Published: 10 years ago

Leader or Manager?

One of my summer reads was the instant classic Tribes by the always insightful Seth Godin.  I’ve been re-reading it with my team over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been rocking my world.  Here’s one of the quotes we wrestled with this week:

Managers manage a process they’ve seen before, and they react to the outside world, striving to make that process as fast and as cheap as possible.

Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that you believe in.

…Leaders have followers.  Managers have employees.

Managers make widgets.  Leaders make change.

In the church world, we have no shortage of managers.  Protect this ministry.  Build that silo.  Maintain that status quo.  Fence in this sacred cow. I’ve managed quite a few things, myself.

But scripture doesn’t call us to management.  It calls us to lead.  Jesus didn’t manage the disciples, he led them.  He created change, he built followers, and he disturbed those who were quite comfy with the status quo.

If I’m going to lead like Jesus, then management must take a backseat.  If I’m going to love like Jesus, then I’ve got to be more interested in people’s heart than their to-do list.

How about you?  Are you a leader or a manager?


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