Welcome to part 2 of 8 in “Confessions of An Anxious Leader or Chasing the Leadership Dragon.” In each of these posts I’m listing how systems thinking affects how I think about leadership. I now think about leadership as a matter of maturity.
What systems theory has taught me is that we grow and mature as we shift focus or emphasis in several categories of life. Some of these categories apply to individuals, some apply to congregations, some apply to both. I list these shifts or directions in no particular order. Today we look at item number one.
1) Maturity focuses on self-definition. Bowen theory is based on the fact that we do not live in a vacuum, and that human beings are endlessly connected to community whether we want to be or not. We are indeed part of the body of Christ. The theory, nonetheless, stresses that an individual’s task is to be clear about one’s own values, goals, and intentions. Any part of the body functions best when it knows where it stops and the next cell or organ begins.
A direction towards maturity seeks to take a well-defined stand without manipulating others or allowing oneself to be manipulated. No seminar can define one’s core beliefs or purposes for them, not for a person, not for a congregation. Defined processes and workshops can facilitate self-definition, but they can’t do it for you, or your congregation. Without making decisions about who one is and what one is about, a leader or a congregation simply cannot navigate all the distractions of life. Ed Friedman is fond of quoting Cicero who said, “Without a destination a sailor cannot tell a good wind from an ill wind.”
See Related Earlier Posts