Why is leadership coaching necessary in business? So many of the right approaches, right dynamics of business, leadership decisions, and employee-employer relations are common-sensical. They are, that is, in retrospect, but though they are not exactly counter-intuitive, they are counter-reactionary.
In other words, these dynamics and decisions are not our natural impulse, yet they make perfect sense when you see them. For that reason, it’s helpful to have an outside source to get out of the fray and get an objective look at what ought to be and what works.
Leadership coaching is effective for the leader, employer, or employee who is pursuing understanding and wisdom about the ways authority and service work. It is especially beneficial for those who are willing to hear critique in that pursuit.
Management, Authority, and Leadership
It’s good to acknowledge in yourself the natural reactions to authority positions, especially if there is any hint of lust for power, tyranny, of turf-protection. The Bible is full of insights about authority and King Saul is an ideal study for this kind of wrong approach. His tyranny emanates from his fearfulness over his position, and the threat of losing it.
The inverse is the servant-king seen in the ideal of Jesus Christ, and shown dramatically in His washing of His disciples’ feet in service to them in John 13.
The reason we see authority principles so much in the Bible tells us something about the nature of heaven and what it means to be vertically “above,” that is, in a position of seeing more and controlling more. Psalms 89:14 and 97:2 tell us
that righteousness and judgement are the foundation of God’s throne.
This is the foundation of all authority — that is, what makes it legitimate and not just power over others. A group of people would want to have a king, a head soldier, a team captain because that leader is the best at advancing the group — they can provide the greatest benefit. That’s how “righteousness” in this verse relates to authority. It is altruism, beneficence to those over whom they rule.
Judgment (‘justice,’ in many translations, gives us moderns the notion of social justice, which is rarely a Bible notion) is commonly misunderstood as negative. Judgment is always good — in the Bible, it is most often seen as separating evil away from the good.
It is distinction, identifying, and separating. So in a dispute amongst employees, bringing judgment into the situation is exactly what they need. You want all parties to feel they have been helped by this distinguishing and rendering of a verdict.
Imagine that Chuck comes to you and is frustrated and angry because “Suzie keeps using the photocopy machine in our area, we can’t use it when she’s dominating it. It’s a charge to our department, and she leaves a mess. She is sooo unfair, we all can’t stand her!”
Upon investigation, it turns out that Suzie is not evil as perceived. She has assumed that all photocopy machines were for the general use for everyone, that it was the janitor’s job to clean up, and was unaware of any time crunch.
Information helped. It was also a real benefit to get a machine just for Suzie’s department. Everybody won. No one is doing a slow burn. Judgement: always good. Authority should be alert to doing it well. It is foundational to legitimate authority.
So the foundational principle, the purpose of management in industry, that which gives it legitimacy, is to make those under you successful. Those you are in charge of are in your care, you tend them as a shepherd does his sheep.
Discipling them to their task, supplying what they need to be productive, cheerleading them to success, intrinsic reward and motivation, and ultimately to promote them — that’s good intent in an authority. Those under you will sense it about you and return loyalty.
Because I counsel those involved in local industry, I am aware of the norms of entry into leadership positions locally. Typically they are simply put in a position of management without any training, and commonly they are simply promoted because of their expertise into a role in which they have no expertise. So, in their fearfulness, they make all the classic mistakes (like Saul).
Christian Leadership Coaching
Principles of leadership and authority are all over the Bible. They are wisdom – a bit more than common sense, and it is a great advantage to have the benefit of critique, reminders, and prompting to do what is strategic and beneficial rather than the fearful and costly knee-jerk.
Contact us if you would like to pursue leadership coaching for yourself or for the leaders in your organization.
In the second article in this series, we will talk about principles on the employee side.
“Meeting,” courtesy of Tim Gouw, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Teamwork,” courtesy of rawpixel.com, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Working,” courtesy of rawpixel.com, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Masai Mara,” courtesy of Pawan Sharma, unsplash.com, CC0 License
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