Sunday, August 7, 2011

Girl Leaders

I figured out that I had a leadership gift long after I had turned 50. Why so late in life? Well, over all my years, no one had ever really told me that I was a "Leader". I think it was mainly because I was a girl born in the 50's and Title 9 was not implemented till the year of my high school graduation. I simply saw opportunities or causes that needed to be completed and figured out a plan to make those things happen. I considered myself an over-achiever and always had a strategic and tenacious approach to challenges. It was not until late in my professional career that I had a boss who actually coached me in how to be a leader with business strategy. He modeled leadership far better than anyone in my life. Most of my direction growing up as a girl in the 60's & 70's with my family, public education or church teaching was top-down. I was instructed to do this or that and I complied out of love, honor or legalistic submission. It never seemed culturally acceptable to take a defined leadership role as a lady. I am so glad that is changing for the future generations of our lovely and empowered Girls!

Women are great leaders and I am glad to live in a world that finally acknowledges that better than it used to. I also like how Helen Lee describes this within Christian circles in her book, "The Missional Mom"... "Women have been the secret weapon in the church since the beginning of its existence, contributing significantly to the progress the church has made in the world. These accomplishments came from ordinary women doing extraordinary things." 1

So, what is your leadership style and what are you doing that is extraordinary to guide others in your home, work world or neighborhood? I have been pondering the Maxwell Leadership Bible commentary on leadership styles. What is your style? Are you leading well? Do you need to change your style?..."Our understanding of leadership has evolved over the last 5 or 6 decades. The way people expect leaders to lead has changed. Many have said our culture has witnessed 4 styles of leadership since 1950:
1. Military Commander: Leaders came out of the army & expected unquestioning obedience from subordinates. Many of our presidents had military backgrounds.
2.Chief Executive Officer: Most leaders migrated to a different style driven by vision & shared by everyone. Yet it was still top down & possibly very narrow in scope.
3. Coach: Leaders moved toward a coach model where they saw employees as players on a team. This produced even better results, but still limited the possibilities to the vision of the coach.
4. Poet & Gardener: Today, leaders see the need to express the heart of the team, as a poet gives words to the heart of readers. They develop players using encouragement and direction. They recognize the power of words & use them wisely." 2

1-" The Missional Mom" by Helen Lee, Moody Publishers, 2011
2- "The Maxwell Leadership Bible" by John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson Bibles, 2002


Danielle said...

Thank you for inspiring the leader in me. Thank you for your prayers and wisdom as well. Keep sharing your hart and whatever the Lord leads you to share.

If I could add one thing to what a leader is it would be that a leader needs to remember what it was like to be led. Both from a poor leader and a good leader.

Love you friend!

Danielle said...

apparently I can't spell heart!