Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character

Title: Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character

Author: Greg Ogden & Daniel Meyer

Copyright: 2009

In a world that too often celebrates a dog-eat-dog, the-end-justifies-the-means leadership style, Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character glistens with a much different message—a message that syncs faithfully with the truth of Scripture. Authors Greg Ogden and Daniel Meyer capture the essence of their understanding of biblical leadership with this simple, yet spot-on statement: …Christian leadership is just as concerned about the means as it is about the ends. In other words, the manner in which one leads is as vital as what is accomplished. From there, they provide an interactive guide that provides the reader with teaching and tools to take his/her leadership to the next level.

Take a look at these Book Notes to get a sense of the practical insights that are offered by two seasoned leaders.

Book Description:

Leadership is essential.

Maybe you’ve shied away from leadership because you don’t know what it will involve, or you feel too unsure of your own abilities. But your leadership is needed! In every sector of society, from families to businesses to churches, leadership roles remain empty, waiting for people willing and able to step up and make wise decisions that bring positive change. And, in a world with priorities vastly different from Christ’s, Christian leaders are especially needed to point people to him.

Preparation is essential.

As essential as the leadership itself is the preparation beforehand, which is why Greg Ogden, a seasoned leader himself, has created this interactive guide that will give you the tools you need to lead well, using your unique gifts and experience.

Divided into four sections, this workbook will help you develop character, postures, vision and skills as you participate in the following elements in each chapter:

  • a memory verse
  • a Bible study
  • a reading
  • a leadership exercise

By working through these multiple channels of learning you’ll be equipped not just with head knowledge about leadership but with true character formation and awareness of your own abilities that will prepare you for the challenges and choices of leadership.

Designed to work well on your own, with a partner or with a group, Leadership Essentials by Greg Ogden and Daniel Meyer is the essential preparation tool for those who would be led and shaped by Christ to lead others with strength and wisdom.

Book Quotes:

Christian discipleship precedes Christian leadership. LOCATION: 45

At its most basic, leadership is influence; Christian leadership is Christlike influence. LOCATION: 57

The Bible is much more concerned about who a leader is than what a leader does. Why? New Testament leadership is about reflecting the character of the Leader and Shepherd of the flock, Jesus Christ. LOCATION: 133

Leadership is the art of multiplying influence, and by this standard Jesus must be considered the master artist. LOCATION: 179

The God we meet in Christ weakens the knees of angels and demons alike, albeit for different reasons. Only by his amazing grace do we remain alive in his presence. Only by grace does he offer himself now to us as Savior before he returns one day as Judge. Only by his grace are we given an opportunity to play a part in the life of his kingdom. LOCATION: 253

Jesus reveals that those who follow in his steps must be willing to be holy, that is, set apart and dedicated to God’s purposes. To make the point forcefully, Jesus says: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NRSV). Christian leadership, then, is a daily and deliberate choice to pursue a path that will be very painful at times, but it also will have enormous influence on others. LOCATION: 271

The Christian life needs to be approached in the same way that an athlete trains to compete. Practice, discipline, repetition, routine. In his prime, Michael Jordan routinely pulled off victories at the end of games. Why? Because he simply tried harder at the end of a game? No. He was able to do in the game what he had practiced ad nauseum in the gym. He spent countless hours out of the public eye grooming his jump shot and free throws until they became automatic. LOCATION: 324

We call this practicing the spiritual disciplines. Spiritual disciplines are the habits or practices that prepare us for the transformative work of the Holy Spirit. LOCATION: 348

To accomplish the objective of making our bodies extensions of the Holy Spirit’s impulses, Willard says that we must break “the power of patterns of wrongdoing and evil that govern our lives because of our long habituation to a world alienated from God.” How do we do this? We must unlearn the bad habits of spiritual muscle memory and teach ourselves God-pleasing habits of spiritual muscle memory through the disciplines of abstinence and engagement. LOCATION: 368

Yet Christian leadership is just as concerned about the means as it is about the ends. In other words, the manner in which one leads is as vital as what is accomplished. LOCATION: 618

Aubrey Malphurs offers this alternative definition of servant leadership: “A Christian leader is a godly person (character) who knows where he is going (vision) and has followers (influence).”‘ In other words, a leader leads. A leader must have (1) a picture of a preferred future, and (2) the ability to influence people to embrace that future. Yet for leadership to be Christian it must follow the example of our Master, who is the essence of a servant leader. Servant qualifies the approach to leadership by addressing the why (motives) and the how (style). LOCATION: 663

We will only be free to be a servant leader when deep in our identity we know that we are a beloved child of the Father. Jesus ministry began and ended with this knowledge. If our leadership is an attempt to make up for missing value or to fill a deficit, then servant leadership will elude us. LOCATION: 766

Sadly, “calling” (or Christian vocation) is often associated with a very narrow class of leaders. Clergy are thought of as “having a call.” The foreign missionary or the parachurch worker is someone who is “called.” Yet when the apostle Peter says, “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), he is addressing all the people of the church—financiers and homemakers, salespeople and professionals, service workers, executives and more. A tradesman himself by training, Peter urges us to remember that each one of us is called by God, and this call imbues our life with a more-than-ditch-deep purpose. LOCATION: 995

Our highest purpose or calling is to live in communion with Christ. But it is impossible to live in the company of Christ and not be moved outward toward the people Christ loves (see chap. 8). In other words, coming to Jesus inevitably moves us to go in his name. Being filled with Christ’s character results in our being moved by Christ’s concern for the world. LOCATION: 1015

Self-awareness is a key to leadership. Strong leaders know where their strengths and limitations lie. In discerning your form, the following resources may help:

  • The StrengthsFinder
  • The DISC Inventory
  • The Myers-Briggs Profile
  • The Enneagram Profile       LOCATION: 1127

A visionary is someone who helps people see what they probably would not be able to see on their own. A great artist paints scenes that the viewer can vicariously enter into. Leaders do the same. Leaders share a journey with people that takes them into a preferred future. Most people must be aroused from their lethargy in order to rise to a previously unattainable or unthinkable level. Therefore a leader’s vision must come with a sense of urgency if people are to be moved from complacency to engage in a mission that requires total commitment. LOCATION: 1132

Jesus’ power was such that he could ask his followers to totally commit their lives to him. Planted in our heart is the desire to find something worthy of devoting our entire life to. Jesus’ immeasurable worth requires the full development of our minds, the complete harnessing of our emotions and the total discipline of our wills. Jesus himself promised that “whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:24). LOCATION: 1244

None other than God in human form was enlisting them in service of the greatest enterprise on earth. In Knowing God, J. I. Packer wonderfully captures the dignifying nature of this call. He tells us to imagine that we are given the opportunity of a lifetime to meet the one person we would consider at the pinnacle—a cut above all others in rank, intellectual power, professional skill or personal sanctity. Pause and think of who that person might be for you. Visualize yourself having a private audience with this person whom you would consider a lifetime honor to meet. The more you are consciously aware of your inferiority, the more you realize it is not your place to initiate or control the conversation but to allow it to be directed by this exalted person. If this figure kept the conversation on the level of courteous pleasantries, you might be disappointed, but you certainly couldn’t complain. You would still have bragging rights. But what if this person began to confide in you his or her deepest thoughts and concerns? In fact, what if he or she went beyond that and invited you to share in some personally planned undertaking, and asked if you might be available whenever the person needed you. All of a sudden you find your head lifting and your chest swelling, and you would feel alive like never before. You are a personal assistant to this great figure. No wonder the disciples were drawn to Jesus. They were called to carry out the work of the King of the universe, who had traveled from eternity to time to establish his kingdom on earth. They were being asked to be part of his plan. His life became theirs. LOCATION: 1249

Christian leadership is founded on a faithful adoption of and a forceful adaptation to the reality and rules of the kingdom of God. This kingdom is God’s presence and power breaking into human personality and culture to bring about the glorious renewal of life. LOCATION: 1298

Contrary to a widely held misconception, vision and mission are not synonymous. Mission is a broad-based description of WHY you exist—your purpose for being. It defines the outer parameters of acceptable activity. Vision is much more specific; it details the WHAT—the particular direction you will pursue within the broad framework of your mission. Vision provides focus. To use a sports analogy, mission is the stadium in which you will play; vision identifies the sport to be played within the stadium. Vision is a specific, detailed, customized, distinctive notion of what you are seeking to do to create a particular outcome. LOCATION: 1534

6 thoughts on “Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character

  • We have implemented all these resources on our team this past year and experienced great results!

    The StrengthsFinder
    The DISC Inventory
    The Myers-Briggs Profile
    The Enneagram Profile

  • The reminder that character is most important is so key in our culture. Often we are focusing on the platform presence but giving little regard for the private life of the leader.

  • CO,
    I have used Greg’s book, DISCIPLESHIP ESSENTIALS, as well as met with him personally—good guy!…I look forward to reading the book notes. Thanks always for your encouragement and help in leading well!

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