Thursday, April 03, 2014

God Concepts meets Leadership Styles

I remember being wowed in Wayne Goodwin's "Servant as Leader" class at Asbury at a typology of five leadership styles he presented. (When you get excited about Greek, simplistic practical things wow you). I'm trying to remember the five. I think it was something like this:

1. Autocratic leadership style
If I remember correctly, Goodwin called this style, "charismatic" leadership. In Max Weber's version of charismatic leadership, this style connected more to personal charisma. But as I remember Goodwin's treatment, he thought of a pastor whose approach is basically, "my way or the highway" (e.g., Theory X). Think transactional leader. Think slave driver.

2. Collaborative leadership style
I can't remember if he called one of the five "democratic" or "collaborative," but I'm sure he had a category for a leader that tends to work together with the team toward decisions. This is the person who leans toward the team making decisions, someone who regularly consults the team on decisions, looking for consensus or a clear majority direction (like Theory Y).

3. Laissez-faire leadership style
This approach basically is a non-leadership style. People under the leader basically do whatever they want without any direction, positive or negative, from the leader.

4. Sugar-daddy leadership style
I'm missing one of Goodwin's categories, but I'm going to throw in here a "people pleaser" or "country club" style leader, an extreme form of servant leadership that is completely non-directive and basically is a slave to the employees. Whatever the team wants, the team gets.

5. Balanced leader
Goodwin had "systems" leader here but that didn't quite seem to get at it. It seems to me that a good leader is sometimes directive, sometimes collaborative, sometimes hands off, and often a servant. Being a good leader is precisely knowing when to be which (situational).

Now let's see if this correlates to God-concepts. I couldn't find the old "Five God Concepts" video on YouTube. But here's what I remember in my own words:

1. The Cowboy God
"Every move you make, every step you take, I'll be watching you."

2. The Party God
 You want something, you got it.

3. The Busy God
I'm way too busy to get involved with you.

4. The Fix-It God
He's a mechanic who's here to fix your problems.

5. The Prodigal God
The Father in the story of the Prodigal Son

You can see these line up quite a bit. Now, in what way does God serve as a model for pastoral leadership... or does he?

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