Your Next Triumph: A Look at Leadership

Business TalksManagement is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”

Peter Drucker


As I pondered what to post today, the manner in which Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, has performed recently moved me to focus on Leadership.   As I read the piece written by Dr. Bill Lawrence, the way the sports commissioner (who earns $44 million a year by the way) has responded to the domestic violence of several players kept popping up in my mind.

  • Under normal conditions, being a leader can be very challenging for some.   However, some are natural leaders.   Even if not at their jobs, these people are called to lead in the community.
  • An otherwise effective Leader can, in a crisis situation, be made to stumble and fall.
  • In this Your Next Triumph Series post, I will address:
    1. Leader spotting
    2. Being a leader who avoids success-crippling ‘temptations’.

Leadership 101: Are you a Leader? (Goleman)

Are you a mid-level employee in a company or organization?   What are the qualities that those who rise to be Managers and Leaders possess?    Daniel Goleman, in a recent post (Leader Spotting: The Four Essential Talents), states what talents such men and woman share. He states:

What makes leaders successful today may not work so well in the future. So it’s not just the right skills, but the ability to master new ones that will count.

These ‘high potentials’ need, Goleman states:

  • Motivation
  • Curiosity
  • Engagement
  • Determination

He defines what each of these 4 talents of high-potential leaders are in the post.


Leadership 102: The ‘Ten Temptations of a Leader’ (Lawrence)

Dr. Bill Lawrence‘s piece (Ten Temptations of a Leader) is a excellent way for those who are already Managers/Leaders to know whether they’re resisting the ‘temptations’ that abiding Christians in such positions often yield to.    Moreover, as the Peter Drucker quote that led this post touches on, there is a difference between being a Manager and being a Leader.    Many can manage; few can Lead others and lead them well.

  • Dr. Lawrence is the President of Leader Formation International. He also serves as Senior Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministries and Adjunct Professor of DMin Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.

He states:

“We think of temptation as a solicitation to a specific act of disobedience, but temptation is actually a solicitation to trust something other than God to meet my deepest needs.   Temptation is the call to replace God with self in some way in order to meet some deep need apart from God .  .  .   Every time we fall into one of [these leadership] temptations, we end up short-circuiting our purpose, sinning against God, harming others, and deceiving ourselves into thinking we are doing well.    We are not doing well; we are doing damage.”

What are the Ten Temptations of a Leader?

1. Position over purpose (Significance)

2. People over purpose (Approval)

3. Peace over purpose (Harmony)

4. Perfection over purpose (To be right)

5. Protection over purpose (Safety)

6. Expectations over purpose (Image)

7. Plans over purpose (Succeed)

8. Capacity over purpose (Self-confidence)

9. Prosperity over purpose (Physical security)

10. Power over purpose (Identity)

In describing the position over purpose (Significance), Lawrence states that “the drive has been to get ahead, to succeed, so, now that I’m here, I’ve succeeded and I need to do everything I can to stay here.”    The People over Purpose Temptation (Approval) is simply “the temptation to be popular rather than to lead.” For Leaders who seek Safety, that is Protection over purpose, Lawrence states:

“We don’t follow the Jesus model of leadership when He took Peter, James, and John and asked them to pray with Him.   We don’t follow the Paul model of leadership when he spoke of fear and trembling or his weakness or His insufficiency or his loneliness.   This temptation appeals to a character flaw: the need to be safe.”

The 2011 piece describes in detail the first six temptations.

  • In Part 2 of this look at leadership (September 25), I’ll focus specifically on Church Leadership.    If you are a church leader, Pastor, or Minister, the second part of this post will give you some sense of what separates Effectual Church Leaders from Ineffectual Church Leaders.

(to be continued)

Greg Silverthorne


There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.” ~ Peter Drucker

Photo Credit: istock

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