Leadership in Faith Formation
Explore the theory and practice of contemporary leadership approaches through
articles, books, audio and video podcasts, and online resources
To access an article or website just click on the title or link.
Leading at a Higher Level
Spirituality & Leadership
1. Adaptive Leadership - Ronald Heifetz & Martin Linsky
The Adaptive Leader - Risky Business? - Susan DeGenring
This paper helps leaders understand several leadership paradoxes, and by applying the principles of Adaptive Leadership, leaders can minimize risk and heighten results in achieving positive, sustainable change.
(The Adaptive Leader, June 2005, www.interactionassociates.com)
Becoming an Adaptive Leader - Ronald Heifetz and Martin Linsky
This article from the Lifelong Faith Journal summarizes the key concepts and processes of adaptive leadership as developed by Heifetz and Linsky.
Video: Leadership on the Line - Marty Linsky
Leadership is dangerous because people resist change, says the co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates. But leaders who care about their purpose should face that resistance.
Video: Leadership, Adaptability, Thriving - Ronald Heifetz
Ronald A. Heifetz, co-founder of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is known worldwide for his seminal work on the practice and teaching of leadership. He delivered this address Oct. 14, 2008, at the Convocation & Pastors School at Duke Divinity School.
Video: The Nature of Adaptive Leadership- Ronald Heifetz
Knowing the difference between adaptive and technical challenges is one of the key tasks of leadership, says Ronald A. Heifetz in an interview with Faith & Leadership.
A Survival Guide for Leaders - Ronald Heifetz and Martin Linsky
It’s exciting—even glamorous—to lead others through good times and bad. But leadership also has its dark side: the inevitable attempts to take you out of the game when you’re steering your organization through difficult change. Leading change requires asking people to confront painful issues and give up habits and beliefs they hold dear. Result? Some people try to eliminate change’s visible agent - you. Whether they attack you personally, undermine your authority, or seduce you into seeing things their way, their goal is the same: to derail you, easing their pain and restoring familiar order. How to resist attempts to remove you-and continue to propel change forward? Manage your hostile environment - your organization and its people - and your own vulnerabilities.
(Harvard Business Review, June 2002)
When Leadership Spells Danger - Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky
Focusing on education, the authors describe how leading meaningful change in education takes courage, commitment, and political savvy; and how to apply adaptive leadership to educational settings.
(Educational Leadership, April 2004, Volume 61, Number 7)
2. Change Leadership
Becoming a Change Leader - Dan and Chip Heath
This article from the Lifelong Faith Journal summarizes the key concepts and processes of the 3-part change framework developed by Dan Heath and Chip Heath in Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Broadway Books, 2010).
Making Change Happen and Making It Stick - Ashley Harshak, DeAnne Aguirre, and Anna Brow
Five factors make the greatest difference in fostering the new behaviors needed for a transformation. All of them reflect the basic importance of people in implementing and embedding change. (Strategy and Business, December 2010)
3. The Leadership Challenge - James Kouzes & Barry Posner
Leadership Challenge Overview - from The Leadership Challenge Book by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
In this excerpt from The Leadership Challenge Kouzes and Posner describe the five practices of exemplary leadership: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.
The Leadership Challenge Approach - Summary
The Leadership Challenge - FAQs
Video: The Leadership Challenge: Overview - James Kouzes and Barry Posner
An introduction to the five leadership practices and ten leadership commitments developed through the research of James Kouzes and Barry Posner.
The Ten Truths of Leadership - James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
In The Truth about Leadership James Kouzes and Barry Posner share what they’ve learned from over 30 years of leadership research (over 1 million responses to their Leadership Practices Inventory), teaching, and writing. This article summarizes the 10 truths - the fundamental principles that inform and support the practices of leadership. “The truths we’ve written about are things you can count on. They are realities of leadership that will help you to think, decide, and act more effectively. They provide lessons that will sustain you in your personal and professional development. They are truths that address what is real about leadership.”
(From The Truth about Leadership: The No-Fads, Heart of the Matter Facts You Need to Know. Jossey-Bass, 2010)
4. Leading at a Higher Level - Ken Blanchard & Associates
The following three resources present the key leadership concepts develop over 30 years of research and practice by Ken Blanchard and his associates and presented in the book, Leading at a High Level.
Leading at a Higher Level - Article
(Success from Home, Volume 3, Issue 7)
Leading at a Higher Level - Book Summary
(Soundview Executive Book Summaries)
Leading at a Higher Level - Introduction & Chapter 1
Video: Leading at a Higher Level - Ken Blanchard
Ken Blanchard presents the major themes of leadership from his book, Leading at Higher Level. (The Drucker Institute)
Lead Like Jesus - Ken Blanchard
This article explores what it means to lead like Jesus through two internal and two external domains. When the heart, head, hands, and habits are aligned, extraordinary levels of loyalty, trust and productivity will result. When they’re not, frustration, mistrust, and diminished long-term productivity are the result.
(Source: Church Management Report, April 2005)
5. Servant Leadership
The Key Practices of Servant-Leaders - Kent M. Keith
(Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, www.www.greenleaf.org)
Practicing Servant Leadership - Larry Spears
(Leader to Leader, Fall 2004)
Strategic Servant Leadership: 5 Critical Elements in Effectively Modeling a Serving Attitude - Ronald F. Smedley
(Christian Management Report, April 2005)
The Understanding and Practice of Servant Leadership - Larry Spears
6. Spirituality & Leadership - Ruth Haley Barton
A Leader's Lifeline in Ministry - Ruth Haley Barton
Raising Up Leaders and Managers to Lead Like Jesus - Edward A. Smith
This short article presents three biblical principles that are essential to leadership development.
(Church Management Report, April 2005)
Spiritual Rhythms in the Life of the Leader - Ruth Haley Barton
Strengthening the Soul of Leadership - Ruth Haley Barton
The Transforming Leader - Ruth Haley Barton
7. Strengths-Based Leadership - Tom Rath and Barry Conchie (Gallup)
Strengths-Based Leadership Website
Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup's StrengthsFinder Assessment. In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists examined decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than one million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 folloers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life. The results were reported in the book, Strengths-Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others' strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.
Strengths-Based Leadership Synopsis
Articles, Podcasts, & Websites
Developing Leaders in a Postmodern World - Pat Springle
The postmodern culture certainly shapes the lives of young people, but it also has a profound impact on every person of every age in every church. To develop leaders in this culture, many next generation pastors have concluded that they have to lower the bar of entry into the process, select more carefully than ever, and connect deeply by mentoring to impart truth, skills, and character.
Leading from Within - Parker Palmer
This article is Chapter 5 in Parker Palmer's book, Let Your Life Speak, and describes the inner work of leadership.
(Center for Courage and Renewal)
Local Forces for Good - Leslie R. Crutchfield & Heather McLeod-Grant
The authors of the influential book Forces for Good examine how their framework of six practices for creating high-impact nonprofits applies to local and smaller organizations: 1) share leadership, 2) inspire evangelists, 3) nurture nonprofit networks, 4) advocate and serve, 5) make markets work, and 6) master the art of adaptation.
(Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2012)
What Makes a Leader Great - Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman introduces the concept of emotional intelligence as the sine qua non of leadership. Without it a person can have the best raining in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won't make a great leader. This article presents the components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.
(Harvard Business Review, November-December 1998)
Working Wikily - Diana Scearce, Gabriel Kasper, & Heather McLeod Grant
Most nonprofits use social media like Facebook and Twitter as an ancillary part of what they do. A few organizations, however, are using these tools to fundamentally change the way they work and increase their social impact. Working wikily is characterized by greater openness, transparency, decentralized decision making, and collective action.(Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2010)
Working Wikily 2.0 - Diana Scearce, Gabriel Kasper, & Heather McLeod Grant
The new social networking tools are only the beginning. The deeper news is actually about the networks behind the tools, and how these networks are fundamentally changing the way we live and work. In other words, it’s not the wiki; it’s how wikis and other social media tools are engendering a new, networked mindset—a way of working wikily—that is characterized by principles of openness, transparency, decentralized decision-making, and distributed action.
Leadership and Change - Parker Palmer
The work we help people do inwardly has consequences in the larger world. It's true for the teachers, physicians, and clergy who go back to their institutions not only with personally renewed hearts, but with new ways of being in the world which spread renewal to others. It's also true for leaders, the best of whom are able to bring their own identity and integrity into their public work, those whose inner transformation flows out into a needy world. In this podcast, Parker Palmer speaks of the link between inner work and institutional and social transformation. (Center for Courage & Renewal)
Leadership from the Inside Out - Kevin Harney
The author of Leadership from the Inside Out offers reflections on why so many gifted and passionate leaders end up on the sidelines of ministry rather than finishing well, how to avoid the pitfalls that face those who serve Christ and his church, and what steps leaders can take that will propel them forward into a more faithful and fruitful ministry.
Leadership the World Hungers For - L. Gregory Jones
You're invited to the most exciting adventure in the world, says Duke Divinity School Dean L. Gregory Jones in this 2008 lecture: Bearing transformative witness through effective and faithful Christian leadership.
Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership - Ruth Haley Barton
Ruth Haley Barton discusses her book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. Born out of her own experience with burn out and feeling far away from God even in the midst of a thriving leadership role, Barton looks at the life of Moses for wisdom in how to handle the pressures of leadership while weaving in spiritual practices to strengthen your own soul.
What's Christian about Christian Leadership Interviews
Leadership Theory & Practice Books
RENEW 52: 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50
The Spirit-Led Leader: Nine Leadership Practices and Soul Principles