Servant Leadership: Principles
“Leadership: What Others Are Saying” (SL#18)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® 1:1 - Exploring the Journey

The leadership journey continues in association with others; that is its very nature. However, it is also the working principle of the following paragraphs. You are encouraged to put your own leadership experience and ideas alongside those hammered out by others from many walks of life. This may be merely a reading introduction to selected authorities in the field of leadership. Or it could become a serious examination of key, valid, leadership concepts for your leadership development. It is not intended or recommended simply to copy what others are writing, but a workshop process to ponder and shape your own understand of leadership.

For Reflection/Assessment/Application
Here’s how it works, and works, and works.

  1. Anderson and Jones--The Management of Ministry
    Broadly speaking, leadership can be regarded as the capacity to bring people together in the accomplishment of common goals (p. 78). Reflection:

  2. John W. Gardner--On Leadership
    Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers (p. 1). Reflection:

  3. Jay Conger--Harvard Business School
    (as quoted in Robert Cooper’s Executive EQ)
    Leaders who garner the greatest future support will increase their capacity for emotional expressiveness [emotional intelligence], a key ingredient in purpose, persuasion, and inspiration (p. 68). Reflection:

  4. Steven R. Covey--Principle-Centered Leadership
    Principle-centered leaders of character work with competence on the basis of natural principles built into the center of every part of their lives (see p. 25). Principle-centered leadership is practiced from the inside out on four master principle levels:
    Trustworthiness at the personal level based on character and competence (p. 31)
    Trust at the interpersonal level (p. 31)
    Empowerment at the managerial level (p. 155)
    Alignment at the organizational level (p. 155)

  5. Daniel Goleman--Working with Emotional Intelligence
    Leadership: Inspiring and Guiding Individuals and Groups (p. 183)
    Articulate and arouse enthusiasm for a shared vision and mission.
    Step forward to lead as needed, regardless of position.
    Guide the performance of others while holding them accountable.
    Lead by example.

  6. Hersey and Blanchard--Management of Organizational Behavior
    Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or group in efforts toward goal achievement in a given situation . . . in essence, leadership involves accomplishing goals with and through people (p. 83). Reflection:

  7. John Maxwell--Developing the Leader Within You
    Leadership is influence. That’s it. Nothing more; nothing less. . . . Leadership is the ability to obtain followers. . . . Management is the process of assuring that the program and objectives of the organization are implemented. Leadership, on the other hand, has to do with casting vision and motivating people (see pp. 1, xii).

  8. Phil Quigley, CEO of Pacific Bell
    (as quoted in Robert K. Coopers’s Executive EQ)
    I don’t think of leadership as a position, . . . I don’t think of leadership as a skill. I think of leadership as a relationship. . . . of taking responsibility for emotional connections, listening to and respecting feelings [of others] (see pp. 51-52). Reflection:

  9. Peter Senge--The Dance of Change
    Leadership [is] the capacity of a human community to shape its future, and specifically to sustain the significant processes of change required to do so . . . the capacity to hold creative tension, the energy generated when people articulate a vision and tell the truth about current reality. . . . By this definition, any organization has many leaders . . . consequently, we will focus on leadership communities rather than hero-leaders (p. 16). Reflection:

Concluding Reflections
These examples from contemporary leaders and teachers are designed to set in motion an interactive process. Selected from a reading of the literature for this article, they are just a representative few of the many valid concepts available for your assessment. But more to the point, these definitions can become tools for your own valuable work and insight.

Close this window 

© 2006; hosted and copyrighted by Lloyd Elder & Associates, Inc.
For full citation of referenced works, see Bibliography/Links at
Adapted by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., Founding Director, Moench Center for Church Leadership