Don’t Chase Leadership Fads
General Colin Powell [Chairman (Ret.), Joint Chiefs of Staff] in his work, “A Leadership Primer” describes the following principle:
“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”
When one begins to focus on the subject of leadership you will notice that many are talking about the latest leadership book that they have read. Through these conversations certain leadership phrases become part of our everyday vocabulary – “get the right people on the bus,” “you have to think systems,” “change management,”EQ,” “be proactive, instead of reactive” – the list is endless.
Now books and their contents are not necessarily bad (I write them myself), but it’s what we do with them that can make them helpful or harmful. We leaders can get very excited about a new idea or concept from a recent book. That quote or concept now becomes part of our everyday conversations and we spread that influence among those we lead or interact with indiscriminately. But often we do so without any sense of context or without thinking carefully about our audience. It has been said, “When all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.”
A good leader stewards their influence wisely. While we may be helped by some thought from a recent read, we should ask ourselves, “Will this truly help this person? Is it appropriate for them or their leadership context?” If not, then keep quiet! Put yourself in their situation and ask yourself what do they need to hear from me that fits them and where they are in their context or stage of development.
Books come and go in their popularity. Few stand the test of time. Be careful not to be always chasing the latest leadership fads or what’s trendy. You will miss the timeless truths and wisdom that comes from the Lord. Yes, read leadership books and think about what you read. Don’t just accept it because it’s in print. Yes, read critically and compare what you read with the Bible. The Bible is a kingdom leader’s primary textbook on leadership.
The Bible contains ageless leadership principles and wisdom. The Bible is cross-cultural and cross-generational. Always share thoughts and insights from God’s Word as the Holy Spirit helps you discern the need of those you are influencing. Listen carefully to Him and He will guide you.
What have you been talking about recently. Is it a recent fad or what’s popular? Or have you been sharing with others God’s truths and His wisdom for leaders?