For more than 50 years the name Peter Drucker has been synonymous with management and leadership issues. Drucker, an author, professor and consultant, has long been recognized as the father of modern management. Forbes has called him “the most perceptive observer of the American scene since Alexis de Tocqueville.”
What Makes A Leader?
Thankfully for most of us, Drucker has observed that there is no such thing as a “leadership personality,” as leaders come in all flavors, styles and temperaments. This is because it’s what a leader knows, does and is that spells effectiveness.
In an interview with Bob Buford of Leadership Network, Drucker made the following observations on leadership:
1. The mission comes first. And the mission of all non-profits, including churches, is changed lives!
2. The function of management (in a church) is to make the church more church-like, not to make the church more business-like.
3. Management is a social function and has mostly to do with people, not things and procedures.
4. An organization begins to die the day it begins to be run for the benefit of the insiders and not for the benefit of the outsiders.
5. Know the value of planned abandonment. Decide what not to do. Drucker says, “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
6. Know the value of foresight. You can’t predict the future but you must assess the future aspect of present events.
7. Focus on opportunities, not problems. Most organizations assign their best resources to problems, not opportunities.
8. People decisions are the ultimate control mechanism of an organization. This is where people look to find out what real values you hold.
9. All work is work for a team. No individual has the skills or ability to do every job. The purpose of a team is to make strengths productive and weaknesses irrelevant.
10. The three most important questions are “What is our business?” “Who is the customer?” and “What does the customer value?”
These are important and valuable lessons for every ministry, congregation, lay leader or pastor. And we should allow these principles to serve as an assessment tool for our own leadership.
Leadership: Not Merely Rank
When Christ saw the crowds “…He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9.36 NIV). God has established and ordained leadership to enable, direct and equip His people. Leadership is a responsibility, not a matter of privilege or rank or status or money.
Leighton Ford has observed that: “True leadership means to receive power from God and to use it under God’s rule to serve people in God’s way.” Now that’s leadership that makes an eternal difference!
Stay the Course,
Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in the October 19, 1998, Leadership Dynamics Newsletter located at www.leadershipdynamics.org