To say “Leadership is a popular topic” is like saying Starbucks is a popular coffee chain. A quick keyword search of books on Amazon.com returns over 76,000 results. Using that as the measurement, topics such as music, love and cooking have it beat, but that is still a respectable showing. Google returns 219 million results pertaining to the subject.
I could speculate on the reasons for its popularity but I have neither the time nor the inclination to do so. The volume of information at least demonstrates the fact of its popularity, regardless of the reasons. Personally, the subject is one I have avoided in as many ways as possible. I work in a corporate environment and there are leaders everywhere. I report to someone who, along with her peers, reports to someone who, along with her peers reports to someone who, along with her peers – – well, you get the idea.
The few opportunities I have had to be in a formal or short-term leadership roles have shown me how ill-equipped I am for “managing people”. I have taken a sort of pride in the fact that I am happy to follow rather than lead. Development opportunities such as are encouraged with the start of each new calendar year in most corporations typically include an abundance of focus areas related to leadership. I have happily neglected them.
But in recent years the foolishness of my attitude has become increasingly evident. More could be said about how this came about, but that can wait. The upshot is that finally, this year, as part of the aforementioned development goals, I have committed to work on this glaring weakness.
To facilitate this goal, I have selected John MacArthur’s book on the subject, “The Book on Leadership”. I have read other books that touch on the subject, but that is all I really ever did: read the books. I determined this time to take the matter more seriously.
MacArthur’s model for leadership is the apostle Paul, who lived in the first century A.D. MacArthur covers a number of principles of leadership. As I read about the first principle, “A Leader is Trustworthy,” it occurred to me that one tactic to help me assimilate the information would be to study other individuals in the Bible to see how they led. Initially my thinking was to consider how they manifested that first principle.
As I got going though, it became clear that the study should not be so limited. Mainly I realized that taking each principle individually would prolong my study (and my progress through the book) significantly.
So here I am months later and I have yet to move beyond the first principle. But there is so much to learn. Currently, I am looking at each individual who figures prominently and considering their failures. Better to get the hard lessons out of the way first, I thought.
So my plan for the blog is to share what I am learning through this study and through the book. What better curriculum than the word of God?