The Square Root of the Population is Needed
The Square Root of the Population is Needed

Confidence for Leadership

What is leadership? Inspiring the right action, at the right moment, in the right manner, for the right reason. Two things are for certain in leadership – a leader needs followers and there will be change.

In David Church’s book, “Confidence for Leadership - Influencing with Skill & Integrity,” he lists 8 principles for leadership.

“Transformational Leadership” is the type of leadership we do at Nazarene Bible College – raising up people to build the kingdom and helping people to flourish.

From James MacGregor Burns’ Leadership, 1978, we learn that transformational leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality (p. 20).

Robert Greenleaf defined the “servant-leader” as “The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.  Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. He is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people's highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer is: Do those served, grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?”

Here are the 8 strategies of leadership listed in Church’s book:

The POWER of Leadership: Overlooked, underutilized, and misused strategies that will improve your leadership capacity. I am not talking about where your leadership ability comes from. But rather, strategies to improve your leadership.

1. Power of the Word - It is yours to fan the God given gifts and graces to the “noble” cause.

This underutilized strategy is NOT about communicating theology, getting people to do what you want them to do, or even self-improvement. Rather, it IS about using the Word communicated through words to ensure that individuals know: 1. They are created in God’s image, 2. Have a holy calling, 3. Are uniquely created to accomplish His purpose, and 4. Have the gifts and graces to “Change the World."

2. Power of Assembly – The capacity to bring the "right "people to the virtual table is rare.

“This oft overlooked strategy is extremely useful in transforming the organizational culture into a learning mindset. The cost associated with this leadership principle is measured in terms of ego. Engaging the best people in a facilitated dialogue for a transformative purpose, at the correct moment in the life of an organization requires the leader to intentionally be the “dumbest person in the virtual room.”

3. Power of the Root - To truly transform a group, organization, or culture it takes a square root (square root of the population). 

This misused strategy is intended to transform the life and culture of the organization through champions.  Champions are individuals who commit to the mission and the agreed upon journey in order to attain the envisioned benefits. The number of champions required is determined by the size of the organization to be transformed. Anecdotal data sets the number of champions as the Square Root of the group to be transformed.

How can one person change the culture of a place, church, work, or ministry? To truly transform a group, it takes a square root of the population to agree with the change the leader is suggesting. So, if there are 100 people, at least 10 people have to be committed to the change. This core group is necessary, or change will not happen.

4. Power of Reputation - You can observe strengths and elevate that insight to an intentional aspirational, developmental, burgeoning reputation for anyone!

This underutilized practice builds the confidence and ensures tenacity as ordinary individuals obtain extraordinary results. The leader’s role is to see potential, observe improvement, and authentically introduce individuals to colleagues, customers, and peers in a manner that creates a desire to exceed the leader’s expectations.

“Power of Reputation” is unleashed when a leader elevates someone. By their seeing the person’s potential, it creates in the person a desire to exceed the leader’s expectations.

5. Power of Assignment: “Joy in work” is possible by subdividing work in ways that allow individuals to take “pride in work.”

This strategy is misused as leaders subdivide work to levels where individuals have trouble taking pride or having joy in their work. This addresses the Genesis 3 concept of “toil” vs. “work.” It is exacerbated by assignments above and below the individual’s skill level.

6. Power of Authority: Organizational train wrecks are caused by improper use of authority.

There are two types of authority. Informal authority is properly used for growing people and organizations. Formal authority is granted for the purpose of efficiency and risk management. (A leader’s job is to set the environment – this includes being the chief communicator and manager of “white space” (white space refers to the area around the boxes of the organizational chart that provides a pictorial of the formal authority distribution/flow)). 

7. Power of Environment: You change every environment by being uniquely present.

Leaders operate in an environment with glass walls. Not only are their actions on display, but their authority, formal and informal, creates boundaries. The PRIMARY responsibility of a leader is to intentionally create the environment and discover the organizational glass walls.

8. Power of Example: Your example embedded in environment and illuminated by appropriate questions, determines organizational outcomes.

Leaders are most effective when they say “follow me as I follow Christ.” Example is the element, in the growth equation, that allows an organization to obtain its purpose, mission, and vision. Organizational “trust” is built as leadership lives out its values through example.

Dr. David M. Church

Confidence for Leadership

Recorded: Wednesday, October 18th, 2023 (Morning Service)

Dr. David M. Church, NBC Institutional Research and Strategy, and Partnerships; and Public Commissioner and Member of the board of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Published: 10/27/2023

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