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Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders

Compiled by Chuck Olson

Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders

Title:  Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders: How Emotional Intelligence Can Transform Your Ministry

Author: Aubrey Malphurs

Copyright Date: 2018

In four decades of local church ministry, I have seen too many people who desperately wanted to lead others, but had no clue how to lead themselves. At the end of the day, they were in short supply of emotional intelligence. In his book Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders: How Emotional Intelligence Can Help Transform Your Ministry, church leadership consultant Aubrey Malphurs lays out a compelling and needful argument that emotional maturity and spiritual maturity are inseparable, stating “They go together and one doesn’t exist without the other.” True. Very true.

Take a look at these Book Notes to see why this book may need to find its way to your next-book-to-read list.

Signature Chuck

Book Description:

There are many things that make up a great leader. The ability to motivate, to see the big picture, to delegate. But perhaps just as important, if not more so, is the leader’s emotional intelligence (EQ). How we feel impacts how we lead, and how those we lead feel about themselves when they’re around us affects how well they follow our leadership. It follows then that if we want to be the most effective leaders, we must be emotionally mature.

In this practical book, church leadership expert Aubrey Malphurs shows church and ministry leaders how to assess, understand, and improve both their own EQ and that of their followers, so that they can inspire the very best in their churches and organizations.

Book Quotes:

What we haven’t realized for many years, and far too many don’t get it today, is how critically important our emotions are to effective ministry in general and leadership in particular. What I know now is that how you feel impacts how you lead and how followers feel about themselves when around and led by you affects how well they follow your leadership. It takes emotionally intelligent leadership to inspire the best in us, to arouse passion, and to keep us motivated to serve our Savior as leaders in Christ’s church and beyond. Yes, effective leaders cast vision and design powerful strategies to help the church advance. And they do this at least on a regular basis. However, highly effective leaders move us. They are in touch with and lead through the emotions, and this takes place much of the day every day. LOCATION: 142

Simply stated, the purpose of this book is to come up with a process or pathway that challenges Christian leaders to become more aware of, understand, and manage their emotions and those of others so that they can be emotionally mature leaders who relate well with and truly inspire their followers. LOCATION: 160

I bring six basic assumptions to this material on emotional intelligence. They will serve as emotional foundation stones on which the book rests.

  1. Emotionally mature Christians are spiritually mature believers.

To be spiritually mature is to be emotionally mature. And to be emotionally mature is to be spiritually mature. While not the same, like twins they are inseparable. You don’t have one without the other.

  1. The Godhead is characterized by emotions.
  2. The hope of the world is an emotionally mature church.
  3. Emotional intelligence is critically important to God-honoring leadership.
  4. Scripture undergirds the importance of emotional maturity.
  5. Emotions are central to what it means to be human and live life. LOCATION: 183-209

In 1990 Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer came up with the term emotional intelligence. They believed that emotional intelligence involved one’s ability to recognize emotions—both theirs and others—monitor them, and use them to effectively guide one’s thinking and actions in their own social context…In the 1990s Daniel Goleman, a Harvard-trained psychologist and science writer with the New York Times, discovered Salovey and Mayer’s work along with others that led to his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence…He concluded that emotionally intelligent people have four characteristics: They are good at recognizing and understanding their own emotions, both good and bad (self-awareness). They are good at managing those emotions (self-management). They are empathetic and able to recognize and understand others’ emotions (social awareness). They are good at helping others handle their emotions (social/relational skills). LOCATION: 234-244

Emotional intelligence is the glue that holds people together on a team. It’s the difference between good and poor team performance. LOCATION: 323

Emotionally intelligent leaders are emotionally self-aware and able to recognize emotions—theirs and others—as they happen. LOCATION: 335

What is it about a leader that makes for excellence in performance? Most believe it is knowledge of one’s area of expertise. Thus we spend years in school, attend conferences and lectures, and read lots of books to increase our knowledge. Others salute technical skills or competence in one’s field of endeavor whether ministry or business. Indeed, these are all important. However, Goleman writes, “But when I calculated the ratio of technical skills [competence], IQ [knowledge] and EQ [emotional intelligence] as ingredients of excellent performance, EQ proved to be twice as important as the others for jobs at all levels.” LOCATION: 359

Having said this, I define emotional intelligence as an awareness of our emotions and the emotions of others around us so that we can handle well our emotions and theirs (especially the harmful ones), with the result that we relate in a Christlike manner with those within or outside the body of faith. LOCATION: 389

As you become more emotionally self-aware, you should become more emotionally other-aware. This growing awareness of others happens primarily as we listen to and observe people. LOCATION: 397

I define an emotion as a unique, unplanned urge to love, hate, or express some other feeling that happens subjectively, subconsciously, and physiologically and is directed externally toward a person or thing. LOCATION: 460

We must connect our faith with our emotions. Our emotions tell us where we are spiritually. Most important, our feelings affirm our faith or the lack thereof. LOCATION: 961

We must develop our emotional capacity and awareness so that we can respond naturally and properly with emotions that are appropriate to the various contexts and situations we find ourselves in as Christians. This is emotional maturity—an aspect of our spiritual maturity—and is the goal for all of us. Our emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. They go together and one doesn’t exist without the other. How could a believer be emotionally mature and not be spiritually mature? In the same way, how could a believer be spiritually mature without being emotionally mature? The two walk hand in hand in our lives. For example, if we catch ourselves worrying about something (a harmful emotion), Paul says that we are to respond with prayer (a characteristic of maturity) and experience God’s peace (a spiritually healthy emotion) about the matter (Phil. 4:6–7). LOCATION: 1015

Emotions are the drivers of behavior. They trigger behavior whether good or bad. In Genesis 4:6–7 Cain became angry (an emotion) against his brother Abel and murdered him (behavior). LOCATION: 1112

Just as emotions trigger behavior, so behavior triggers emotions. A behavior or action may bring about or cause a particular emotion. Doing the right thing (behavior) often results in feeling the right thing (emotion). If I’m not in the mood (emotion) to go to church but go anyway (behavior), after having been there for a few minutes (behavior), I may begin to enjoy the service (emotion). I may not love my neighbor (emotion), but when I do something loving toward him (behavior), I may begin to feel love for him (emotion). I may not feel like putting money in the offering plate, but when I do it anyway (behavior), I may feel good (emotion) now or later about what I’ve done. LOCATION: 1117

Emotional self-awareness is the ability to accurately spot or recognize your emotions as they happen. LOCATION: 1456

Emotional self-awareness is an accurate awareness of where you are emotionally. What are the helpful and harmful emotions that you experience consistently that may impact your walk with Christ? LOCATION: 1460

The problem is the inability on the part of many pastors and church leaders to recognize and become aware of their emotions when they occur—especially the bad or potentially destructive emotions. LOCATION: 1463

Self-management involves developing and supervising our healthy emotional capacities so that we can respond in a Christlike manner with emotions that are appropriate to the various ministry situations we find ourselves in and with the people we lead. LOCATION: 1569

Unhealthy fear is the opposite of hope. Hope is the expectation of a positive event, whereas fear is the expectation that a future event will be negative. LOCATION: 1701

My experience is that no ministry that calls itself Christian is exempt from the malaise of poor interpersonal relationships. A study conducted by Stanford Research Institute, Harvard University, and the Carnegie Foundation concluded that 15 percent of the reason why a person gets a job and keeps a job, no matter what the field, is their technical skills and knowledge. However, 85 percent is based on their people skills and people knowledge. In their book The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner write, “While scholars may disagree on the origins of leadership, there is a strong consensus that leaders must be interpersonally competent. You must be able to listen, take advice, lose arguments, and follow. Unless you can develop the trust and respect of others, you cannot lead.” LOCATION: 1914

The amount of trust you lose depends on the magnitude of the failure. However, in most cases, you can regain some credibility and trust. How? The answer is the five As. They are five steps for recovering lost trust. Admit that you messed up. If someone asks or when the situation warrants it, come clean. Never attempt to cover it up. This is a matter of integrity. Acknowledge responsibility for your actions. Take responsibility for your wrong deeds and let people know that you are doing so. Apologize for what you’ve done. Be genuinely sorry for what happened. Tell people whom you’ve hurt that you’re sorry and mean it. Accept the consequences. After your disclosure of a mistake, people may say or do some harsh things. What can you do about that? You’ll have to learn to live with people’s responses—to “roll with the punches.” Act to correct the situation. Ask, What can I do to correct the situation? What can I do to make it right? If it’s ethical and within reason, then do it. LOCATION: 2793

Note: should you wish to find any quote in its original context, the Kindle “location” is provided after each entry.

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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