mark oestriecher’s blog is near the top of my daily must-read blogs. marko is the president of youth specialties, a fellow emergent type and a great blogger.
yesterday on his blog, he talked about leading from values vs. goals, which spawned from a facebook group about his new book, youth ministry 3.0. in essence, he suggests—and i would heartily agree—that leading from values is “better” than leading from goals. i thought his discussion and illustrations spoke so perfectly about the way i want to lead eikon, so i thought i would share them here. (this gets a little ahead of myself in terms of what i’ve been planning for the blog, but i really thought it would be helpful to share this.)
to expand on his ideas, let me unpack these concepts. goal-driven leadership—often—is very static and detached. goals demand a plan of action that is executed until that goal is met, at which time another goal is stated and a new plan begins. there seems to be a never-ending cycle of management and oversight. it often requires micro-management and strict evaluation.
on the other hand, values-based leadership is much more organic in nature. values rely on relationships and care and nurture. values don’t view the church and the people that comprise the church as data and scientific beings. people are the end and not just the means to an end.
marko offered a couple graphics, but i decided to pretty them up and do some consolidation. here’s a visual of what we’re talking about. (the visual on the right represents the leadership values at eikon.)
marko’s post produced a couple analogies that i thought were helpful. first, it’s like the contrast of a factory and a garden. in a factory, an assembly line is intended for efficiency and focused solely on accomplishing the task at hand. if the assembly line worker were to pause for a conversation with a coworker or decide to step away for personal reasons, the goal cannot be met and the worker would be discarded for another more diligent worker. a garden, though, is cared for by the gardener. the gardener’s job is to create a healthy environment for growth. the gardener can’t guarantee the growth, but can be confident that in healthy and rich soil, seeds will open and produce fruit. further, gardens are unique to their environment because they aren’t meticulously watched over as in the case of an assembly line product. to be bold, factories play god while gardeners trust god.
as a tie-in to our current political headlines, goal-based leadership is descriptive of john mccain’s campaign, whereas values-based leadership was characteristic of barack obama’s campaign. mccain was militaristic and mechanical and diligent. it’s almost as if there were checkpoints along the way that had to be reached before going onto the next checkpoint. if a stumbling block was thrown in the path, the whole plan was confounded. on the other hand, obama led by overarching values that inspired people and rallied people together and created a movement. when something was thrown in obama’s path, the campaign moved forward because the response (or lack thereof) was informed by a confidence in a set of values that were inherent since day 1 of the campaign.
so, in the coming weeks, i hope to roll out a series of posts detailing our core values. these are the guiding theologies that will determine the direction and flow of our community, so i hope it will continue to give you an idea of what this thing called eikon is all about.
check back soon for more!