Six Leadership Lessons (Part 1): Learning and Authority

1) Effective Leaders Maintain a Learning Posture Throughout Life

It’s easy to learn when we are at the beginning of our journey’s. When we have mentors we admire, respect and seek to emulate. It is a lot harder when we begin to get to grips with the subject ourselves.

I’ve found this whilst learning to drive, the first few lessons I was learning very quickly, taking in every word my instructor said. But after around 5-8 two hour lessons, I was feeling (ridiculously) like I somehow knew better than the instructor. Pride flared in my heart…the result: I started learning slower.

In order to be an effective leader, we need to overcome the pride and arrogance, and learn to learn. Learn to maintain a learning posture.

My personal life mandate is to be a man after God’s own heart. In order to do this, one of the ways I have recognised this is done is through a “posture of receptivity and learning (humility)”. See 1 Peter 5:5.

Q: How are you doing in this area? What training are you undergoing, be it formal or informal?

2) Effective Leaders Value Spiritual Authority as a Primary Power Base.

I first learnt about Spiritual Authority when I was a chaplain for a youth camp our church runs with a few other churches across England. The role of the chaplain was to preach 1-2x a day to the young people, lead worship and oversee the ministry times. In the training sessions for the other leaders, it was explained that “Spiritual Authority belonged to the chaplains on this week”.

At the time I didn’t fully understand what this really meant. It felt odd, that I was being given this authority when I was so young, some of the other helpers were much older, wiser and experienced in ‘spiritual’ matters than I was. Some even had senior roles in the Church!

However at this youth camp, the people believed that God had given a limited Spiritual Authority to the chaplains for the purposes of this week. It was unrelated to their competency, their experience or even their character. (Although these were all factors taken into account when inviting people to be chaplains for the week).

It is very tempting in leadership to rely on our own competence, position, experience, achievements, titles, qualifications etc. However, effective “Christian leaders” (definition explored in another post) will lean most heavily on the Spiritual Authority that God provides.

Therefore, Clinton challenges us, to cultivate our own Spirituality – for it is spirituality from which spiritual authority flows.


This content is a result of my studying Dr. J. Robert Clinton’s work: Leadership Emergence Theory, available here.

3 thoughts on “Six Leadership Lessons (Part 1): Learning and Authority

  1. Pingback: Six Leadership Lessons (Part 2): Training Others and Maintaining a Dynamic Ministry Philosophy – Pursuit

  2. Pingback: Six Leadership Lessons (Part 3): Sense of Destiny and Lifetime Perspective – Pursuit

  3. Pingback: Four Challenges of Christian Leadership – Pursuit

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