Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. -Matthew 10:39
Take the case of courage. No quality has ever so much addled the brains and tangled the definitions of merely rational sages. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. ‘He that will lose his life, the same shall save it,’ is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. This paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if we will risk it on the precipice.
He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”Proverbs 21:5 ESV
“Arrogance hides your weakness only from yourself.”- John Estorge
Make decisions today to find your individuality, not your independence, your individuality!
Independence is not the goal! In fact, it’s the destination that will insure you won’t reach your goal
The Apostle Paul wrote his first epistle to the younger Timothy, his coworker in the evangelistic enterprise, to give counsel regarding the issues, which had surfaced in the church at Ephesus. Paul’s charge to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:3) was to deal with the false teachings in Ephesus. Paul tells Timothy to command certain people not to continue to teach false doctrines. “The whole of 1 Timothy in fact is dominated by this singular concern, and it is clear from the letter that their teaching involves both doctrinal and behavioral aberrations (Fee, 1985, p. 142). Throughout the letter, Paul grounds right living and practice as an overflow of believing the gospel. Paul’s concern is to communicate that a life shaped by the gospel is an ethical, noble life, therefore if one’s life is not ethical, then one has fallen away from the true faith (1 Tim. 1:6, 19-20; 4:1; 5:6, 8, 11-12, 15; 6:9-10). “The image of the overseer as steward proved to be a valuable metaphor on several counts, reinforcing the domestic theme strategically employed throughout the epistles, as well as affording the author a familiar and instructive analogy with which to illustrate the requirements and responsibilities of an office in need of further definition” (Goodrich, 2013, p. 97). This paper seeks to apply the following four leadership values from 1 Timothy 3 to Organizational Leadership today: Aspiration or ambition for leadership (aspires a noble task), Agreeableness (not quarrelsome), Communication Skills (able to teach), Honesty (not double-tongued).
Spiritual leadership taps into the “intrinsic motivation of followers by creating conditions that increase their sense of spiritual meaning in the work (Yukl, 2013, p. 350). Yukl defines Servant development, empowerment, and collective work that is consistent with the health and long-term leadership as “helping others to accomplish shared objectives by facilitating individual welfare of followers” (Yukl, 2013, p. 348-349).
Greenleaf describes the servant leader as one who guides, is goal-oriented and qualified, listens and reflects, is fair and flexible, is intuitive and aware, uses persuasion, and takes one-step at a time (Flaniken, 2006, p. 34). These characteristics are among the best human qualities and therefore the scholar does not lack evidence in the biblical text to support servant leadership. To evidence the qualities of the servant leader, practitioners should understand the time and effort involved. “The servant leadership approach, like many other leadership styles, requires not only technical competence and a variety of interpersonal skills but also a great deal of patience, perseverance, and dedication” (Boone, 2012, p. 95)
Corporate leadership theorists borrow the concepts of both Spiritual leadership and Servant leadership from the Christian worldview and apply them to the corporate leadership environment. One could argue that all virtue-based leadership theories are derived from God’s general revelation to humanity made in His image and discovered through natural means in anthropological, psychological, and sociological studies (Gen. 1:27). God has made his invisible attributes, eternal power and divine nature plainly known to humanity through his creation (Rom. 1:19-20). Because God has set eternity in the hearts of each human (Eccl. 3:11), people naturally long for immortality and are able to envision the best character and virtue that a human can exemplify. These characteristics form the basis of virtue-based leadership theories.
Nevertheless, biblical theology must inform and illuminate current leadership theories. Moreover, a practical application of theology to the organizational context of leadership may provide better ways to lead and influence people (Ayers, 2006, p. 127). This paper draws from the general revelation of the Holy Scriptures in Paul’s First Epistle to Timothy to apply the following four leadership values from 1 Timothy 3 to Organizational Leadership today: Aspiration or ambition for leadership (aspires a noble task), Agreeableness (not quarrelsome), Communication Skills (able to teach), Honesty (not double-tongued).
The Apostle Paul wrote his first epistle to the younger Timothy, his coworker in the evangelistic enterprise, to give counsel regarding the issues, which had surfaced in the church at Ephesus. Paul’s charge to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:3) was to deal with the false teachings in Ephesus. Paul tells Timothy to command certain people not to continue to teach false doctrines. “The whole of 1 Timothy in fact is dominated by this singular concern, and it is clear from the letter that their teaching involves both doctrinal and behavioral aberrations (Fee, 1985, p. 142). Throughout the letter, Paul grounds right living and practice as an overflow of believing the gospel. Paul’s concern is to communicate that a life shaped by the gospel is an ethical, noble life, therefore if one’s life is not ethical, then one has fallen away from the true faith (1 Tim. 1:6, 19-20; 4:1; 5:6, 8, 11-12, 15; 6:9-10).
1 Timothy’s Ideological Themes:
|Orthodoxy Leads to Orthopraxy: Right Belief leads to Right Behavior||1:5; 2:8-15; 3:1-16; 4:6-16; 5:4-6,8; 6:3-5, 11-14, 18-19|
|God’s desire is the essential proclamation of the gospel||1:15; 2:1-7; 3:16; 4:10|
|Faith in Christ leads to right behavior in corporate worship||2:1-15|
|The lives of church leaders must be shaped by the gospel||3:1-13; 4:6-16|
|Honoring one another is an interpersonal extension of the gospel||5:1-6:2|
|All kinds of people (incl. the rich) should labor for the promotion of the gospel||1:3-7, 18-20; 4:6-16; 6:2-3, 12, 20-21|
INTERTEXTURE ANALYSIS OF 1 Timothy 3:1-13
The hermeneutical process in socio-rhetorical criticism involves four textures: inner texture, inter-texture, social and cultural texture, and ideological texture (Robbins, 1996). Inner texture describes the subtext of the pericope by analyzing the repetitions, patterns, structures and devices used by the author. Intertexture describes the interaction of the pericope with other texts by analyzing the interplay of the tapestry with the outside world. Social and cultural texture defines the contemporary context of the pericope by examining its implications to support social change. Finally, the ideological texture unearths the deep lessons of the pericope by examining the thrust of the author’s philosophy and beliefs (Robbins, 1996).
Robbins uses a socio-rhetorical model of exegesis to extract data from a biblical text, which includes five elements of analysis: inner textual, intertextual, argumentative, social-cultural, ideological, and sacred text (Robbins, 1996). The inner textual analysis aspect of Robbins’ socio-rhetorical model emphasizes the placement of words to understand the communication intent of the author analyzing the patterns of the relationships of recurring words and phrases in a particular text (McCabe, 2008). Robbins uses several tools to explore the inner texture of the text to discover emotion, logic, and sensory aesthetic elements. The areas are: repetitive-progressive texture and pattern, opening-middle-closing texture, narrational texture, argumentative texture, and sensory aesthetic texture (McCabe, 2008).
Of the four textures of the hermeneutical process in socio-rhetorical criticism proposed by Robbins’ (1996), the ideological texture analysis greatly aids the reader’s examination of the text to discover the author’s philosophy and beliefs. Using the ideological texture analysis, the reader can discover the underlying concerns, emphasis, rationale, and thrust of the author in such contentious passages
By utilizing the ideological texture analysis, the reader can discover the underlying concerns, emphasis, rationale, and thrust of the author even when examining texts riddled with contemporary controversy. 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is a such a text, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (ESV). The debate over the leadership of women in the church has been longstanding and this text is “one of the hardest exegetical nuts to crack.” (Perriman, 1993, p. 129). Huizing (2011) expertly evaluates the ideological concerns of Paul’s exhortations to Timothy who was dealing with the Gnostic heresies of his day
Intertexture analysis of Scripture involves looking beyond the chosen pericope to analyze additional literature woven throughout the text. I am attempting to pay attention to historical, social and cultural meanings and identify the additional meaning rather than just looking at the current text. I am also analyzing additional literature woven throughout the text. Looking at historical, social, and cultural meanings intertextually. (Robbins, 1994).
Identify key aspects between the author’s written words and other texts, historical events, social structure and cultural nuances woven into the pericope (Robbins, 1994). The textures analyzed are: oral-scribal, historical intertexture, social intertexture, and culture intertexture.
According to Robbins (1996) ideological texture takes place in four distinct locations: (1) in texts; (2) traditions of interpretation; (3) in intellectual discourse; and (4) in individuals and groups. Robbins welcomes multiple types of analysis into already established historical, literary, and social science criticisms dominant in biblical interpretations. The intent is to explore new interpretation approaches outside of traditional commentary limitations. As suggested by Lowe (2012), Robbins’ approach examines “concentric embedding of worlds-within-worlds” (p.133). Also, Newby (1998) identified Robbins’ ideological texture analysis as strategies and procedures in both composing and reading texts.
Ideologically, Paul writes 1 Timothy to show Timothy and the church that the result of believing the gospel of Christ is to create practical and visible transformation. Believe in the True gospel will always lead to godliness.Leaders need to learn how to behave themselves for the sake of their organizations and for the sake of their jobs (Doriani, 1993). Ethical behavior, kindness, and sincerity are occupational requirements (Doriani, 1993). Paul outlines the profile of the character traits or personal qualifications of a leader in the church, which has direct application to the leadership of all organizations. He is much more concerned with the character of the leader than the skills of the leader. Though the aptitude to teach and communicate well is a skill, that Paul insists upon.
Paul’s list of qualifications surprisingly has “more in common with some pagan virtue lists than with the virtue lists of the New Testament (Doriani, 1993, p. 70). Present are virtues like peace and patience (cf. Gal. 5:22-23), but missing are love, faith, righteousness or endurance (Doriani, 1993). Doriani (1993, p. 90) compares the virtues expounded by Paul in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 to the valued pagan virtues of the day,
We look in vain for classic Christian virtues such as love, faith, righteousness or endurance. On the other hand, 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 approve the valid pagan virtues described in their moral philosophy. The pagans admired temperance and self-control, two qualities Paul says elders need (1 Timothy 3:2). When Paul requires hospitality and forbids elders to love money (3:2-3), he comes close to approving the popular Hellenistic view that wealth is to be shared and enjoyed, not hoarded. Pagan social mores required the prosperous to be generous and hospitable, not lovers of their money. The rich were supposed to be benefactors; when a mob confronted a rich ruler of one city, he threatened that if they did not desist, he would move out of their city — and take his gifts with him! The point, which Paul will repeat in a moment, is that elders must at least meet the valid pagan standards of the day. The concern for mission drives this. The public conduct of Christian leaders must be acceptable to sound pagan judgment.
The content of Paul’s lists of qualifications conform to the secular Hellenistic culture of Paul’s day and therefore ought to provide supreme examples and practicality for professional leadership in today’s organzations (Goodrich, 2013).
The primary scholarly view on the origin of the overseer lists, since at least the 18th century, has maintained that they resemble and were perhaps influenced by the Hellenistic convention of the duty code (Berufspflichtenlehre), a list of pre- scribed ethical attributes assembled for a particular occupation. As I. Howard Marshall explains regarding Tit 1,6-9, “The main part of the section has the form of a Pflichtenlehre (duty code), more specifically a Berufspflichtenlehre (duty code for a specific occupation) (Goodrich, 2013, p. 77)
The title οικονόμος originally applied to the heads of households who personally managed their own properties (Xenophon, Oec., 1,1-4; Aristotle, Pol. 1252a). But as estates grew larger, military and political obligations weightier, and the migration of rural settlers to urban centers more popular, the burden of managing country estates and directing farm laborers became heavier as well.37 Landowners who desired to cultivate their estates while participating in non- agrarian interests therefore developed systems of absentee landownership in- volving the appointment of various estate administrators (οικονόμοι, εττίτρο- ποι, πραγμάτευται, vilici, actores, dispensatores, institores)?* Not every estate owner could afford to entrust their livelihood to another, but this was often the solution for the elite. As Aristotle explains, “[A]ll people rich enough to be able to avoid personal trouble have a steward [επίτροπος] who takes this office, while they themselves engage in politics and philosophy” (Pol. 1255b35-37)(Goodrich, 2013, p. 85-86).
Paul introduces his readers to a grand metaphor of the church as “the household of God” (1 Tim. 3,15), using a familiar concept for which they are to understand the Christian Church (Goodrich, 2013). Paul intends for the church and its leaders are to embrace and the οικονομία θεού (1 Tim 1,4) as the Divine Order or God’s arrangement of the roles and responsibilities in the church (Goodrich, 2013). ‘The household of God’ is mentioned throughout the Pastoral Epistles and represents Paul’s attempt to reorganize the church with the orthodox and heterodox leaders who can protect the flock against the Gnostic teachers (Goodrich, 2013). Titus 1:10-11 exemplifies how false teachers can “upset entire households” by the promotion of false teachings creating instability (Goodrich, 2013).
Goodrich (2013, p. 97) explains the intertexture idea behind Paul’s reordering as Paul “seeking to bring stability to these disrupted communities, the author re-casts the church as a household in which God/Christ is the absentee landlord (KÚpxosIdominus), who entrusts management of the household and its members to stewards (οικονόμοι = επίσκοποι), who in turn lead and direct trusted delegates (διάκονοι, ITim 3,8-13) and the rest of the familia by promoting genuine faith and sound doctrine.”
The churches needed qualified leaders to take care of the household of God. Timothy, a qualified leader in the region, was to help identify people in the church community who had the character attributes and proven management abilities in their own household. Paul lists the virtues to seek in a leader and the vices to avoid in order to identify the ethical makeup of the stewards of God’s household (Goodrich, 2013). The vices and negative qualities were surely those possessed by the false teachers in the area (Goodrich, 2013). “In any case, the image of the overseer as steward proved to be a valuable metaphor on several counts, reinforcing the domestic theme strategically employed throughout the epistles, as well as affording the author a familiar and instructive analogy with which to illustrate the requirements and responsibilities of an office in need of further definition” (Goodrich, 2013, p. 97).
LEADERSHIP VALUE: ASPIRATION (aspires to office)
1 Timothy 3:1- “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task, a beautiful work” (ESV).
Proverb: Let the one who aspires to the office in order to serve the organization and followers, be the one who settles into the seat of leadership.
Hendrickson (2002, p. 76) comments that a trustworthy or reliable statement, as Paul declares at the head of the sentence, means that the statement is “simple and great, like a granite rock.” Paul uses trustworthy sayings throughout the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:8, 9; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; Titus 3:4-8). Paul declares the office of overseer to be an excellent or noble work but implies also “praise for the aspirant” (Hendrickson, 2002, p. 118). The reader must realize that church leadership in the first century was fraught with risk and sacrifice (Hendrickson, 2002). Persecution from Gentiles, Jews and False Teachers was common. “In such a time and amid such circumstances an incentive to overseeship (sic) and a word of implied praise for the man who indicated willingness to serve in this high office were not at all out of place (Hendrickson, 2002, p. 118). Paul’s praise for those who would aspire to lead the church was intended to remind the people that the person who seeks the office was willing to suffer innumerable hardships for the cause and thus the aspirant should be praised because of his willingness to give of his time and energies (Hendrickson, 2002).
In the corporate world, aspiration is the heart and soul of a company, which energizes a leader’s commitment not only to the mission of the organization, but also to the leader’s own path of success (Jagersma, 2007). The aspiration of leadership or ambition is not accepted by everyone as a leadership value because there is an ambition which is perilous and self-serving (Sanders, 1989). However, there are ambitions and aspirations that are noble and worthy for those who desire to be effective in the service of God and others (Sanders, 1989). Ambition for leadership is at the very core of the person who wants to realize the highest potential of life (Sanders, 1989). Leadership positions, while usually higher paying and more prestigious, are often filled with difficulty and heavy responsibilities. Often there is great hardship on the leader because of the position along with contempt and rejection (Sanders, 1989). When aspiration to ascend to the place of leadership is considered within such a framework, the viability of the concept as praiseworthy is more understandable (Sanders, 1989). For every leader there are personal risks, therefore to aspire to leadership is not the ambition of the simpleton.
Servant leadership is the most common biblically themed leadership style invading corporate culture today. Citing a statement from the CLC, Hanna argues for a Christian leadership model which is “a dynamic relational process in which people, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, partner to achieve a common goal . . . [which is] . . . serving others by leading and leading others by serving” (Hanna, 2006, p. 21). In the 1970s, Robert Greenleaf, influenced by the New Testament studies of Jesus, suggested the idea of servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1977). Greenleaf derived his principles of Servant Leadership from the model of Jesus Christ and his teachings as portrayed in the Scriptures. Several scriptural references relate to the principle that the servant leader is a servant first and a leader second including the popularly cited Mark 9:35 and Philippians 2:3-7 (cf. Matt. 18:2-13, 19:16-22; 2Cor. 8:9; Gal. 5:3, 6:2, 6:10) (Flaniken, 2006, p. 32-34). Moreover, “Greenleaf proposed that service to followers is the primary responsibility of leaders and the essence of ethical leadership. Servant leadership is about helping others to accomplish shared objectives by facilitating individual development, empowerment, and collective work that is consistent with the health and long-term welfare of followers” (Yukl, 2013, p. 348-349). Therefore, leadership is about service to others and those who aspire to it, desire a worthy task.
Certainly, there is a concern for those who merely seek great things for themselves (Jer. 35:5). This is considered self-centered ambition but a desire to be great is not necessarily wrong depending on the motivation (Sanders, 1989). Sanders (1989, p. 19) states, “All Christians are under obligation to make the most of their lives, to develop to the utmost their God-given powers and capacities.. an ambition that has as its center the glory of God and the welfare of His church is not only legitimate, but is also positively praise-worthy.” There are carnal ambitions, which are not honorable: “to be seen and approved by men, to be popular, to stand well among one’s contemporaries, to exercise control over others… (or) enjoy(ing) the power that money or authority brings” (Sanders, 1989, p. 19). Sanders (1989, p. 20) quotes S.D. Gordon regarding ambition, “Let it once be fixed that a man’s ambition is to fit into God’s plan for him, and he has a North Star ever in sight to guide him steadily over any sea, however shoreless it seems. He has a compass that point true in the thickest fog and fiercest storm, and regardless of magnetic rocks.”
LEADERSHIP VALUE: AGREEABLENESS (not quarrelsome)
1 Timothy 3:2- “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (ESV).
Proverb: The leader who first seeks to understand others and desires a congenial work environment will be successful.
Servant leadership promotes the development of people through power sharing, community building, authentic leadership, and a leadership orientation that seeks to serve the good of followers, clients, and the organization (Washington, et al., 2006). While servant leadership is not a new concept for study, there is current research which studies the dispositional nature of servant leadership, specifically the attitude of agreeableness (Washington, et al., 2006). Out of the five personality factors, “the agreeableness trait is consistent with characteristics inherent to servant leadership. An agreeable leader is described as fundamentally altruistic, generous, and sympathetic- all qualities similar to servant leadership’s hallmarks of stewardship, service, and the growth of followers” (Washington, et al., 2006, p. 702).
In the list of qualifications for overseers in 1 Timothy 3, Paul mentions two virtues that are similar to the concept of agreeableness in leaders: not quarrelsome but gentle. A leader must not be pugnacious, looking for a fight or argument but instead must be agreeable and amenable. If a leader “carries a chip on his shoulder,” that leader is eager to engage in combat, while the agreeable servant leader is poised to help and work with others toward positive solutions for everyone (Hendrickson, 2002, p. 125). The gentle leader is the opposite of the contentious leader, though not compromising on the truth, the gentle leader is willing to yield personal rights even sometimes suffering wrong for doing right (Hendrickson, 2002) (Cf. Titus 3:2; Phil. 4:5; James 3:17; 1 Peter 2:18). “The qualities of yieldedness, fairness, sweet reasonableness, gentleness, helpfulness, and generosity are combined in this conciliatory, considerate, genial, better than debonair, individual” (Hendrickson, 2002, p. 125). The agreeable leader is averse to fighting, refuses to be disputatious, and does not antagonize.
Studies connecting Servant Leadership and personality are slowly increasing and research has shown that servant leaders generally possess qualities indicated in the five-factor model of personality previously championed by Costa and McCrae (1998) (Washington, et al., 2006). Costa and McCrae’s (1998) five-factor model of personality (also known as the “Big Five”) includes: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. The agreeable individual is an altruistic person who as a leader exhibits sympathy, generosity, and eagerness to help others (Costa and McCrae, 1998). Agreeable leaders are selfless and are described as trustworthy and sentimental (Shoemaker, 2007). Agreeable leaders are overwhelmingly motivated by their concern and empathy for others, which compares favorably to the key characteristics of servant leadership including stewardship, service, and development of followers (Washington, et al. 2006).
According to studies, as a characteristic of servant leadership, the agreeable individual is also likely to be able to influence change in an organization as a transformational leader because of the conceptual similarities of servant leadership and transformational leadership (Washington, et al. 2006). The agreeable characteristics of a leader exemplifies compassion, empathy, and trust among followers, all qualities which are essential in servant leadership and transformational leadership (Washington, et al. 2006).
The Agreeable and Antagonistic personality is described compared by McCrae, Costa, and Bush (1986) in the California Q-Set. The highly Agreeable individual was described as “sympathetic, considerate, warm, compassionate, arousing, liking and behaving in a giving way” (Shoemaker, 2007, p. 17). The highly Antagonistic individual was described as “critical, skeptical, showing condescension, pushing limits and expressing direct hostility” (Shoemaker, 2007, p. 17). The six facets of Agreeableness according to Costa, McCrae and Dye (1991) are: “Trust, Straightforwardness, Altruism, Compliance, Modesty, and Tender-mindedness”; each having implications for the workplace (Shoemaker, 2007, p. 17). Although there is a slim relationship between agreeableness and job performance, even in jobs that require high social interaction, it is a better predictor in autonomous jobs such as management and in situations requiring personal judgment (Shoemaker, 2007).
LEADERSHIP VALUE: COMMUNICATION SKILLS (able to teach)
1 Timothy 3:2- “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,” (ESV).
Proverb: Leaders who possess exceptional interpersonal skills will increase the level of follower commitment to the organization.
Paul explains to Timothy that every overseer must be able to teach and must possess some measure of this gift so they can counsel and advise followers (1 Tim. 3:2; Cf. 1 Tim. 5:17; 2 Tim. 2:2, 24; 3:14; 1 Cor. 12:29). A leader must instruct others who in turn will instruct still others and correct those who contradict the truth (Hendrickson, 2002). Paul’s concern in his first epistle to Timothy is to contrast the teachers of the church with the false teachers of his day. He emphasized that teaching in the church must be accompanied by personal virtue and morality (Mappes, 2003). The false teachers who held to a form of godliness, taught strange doctrines that led to questionable conduct (Mappes, 2003). Conversely, “true teachers adhere to (and thus model) sound doctrine that conforms to godliness…preserving “the legacy of Paul… and us(ing) it as a standard by which he can judge between orthodoxy and heresy” (Mappes, 2003, p. 213).
Leaders in organizations must similarly be able to demonstrate an aptitude for communicating with others to train followers in the right practices, correcting wrong practices, casting vision, and inspiring. Research has indicated that interpersonal communication skills enhance follower commitment to the organization and are necessary skills for supervisors (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). Other investigations have confirmed that the way leaders communicate information to followers can influence follower commitment to the organization and committed employees are more productive and have longer tenures (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). In fact, a leader’s communication skills are tied to employee satisfaction, climate, relationships with upper-level managers, and follower dependability (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). With the ever-changing nature of markets and the decline of corporate loyalty, the interpersonal communication skills of managers are critical to the development of organizational commitment among employees (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008).
For the leader, communication is more than a medium to employees for policies, procedures, finance, and customer feedback (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). A leader’s communication sets the parameter for iniating, defining, maintaining and furthering interpersonal relationships (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). Communication is the interactive process of creating, sustaining, and managing the meaning and importance of activities (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). A good communicator utilizes those skills to manager, control, plan, and lead (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). Interpersonal communication is essential to people management and involves leadership, the process, and motivation (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). Leaders use communication to handle conflicts, run meetings, build teams, and promote change (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). Other uses of interpersonal skills are: listening, sending messages, providing feedback, goal setting, clarifying expectations, persuading, empowering, feedback, politicking, and negotiating (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008).
“Mangers communicate daily with their subordinates typically giving feedback on performance appraisals, providing information and so forth. These actions in turn facilitate developing or negating subordinate organizational commitment as it is the way these practices are perceived that influences levels of commitment (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008, p. 53.) Raising organizational commitment is a top priority of leaders today and is a multidimensional concept: “affective, normative, and continuance commitment” (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008, p. 53).
Affective commitment is conceptualized as identification or attachment, normative commitment is conceptualized as responsibility to repay a debt or commitment to norms and continuance commitment is conceptualized as sacrifice and investment that increases an individual’s cost of leaving. Organizational commitment is thus made up of these three separate components and literature has considered how the decoding of organizational messages influence different aspects of organizational commitment. Feelings of attachment and moral obligation have been enhanced by messages that have been decoded as positive experiences. In other words, individuals who feel that they have been supported by the messages sent through organizations have enhanced employee levels of affective and normative commitment. Contrary to this, however, Meyer and Smith found that supportiveness did not contribute to feelings of it being costly to leave the organization (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008, p. 53-54).
The research shows that interpersonal communications skills can be a influence both negatively and positively to organizational commitment among employees. Although less research has been done as to how a leader’s communication skills influence an employee’s personal commitment, Bambacas & Patrickson (2008) has produced findings that support interpersonal communication as a catalyst of employee commitment. A leader’s truthfulness and honesty engenders trust and enables followers to embrace the leader’s vision and goals (Bambacas & Patrickson, 2008). Interpersonal communications skills among leaders are part of the much-coveted emotional intelligence sought after by many organizations today as they seek leaders (Dearborn, 2002). If a manager has good interpersonal skills, self-awareness, intuition, and relationship-oriented, the leaders will typically be successful in many organizations (Dearborn, 2002). Followers today need “the experience of interacting with a leader who behaved differently-in a way that’s more intuitive, empathetic, or inspiring” (Dearborn, 2002, p. 530).
LEADERSHIP VALUE: HONESTY (not double-tongued)
1 Timothy 3:8- “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain” (ESV).
Proverb: The Leader who does not speak out of both sides of his mouth will gain the trust of his followers.
Paul exhorts Timothy regarding the deacons in the church, leaders in the church who devote their time and energy to take care of the poor and needy in addition to other duties to be dignified and not double-tongued (1 Tim. 3:8). Hendrickson (2002) comments that the meaning behind this exhortation is that a leader should “not say one thing to one person and something different to another. He does not talk out of both sides of his mouth. He does not say one thing and know another” (Hendrickson, 2002, p. 131). The virtue of honesty is one of the basic elements of leadership demonstrated by effective leaders as a core competency (Scarnati, 1997). It is a settled habit and pattern of a leader who has integrity with people and processes rather than a momentary event (Scarnati, 1997). Credibility ranks among one of the top characteristics of admired leaders and studies have shown that honesty is the most important leadership trait (Scarnati, 1997). Followers often gauge honesty in leaders in “the discrepancy between promises made and promises fulfilled” (Scarnati, 1997, p. 25). Typically, trust, the bonding agent of relationships, is built between leaders and followers through honest communication (Scarnati, 1997). If followers cannot trust the words of a leader, they will feel compelled to first distrust decisions and fail to have confidence in the organization (Scarnati, 1997).
Along with loyalty, fairness, justice and altruism, honesty is the substance of personal integrity, which is the “the primary determinant of interpersonal trust” (Yukl, 2013, p. 143). An honest leader keeps promises, does not distort the truth with deception, does not exploit or manipulate followers in self-interest (Yukl, 2013). “A key determinant of perceived integrity is the extent to which a leader’s behavior is consistent with values articulated repeatedly to followers” (Yukl, 2013, p. 143). Lack of integrity was also one of the most common reasons why a leader derailed while successful leaders were considered honest and dependable (Yukl, 2013). Yukl (2010) describes several nuances of ethical leadership that are so closely related that one finds it difficult to explain the substantive differences between servant, spiritual, authentic, and ethical leadership. All of these value-based leadership theories focus on the relationships that leaders have with their followers and the values and beliefs espoused and lived by the leader within those relationships. In all of these types, the ideal leader-follower relationship is “one with high mutual respect, trust, cooperation, loyalty, and openness” along with the long-term benefit granted to the follower (Yukl, 2010, p. 357-358). Ethical leadership theories focus on the mutual relationships of leaders and their followers in conjunction with the values and beliefs exemplified by the leader. The best of these relationships are based on “mutual respect, trust, cooperation, loyalty, and openness” along with the long-term benefit granted to the follower (Yukl, 2010, p. 357).
When the servant leadership theory is valued by an organization, the leadership selection process by that organization should include an identification and communication of the attributes sought by the organization in order to maintain the servant leadership culture and to retain the best leaders who fit that culture (Washington, et al., 20006). Leadership values have impact on several areas including: perceptions, successes, ethics, solutions, interpersonal relationships, acceptance or rejection of organizations goals, and performance (Washington, et al., 20006).
The Apostle Paul’s singular concern was to appoint the right leaders for the Church at Ephesus to deal with the doctrinal and behavioral aberrations. The image of the overseer as steward is a good metaphor for many organizations today. This image can reinforce a domestic theme of the corporate environment as a household to be managed by qualified leaders. This paper seeks to apply the following four leadership values from 1 Timothy 3 to Organizational Leadership today: Aspiration or ambition for leadership (aspires a noble task), Agreeableness (not quarrelsome), Communication Skills (able to teach), Honesty (not double-tongued).
It is essential that biblical theology inform and illuminate current leadership theories. Moreover, a practical application of theology to the organizational context of leadership may provide better ways to lead and influence people (Ayers, 2006, p. 127). The utilization of a Spiritual Leadership Qualities Inventory (SLQI) could be provide a basis for a new evaluation tool to evaluate and select leaders in all organizations The SLQI is an objective biblically-based assessment measuring nineteen spiritual leadership traits lifted from the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1). The traits measured are: upright, good reputation, above reproach, respectable, desire to be an overseer, holy, able to teach, temperate, prudent, able to manage family, husband of one wife, gentle, not quick-tempered, self-controlled, not addicted to wine, not greedy, lover of good, not self-willed, hospitable (Townsend & Wichern, 1984).
The following are trustworthy sayings:
Let the one who aspires to the office in order to serve the organization and followers, be the one who settles into the seat of leadership.
Leaders who possess exceptional interpersonal skills will increase the level of follower commitment to the organization.
The leader who first seeks to understand others and desires a congenial work environment will be successful.
The leader who first seeks to understand others and desires a congenial work environment will be successful.
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I’ve blogged this week about emotions and attitudes and how they are warning signs to us that there is something buried deep within us of which we need to repent. I wrote about Anger and Anxiety on Tuesday and yesterday’s blog on Pride received some interesting comments particularly on Facebook. Today I want to blog about boredom.
Kids and teenagers often complain of boredom to their parents who indignantly resist any responsibility to provide non-stop entertainment for their offspring. But don’t adults suffer from boredom too? Boredom is a passive spiritual condition which consists of a sad, restless and ungrateful weariness in the midst of the goodness of God, His Work and His Creation. When I’m bored, deep down my heart is saying, “God, you’re nice but I need more of this other exciting thing too if you want me to engage with you and your world and be…
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