Go Ye Therefore

Leadership Laws: The Law of Respect Part 3

In general, leaders exercise their authority on one of five levels:

  1. Position Titles or job descriptions provide the lowest level of leadership. People follow these leaders only because they have to. That’s where Deborah began—as a prophetess. But leadership that stays on this level becomes weaker, not stronger. Leaders who want others to follow simply because they are “the boss” soon lose respect.
  2. Permission As followers grow to like and trust a leader, they begin to follow because they want to. People came to Deborah seeking out her influence. But not even positive relationships, by themselves, can create lasting leadership.
  3. Production At this level, influence grows and respect increases because of what the leader and the people accomplish together. People begin to follow because of what the leader has done for the team or organization. Deborah’s success as a judge benefited all the people. If you reach this level, you and your team can achieve many of your goals. But to experience life-changing impact and lasting success, you must make the leap to the next level.
  4. People Development The highest calling of any leader is to help other leaders reach their potential. Deborah helped Barak achieve his God-given purpose. Leaders who move to this level change their focus from inspiring and leading followers to developing and leading other leaders.
  5. Personhood Leaders who spend their lives developing individuals and organizations make such an incredible impact for so long that people follow because of who the leader is. Deborah’s description as a “mother of Israel” seems to indicate she achieved the personhood level of leadership. Leaders cannot scheme to reach level 5; they arrive at this plateau only through time and God’s grace.

Join me next time for The Law of Respect Part 4