Are You Likable?

Are You Likable

I want to be liked. I think that everyone wants to be liked. Do you want to be liked?

The question today is this: Do we need to be liked to be an effective leader?

[shareable cite=”Kevin Bowser” text=”Do we need to be liked to be an effective leader? #lvllc”]Do we need to be liked to be an effective leader?[/shareable]

I am going to speak from a male perspective today. If you are a female, read on. It may be insightful for you to further see how men think and process information. But I am speaking today from a male viewpoint.

What is that point of view?

There is something inside a man that longs for respect. And I think that many, if not most men would choose respect over love if they had to make such a choice. So, what do we do with that reality? Continue reading “Are You Likable?”

Anxieties vs. Aspirations

Anxieties vs. Aspirations

Leaders inspire us as much as they lead us. Really great leaders inspire us by helping us to focus more on our aspirations and less upon our anxieties.

As I look around today and try to make some observations in the midst of an intense political season, one thing is clear. Most candidates (from both parties) are trying to tap into our anxieties much more than they are our trying to tap into our aspirations.

If they are correct, and we are an angry electorate, then we are the root of their methodology and approach. They are simply giving us what we want. We are full of anxiety and that anxiety has lead to frustration, which has led to anger. And they, in turn, are tapping into that deep seeded emotion.

If they are incorrect, and we are an electorate that still aspires to greatness, then they are completely misjudging the tenor and tone of the nation. They are pandering to a minority of voters and they will ultimately be rejected at the ballot box.

What is the leadership lesson in the midst of this political season?

The leadership lesson is this. Continue reading “Anxieties vs. Aspirations”

Are you THAT kind of leader?

Are you THAT kind of leader?

We all know “that” kind of leader. And we have all experienced the pain of trying work follow and work with one like “that.” But, what is “that?”

Today I am talking about leaders who give leadership a bad name. Well, what do you mean by that? Isn’t leadership a noble thing? Absolutely it is a noble and worthy endeavor. And there are many examples of fine leaders and fine leadership. But knowing is not the same as doing or being.

Many years ago I was presented with a paradigm of leadership that resonated 35 years ago when I was a young man. And that paradigm still resonates today. It is the paradigm that suggests that the higher up in leadership you ascend, the less personal freedoms you have. The corporate world teaches us the opposite. And the culture of celebrity is even more brazen in the teaching and modeling of a paradigm where the richer or more powerful and famous I become, the more freedom I have to act like an absolute idiot at times and experience no repercussions.

Thankfully, leadership is not the same as celebrity! Thankfully, there are leaders out there who shun the mantle of the obnoxious and instead wear the cloak of a servant leader.

[shareable cite=”Kevin Bowser” text=”Thankfully, leadership is not the same as celebrity! #lvllc”]Thankfully, leadership is not the same as celebrity![/shareable]

So, what kind of leader are you?

Continue reading “Are you THAT kind of leader?”

Is Bigger Always Better?

Is Bigger Always Better?

I don’t have all of my thoughts completely together on this issue. But I am questioning in my own mind the drive of many organizations toward growth at all costs.

As I stated right off the bat, I don’t have all of my thoughts fully baked. Instead, I may have more questions than I have answers at this point. And I’ll get to those in a moment. But first, I have a few observations. Perhaps the best way for me to illustrate my thoughts is through a personal story.

I have attended church my whole life. I was practically raised in the church and attended every time the door was open. (I am thankful for that, by the way.) I grew up in a series of churches that rarely exceeded 200 in attendance on any given Sunday morning. Most of the churches that I have been fortunate enough to worship in have been under 100 in regular attendance. In fact, my ”favorite” church up to this point was right at 200 in regular attendance. It was my favorite for many reasons. I served on my first church board at that church. We went through a building program, a pastoral search and had many other real and exciting experiences in that church. We were part of a great group of young couples and we were heavily integrated into the life of the church through various avenues of involvement. We knew everybody. Everybody knew us.

By contrast, we had the opportunity to worship in one of the largest churches in the metropolitan Houston area. A church with the stated goal of getting larger through acquisition (my word, not theirs) of smaller churches, through satellite churches operating in theaters, and also through traditional growth and influx. I knew the pastor by name only. I think I knew his wife’s name. I didn’t know his children’s names. He didn’t know me. He didn’t know my children. He wouldn’t even have known I was a member if we ran into each other in the grocery store. If I was to have gotten sick, or been in the hospital, or had a family crisis I wouldn’t have had a clue who to call. The Bible study class that we attended right before we left had about 110 people who attended regularly.

This all sounds like I am complaining or whining and that is not my intent. I am just trying to illustrate a reality in the modern church. I then want to draw some leadership applications from those observations and experiences.

What is the leadership application in this story?

The leadership application is that leaders are not absolved of their basic duties as leaders after an organization reaches a certain size. And if they feel that they cannot be effective after reaching a certain size, decisions must be made that will determine if growth will remain healthy, or become too much weight for a leader to bear?

So, here are some questions that are in my head that will be challenging to leaders in small, medium, and large organizations alike:

Is bigger necessarily better? — It is hard not to hearken to the Siren’s call to get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Continue reading “Is Bigger Always Better?”

How Important Are YOUR Results?

How Important are YOUR Results?

It is easy to follow a “winner.” And it is easy to follow when everything is chugging along nicely and the organization is experiencing success, growth, profitability, everyone feels valued and appreciated by their leader.

So, what do we do when our leader isn’t leading us in a positive direction of if there are not positive and measurable results? That is a very different situation, isn’t it?

Who is at fault?

That is probably the first thing that jumps to most of our minds. (OK, maybe that is only in my mind.) And I suppose there is a time and there is a place for that kind of an assessment. But, what if we are in a crisis mode? Then that is not the time to be assigning blame. That is the time to rally around the leader, get things fixed, and get the ship turned around.

What is MY responsibility at this point?

Continue reading “How Important Are YOUR Results?”