Leading with Value

In our last blog a case was made that there is a difference between a manager and a leader with an argument that leaders seem to be more successful in the long term. A common thread in true leaders appears to be that they operate from a core set of values. Those values focus as much on people as they do on managing tasks and/or organizational missions. Remember that the first step of  being a good leader is to stop and consciously become aware and acknowledge personal values. We all know that there are a billion profiles to make us aware of leadership traits. I suggest that these traits are derived from our core values and believes about our self and others. Perhaps I should stop here an clarify who a leader is. A leader is anyone who has any influence either directly or indirectly so, I guess that means all of us who interact with people. As a friend of mine use to remind me, “we are constantly managing (and I would say Leading) up, down and side ways”. Meaning we can lead by example for everyone in our organization regardless of what position we hold.  I believe that for Christians our example is Jesus’ relationships with all those he came in contact with. Jesus was an example of  healing, helping the down and out, setting strong limits, setting expectations and enforcing consequences, but I believe that he always truly respected people regardless of their situation or their cultural background. Dan R. Ebener  applies the beatitudes Jesus lists in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:3-11) in his book, “Blessing for Leaders; Leadership Wisdom from the Beatitudes” to describe leadership character. Although Jesus used the the beatitudes to describe the foundation of personal character, they are certainly a great application to leadership. Although “Blessings for Leaders” is not a text book on how to be a leader, DR.Ebener presents the eight beatitudes with examples of how Jesus taught and lived each of the attitudes. DR. Ebener  also challenges his readers with discussion questions that causes one to reflect on one’s personal life and an application to one’s leadership values and character. Value Based Leadership Program utilizes Mr. Ebener’s book as a platform for small group discussion that enhances our awareness, reflection and growth as leaders.