Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Five ways that a proper understanding of grace impacts leadership

There are few issues more important to us personally or in our leadership than a proper understanding of grace. Our understanding or lack of it has significant implications for how we lead and how we respond and interact with others. It is one of those areas where theology and practice intersect in important ways.

First, leaders who understand and live in grace do not have a need to prove anything to God or to others. If I live in grace, I do not need to worry about being wrong nor do I need to live with defensiveness. Many leaders in the Christian arena are more about proving they can be successful than they are about serving Jesus. Grace frees us from the need to prove anything to God or others and therefore allows us to live in freedom.

Second, leaders who understand and live in grace don't need to seek perfection which is really all about proving something to others. They can rest in the fact that God is in control and while we do the best we can we can leave the results to God. We sow and water but only God can bring the harvest. Without grace, leaders feel they need to produce results. Living in grace allows us to rest in Him, do the right things and trust Him for transformational results.

Third, leaders who understand and live in grace are able to extend grace and understanding to their staff. This is not an excuse for allowing shoddy work. It is a posture of wanting the very best for others and extending the same grace that Jesus extends to us. Harsh leaders simply don't understand grace. Think of the Fruit of the Spirit and you get the picture of what grace looks like in relationships. 

Fourth, leaders who understand and live in grace create cultures in their teams and organizations of grace. The culture of an organization is often a direct reflection of the leader's own spiritual and emotional health. Legalistic or harsh cultures simply reflect the ethos of its leadership. Where a leader understands and lives in grace he/she creates that culture in their organization.

Fifth, leaders who understand and live in grace create cultures where there is no fear of candid dialogue and diverse opinions because grace allows us to live with a Nothing to Prove and Nothing to Lose attitude. Without defensiveness, we can invite honest dialogue, deal with elephants and create a culture of grace and truth. Where that is not the case, I would argue that the leader (and or staff) are not living in grace.

I would guess there are many other implications of a life of grace. What I do know is that leaders who understand and live in grace create healthy cultures and those who don't won't.

Posted from Oakdale, MN

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.

1 comment:

Kurt Dillinger said...

Tim,
This post is one of my favorites that you have posted. In fact, I think it could become a best seller on leadership!
Thank you!
Kurt