy relationship skills to match it. That is an awesome combination! But, tragically, I've also witnessed many wonderfully gifted men and women who had serious character and relational deficiencies. Over the long haul, substantial talent is always ultimately sabotaged by character and relational deficiencies. To that end, we urge readers to understand the interplay between talent, character, and relationships.

Your Leadership Model

This book will help you form a simple and coherent model of leadership that is relationship driven. We hope to spark internal and "water-cooler" conversations about leadership that will free you to discover your leadership style and learn to cherish the personality styles of others. At the end of the day, we hope that Leveraging Your Leadership Style will be an organic expression of your own self-understanding and your commitment to personal and organizational growth. The time is ripe for a whole new generation of leaders who lead with their heart, their heads, and their hands as servant leaders in positive relationship with those they influence. You were made to be that kind of leader, and we call you to that future.

You were "hard-wired" with a personality that, when properly lived out, enables you to be most effective in your leadership. Your ability to use that personality in conjunction with the personality of others will set your team up for success. Leveraging Your Leadership Style is really quite "natural." Our hope is that this short book will equip you to develop a synergistic personality and leadership style that flows from who you are. Learning to operate within the context of your divine design will lead to maximum impact for you, the people on your team, and the organization you serve.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Leveraging Your Leadership Style by John Jackson Copyright © 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Cal Turner, Jr. Turner, Cal, Jr.

Introduction Discovering the Hidden Leader Within

1 The Lost Art of Leadership 1

2 Identifying Your Leadership Style 11

3 Understanding Your Leadership Style 27

4 The Commander 37

5 The Coach 47

6 The Counselor 59

7 The Conductor 69

8 Model Team Leadership with Style 83

9 Mentoring with Style 93

Conclusion: Leveraging Your Leadership Style! 103

Notes 113

Bibliography 117

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