Follow the Leader
Kevin Ciepiel

A Leader is "responsible for having/communicating the vision and making sure it is accomplished."

Leadership is, "how a leader influences others to accomplish the vision (task at hand)"

Lead, Leader, Leadership.  In some capacity we are a leader, as a parent, manager at work, with our peers, small group leaders, and so forth....  For the context of this article, it is primarily addressed to leaders (managers) in the workplace.  To have a better understanding of what a leader is, let us look up its root word "lead".  In the basic sense of the word, it is referring to "our ability to influence others."   The word "lead" in the Websters dictionary has several other definitions (still with influence in their root meaning).  Here are a few:

to command, or direct- "Leadership by Title"

2. to go before and show the way- "Leadership by Example"
3. to guide in direction, course, action, or opinion- "Leadership by Teaching"
4. to serve to bring a person to a place- "Leadership by Serving"

The main difference in the above styles, is the means (motivation) by which we exert our influence on people.  In this article, we will just go into depth on 2 of the Leadership Styles.

1. to command, or direct- "Leadership by Title"
In this type of leadership style, the leader gained his or her authority through their title (position or rank).  They lead by giving commands.  It is the "do so because I said so" attitude.  This leader has the final say. The leader does not give the people under them any say in the matter. At the same time, the people do not question their leaders authority.

Example: Military. The bible tells the story of a Roman military commander who had a sick servant, whom he wanted Jesus to heal.    The Roman told Jesus, "Lord....but say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me.  I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and this one, 'Come,' and he comes.  I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
(Luke 7:6-8)  The Roman recognized that Jesus had absolute authority in His Words, that whatever Jesus commanded had to be obeyed. We should obey Jesus' Word as the final authority in our life just like the Roman Centurion did.  The point I want to stress in this verse is that both Jesus and the Roman had servants who did not question their authority.

Leadership by Style can be affective in certain situations, but not in all.  If you are a manager (outside of military duty) and use this style, you run the danger of coming across as
a cold, harsh, bossy person just barking orders at people.  Outside of the work environment, when you are not wearing your "manager hat", you probably will not have any influence over them to do anything.  Also, they might not respect your opinion either.

2. to go before and show the way- "Leadership by Example"
This is the opposite to the "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.  In Leadership by example you are leading indirectly, when you are directly directing your groupAs a manager, everyone's eyes are on you.  The more your words and your actions line up with each other, the more respect you will have from your employees.  Hebrews 13:7 tells us to submit to our leaders authority, then pay careful attention to their life's example, "Remember your leaders and superiors in authority.... . Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith ( their conviction that God exists)..... and their leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.As a leader, you are looked upto as a person who has gone before the others and has proven yourself, to now show others how to get where you are.  So, do your best to truly do your best at all times.  Though people may be watching you some of the times, God is watching you all of the time.

3. to guide in direction, course, action, or opinion- "Leadership by Teaching"
In this style of leadership, you are "teaching" how to do something.  You know what needs to be done (vision, mission, goal) , how to complete it (direction), and are now teaching others the steps that they need to do to complete the task at hand (implementation).  It is critical as a leader to know the goal to be done (the vision) and communicate it clearly and easily, so that those on your team know exactly what they need to do and do it with excellence and urgency.  That is what Habakkuk 2:2 says, "Write the vision and write it so plainly  that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hurries by."

Example: Children.  There is a verse in the Bible that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart form it" (Proverbs 22:6).  Leadership by Teaching usually shows up in the workplace as "training".  Training definitely serves a purpose and a time, but after your employees are trained and taught on what and how to do their job, you still need to lead (manage) them in other ways.

4. to serve to bring a person to a place- "Leadership by Serving"
(coming soon)