“What Does a Great Leader Do?” Enduring Qualities that Dr. Byrd will Hopefully Bring to SWRC

A person seeking out an answer to the question could find many books on the subject. Yet the concept of leadership often still remains vague and unclear. The first reason for this is probably that many books on leadership are really not all that helpful.

But even good books on leadership often fail to provide the core clarity that goes right to the heart of what leadership should be. For example, Marcus Buckingham points out that the book Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, ”details nineteen traits that an effective leader is supposed to possess.” Yes, this even includes pew members and officers of churches in our field.

I have that book on my list to read, but now I’m afraid to read it. How are you going to keep 19 different competencies in mind? It is hard to apply such a broad spectrum every day when you are leading. However, it is helpful to understand the characteristics of leadership, because by doing so we find so much value.

Better than trying to memorize 19 characteristics of leadership, I would argue that you need to know the single, underlying core first. Knowing the 19 characteristics of this or that is not going to be sufficient. The 19 characteristics need to be integrated into a bigger idea.  What we need to find and suggest to Dr. Byrd is “the core” that he should grasp. This would give him a context for understanding the broader characteristics. So, what is the core of leadership? What is the essence of what a leader does?

Maybe the authors of Primal Leadership follow exactly their 19 characteristics. But, successful attempts at this are rare. I have seen nothing more helpful than the definition of leadership that Marcus Buckingham gives in his book The One Thing You Need to Know: About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success.

Buckingham’s definition is not simply the best of a bunch of “good but still not exactly right” attempts; it resonates. When you read his definition, you immediately get it. Finally, you have an “aha” moment, and realize “that’s it — that’s what leadership is.” So, what does a leader do? Buckingham’s answer is:

Great leaders rally people to a better future.

A great leader does not control people, he rallies them. He rallies them to realize and bring about a vision of a better future.

Buckingham especially emphasizes the future-oriented nature of leadership:

The two key words in this definition are “better future.” What defines a leader is his preoccupation with the future. In his head he carries a vivid image of what the future could be, and this image drives him on. This image, rather than, say, goals of outperforming competitors, or being individually productive, or helping others achieve success, is what motivates the leader.

Don’t misunderstand. An effective leader might also be competitive, achievement oriented, and a good coach. But these are not the characteristics that make him a leader. He is a leader if, and only if, he is able to rally others to the better future he sees. (The One Thing You Need to Know, pp 59-60.)

One last aspect: This means that a leader must have a talent for optimism. If you are not an optimistic person, nobody will want to go to the future that you see. Leaders rally to a better future. “As a leader you must possess the inner passion; of believing, deeply and instinctively, that things are going to get better” (p. 63). (sic)

By the way, I’m Left Behind

Adapted from About Matt Perman

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11 Responses to “What Does a Great Leader Do?” Enduring Qualities that Dr. Byrd will Hopefully Bring to SWRC

  1. king amaziah says:

    may be the falcon will fly again

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  2. Stop the Madness says:

    Several years ago Alvin Kibble’s name was presented as a candidate for President of this Conference. Anyone that knows Kibble knows he is by far, one of the greatest administrator/leader that will ever grace the Adventist work. And yet the Conference did not vote him, because they did not know him.

    Now we have a name of another man, Carlton Byrd. We see evidence of everything he touches, and how God blesses it. His track record is clear. And yet we seem to question what he’ll bring to the Southwest and how he should handle others.

    When will we learn? It is clear that God has called this man to this Conference, for such a time as this! Should there have been other changes in the Conference with this nomination? I think so. Why weren’t they made – as the Union officers who sat with the Nominating Committee. I believe it was because of their recommendations. Unfortunately, the Nominating Committee listened to them.

    And what should we expect at the Constituency? More of the same, but we’ll now have to listen to the Union AND the North American Division.

    We MUST pray for God’s direction and stop listening to those who have other agendas. Everyone has an agenda even when they say they don’t.

    Be wise as a serpent!

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    • The Questioner says:

      Yes…The nominating committee probably listened to the union leadership. As they often do.

      But you said that “we’ll now have to listen to the Union AND the North American Division.”

      You are probably right…the constituency probably will listen and follow their recommendations…But the constituency does not “HAVE” to…that is the key….

      When will the constituency (the membership) realize their power? that is the question…until they do…you will always have back room deals and behind the scenes decisions being rubber stamped by the constituency…

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      • White Lightning says:

        QUESTIONER: You have spoken the truth. In the mini series written by a commentor surnamed Left Behind, his/her stories depicted the manipulation of the constituency by the “few”.

        The problem presented in these cartoonish stories attempted to demonstrate the ratpack’s disrespect for the constituency by choosing their preference to save their present positions. This is most important to understand. The impact of the stories got into the ratpack’s plan of action. However, it was little too late. Byrd, an able Generation X minister, with great credentials will most likely be our president.

        Their problem still remains, “how do we keep our present positions.” If they remain in their offices the baby boomers will frustrate Byrd’s ability to get things done. Two generations, one approaching 65 and facing retirement and the other emerging onto the scene of power will SMASH INTO EACH OTHER. As zero pointed out we will all get zero.

        The ratpack stacked the nominating committee and were some what successful.

        So you are right, usless the constituency take a decisive stand Byrd may not last for two terms. I hope he is not bought.

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    • White Lightning says:

      Stop the Madness: I think I understand what you are trying to say but I am not sure. As a constituent, take charge because as the Questioner has written, you have the power to reject all or part of the report. If we leave the meeting and sat in our chairs without being heard we have nothing to say when we get home.

      Now, my question to you would be this, “How do you know that Byrd is God’s choice?” He has not been elected yet. And I don’t see Alvin Kibble as the greatest Adventist administrator? What about Bradford and many other great men and women I can name.

      Kibble was a backdrop behind the STRAT PLAN which is “pasturific” (invented name for the past). However, Kibble did predict the outcome of the present administration when he forsaw the dumping of the older ministers, which he was against. Alvin would most likely have been quasi about Byrd. And I believe that he would have looked out for the older men out of respect.

      You see the same men that you are watching getting sick and retiring help build this conference in the last 40 years and gave their blood, sweat and tears to help members grow. Give us a “BRAKE”. They made a way for Byrd.

      There are men in our territory with good qualification that are being “Left Behind” because of the false notion that they are unqualified. We need to understand that God uses imperfect people to accomplish his goals including Byrd should he get the job.

      I base this on the fact that the nominating committee was unfairly stacked and manipulated which could not have been part of God’s plan. The Enemy came in but he cannot defeat God a main theme of the Bible.

      thank you for great comment.

      Like

  3. Jonah_77 says:

    Is Dr. Byrd really reading these comments? Probably. But if he has any idea of going in a new direction he will surround himself with new people. My inclination is that he won’t. Because he will be beholden to the folks who brought him here. 

    I like this post on leadership but we have to remember that not everyone is a leader. There are horrible leaders with great attributes and competencies. A leader is developed not born. For example, a selfish sinful person could be a great leader if that is his aim and direction he takes his people. We must assume then that his people are selfish and sinful and he was developed in that model or he learned leadership from a different model.

    My argument is that there exist no model for leadership or development. In that vacuum, a political party was created and from there a model exist in which senior men in the field are cut down. This is what Dr. Bryd is either going to support or eliminate. It could not be more black and white. 

    We hope he is listening, to us, and not the political party. My guess, he is not. My challenge to him, prove me wrong Sir. 

    What Say You?  Dr. Byrd really reading these comments? Probably. But if he has any idea of going in a new direction he will surround himself with new people. My inclination is that he won’t. Because he will be beholden to the folks who brought him here. 

    I like this post on leadership but we have to remember that not everyone is a leader. There are horrible leaders with great attributes and competencies. A leader is developed not born. For example, a selfish, sinful person could be a great leader if that is his aim and direction he takes his people. His model may be sinful and selfish. We must assume then that his people are selfish and sinful and he was developed in that model, or has created a model like himself.

    My argument is that there exist no model for leadership or development. In that vacuum, a political party was created and from there a model exist in which senior men in the field are cut down. This is what Dr. Bryd is either going to support or eliminate. It could not be more black and white. 

    We hope he is listening, to us, and not the political party. My guess, he is not. My challenge to him, prove me wrong Sir. 

    What Say You

    Like

    • theadventquestioner says:

      The president is one position. It is a big position, but one position. having a great leader is indispensible…

      BUT,

      The key is for the constituency to realize its power. The people can do whatever they wish when they come together. It is time to stop allowing the higher ups to make decisions and then use the people as a rubber stamp. on decisions that have already been made.

      You don’t vote a new president and leave everyone else the same and think you gonna have great change. The constituency has to stop sitting back and pointing the finger, you have the votes. You do it!

      the key is awaking the sleeping giant…the constituency who when they get together with 2/3rds vote can do whatever they wish…Awaken the constituency…that is the key…let them know their power…that is the key…

      Like

  4. W.B. Stanley, PhD says:

    Excellent reading, at least from my perspective. Obama and Bill Clinton comes to mind as I read the posting. While I am very careful not to heap praise on men, I think Dr. Byrd is–as what they would call him in the sports world–a “Franchise Player.” (e.g. Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Koby Bryant, Kevin Durant). Men you build your team around. Based on his vitae, I find Dr. Byrd to be a “precocious” man with excellent leadership qualities that is to be admired. I would hope, privided he is voted by the constituents, Carlton bring those same qualities to the Southwest. It is my prayer that with his coming, he leads with Godly humility. He certainly has my support.

    Like

  5. PETE says:

    I think this is one of the most outstanding posts. Every constituent should read this blog. Because it defines leadership for what it really should be.

    If Dr. Byrd does’t have this kind of vision we are all in trouble. He will be a pawn to the ratpack snd subject to ratpack ideas. Frank, Dino and Jerry will secretly influence, control and frustrate him as long as he is here. Really!

    DR. BYRD…DEMAND TWO NEW ADMINISTRATORS AND CHOOSE YOUR OWN DEPARTMENTAL PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DON’T BE CAUGHT IN QUICK SAND.

    Like

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