Someone once said that leadership is influence – no more, no less. However, leadership and management are not one in the same. A managers role is to manage, but leaders influence toward change. Are you doing more management today or more changing of those you influence? John Maxwell calls it “The law of influence.” That said, a major issue for nonprofit leaders is that we typically work with volunteers and not paid employees. Paid employees are leveraged by their income to do what their leader says to do or their job is at stake. Most local church leaders do not have that ingredient of leverage, only their influence via their relationships. Volunteers are not forced to follow the vision, they choose to and so much of that choice is connected to their belief in their leaders. Leadership in a not-for-profit can become more challenging than leadership within the marketplace for these very reasons.
The other day I was asking myself (thinking about), How much leadership (influence) do I have with those whom I serve through leading? It’s a good question because I do not desire to simply manage, I desire to also coach toward change. Author and pastor Andy Stanley says most parents do their parenting by reward and reprimand, but should actually be coaching their children. I appreciate this thought in reference to leadership and spiritual parenting. If spiritual parenting were simply reward when you do well and chastisement when you do poorly, how are you training or leading toward change? But, if through the process we sit down with those we lead, connecting through our relationship, we can begin to speak into their lives with the appropriate questions, observations, wisdom and prayerful insights. Again, relationship is the key because there is not an exchange of goods or finances for services. Maybe you know the old leadership proverb: “He who thinks he leads, but has not followers, is only taking a walk.” So, “Work hard and become a leader…” Proverbs 12:24