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Engaging The Appropriate Leadership Style

One thing I have learned in this process is that leadership requires different approaches, methods, skills and tasks for different situations. We must resist the temptation to view leadership in a narrow and oversimplified way. Certainly various approaches, skills and tasks are contingent upon the present situation the leader experiences. But, understanding this legitimate need for situational leadership should never be used as a motive or excuse to mistreat or casually discard other people. Today church organizations must exist to serve, and that not only includes their members, but also their community and all followers in general. Any organization today that doesn’t get this essential point may ultimately find themselves wondering aimlessly in the forest of extraneous ineffectiveness. The ability to engage multiple theoretical approaches on a situational basis will help us to lead in a way that will enrich all our lives. Gastil addresses this and recommends we pay attention to three things: 1) Ownership: Problems and issues need to become a responsibility of all with proper chances for people to share and participate. 2) Learning: An emphasis on learning and development is necessary so that people can share, understand and contribute to what’s going on. 3) Sharing: Open, respectful and informed interaction is essential. Leaders must insure an atmosphere conducive to genuine growth if the organization is to be healthy and productive. Engaging the appropriate leadership style in each situation will go a long way in accomplishing this.

Gastil, J. (1997). A definition and illustration of democratic leadership in K. Grint (ed.) Leadership, Oxford: Oxford University Press