Part 3: Effective Leadership Practices
“As difficult as it is to build a cohesive team, it is not complicated” (Lencioni, 2002, p. 185). Lencioni’s five dysfunctions of a team is a model that authentic leaders can apply to any organization to improve team work. These five dysfunctions are absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results (Lencioni, 2002). As mentioned by Lencioni (2002), by understanding the situation of the workgroup in any organization, the authentic leader can use this model of the five dysfunctions to improve the team work.
For example, in a church organization that has an authentic leader pastor, the pastor uses Lencioni’s model of the five dysfunction of a team with his volunteers to improve team work. Those volunteers for Sunday school teachers and social activities should follow this model under their pastor’s authentic leadership to achieve the goal of the church organization which is improving the spirituality of the congregation. The workgroup should show a high level of trust between the volunteers of the Sunday school classes and activities, in which each one can easily admit weaknesses and mistakes. Moreover, they should ask for help and experience from one another, and they should accept any input about their areas of responsibility. They should look forward to meetings and opportunities to work as a group with their pastor. As described by Lencioni (2002), trust requires team members to make themselves vulnerable to one another and to be confident that their respective vulnerabilities will not be used against them (p. 196).
Consequently, due to the presence of high trust in the group, therefore, there is no fear of conflict between the members of the group. Accordingly, the team makes conflict possible knowing that they will not be punished for saying something that might otherwise be interpreted as destructive or critical (Lencioni, 2002, p. 202). As a result of high trust between the members of the group as well as no fear of conflict between each other, they are very committed to their decisions. As mentioned by Lencioni (2002), conflict is so important to help people to commit to a plan or a decision and to get everyone to clearly buy in to it (p. 94). Consequently, each member of the team understands their job description clearly, and they can hold one another accountable to do the job to achieve the goal of the church organization. Lencioni (2002) defined accountability as the willingness of team members to call their peers on performance or behaviors that might hurt the team (p. 212). Therefore, teammates are holding each other accountable for their contributions and turning their attention to the advancement of the church organization (Lencioni, 2002). To avoid inattention to results dysfunction, Lencioni (2002) emphasized the tendency of team members to care about the collective goals of the group (p. 216).
Authentic leaders can practice this model of Lencioni to avoid the five dysfunctions of a team to build a cohesive team for better performance of their organizations. They can also practice Lencioni’s model for combating silos for better improvement to the organization. In order to eliminate the structural obstacles that so often derail any organization, authentic leaders can use Lencioni’s model: “Silos are nothing more than the barriers that exist between departments within an organization, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against each other” (Lencioni, 2006, p. 175). The model for combating silos consists of four components: a thematic goal, a set of defining objectives, a set of ongoing standard operating objectives and metrics. Thematic goal is a single, qualitative focus that is shared by the entire leadership team and that applies for only a specified time period (Lencioni, 2006, p. 178). Once it has been set, the team must then give it actionable context so that members of the team know what must be done to accomplish the goal. After establishing the thematic goal and the objectives of the organization, the leadership team can start talking about measurement (Lencioni, 2006, p. 186). Metrics is the time limit to reach the goals and the evaluation of the steps towards that goal.
Leaders always find a way to make things happen (Maxwell, 1998, p. 203). Therefore, authentic leaders can practice these two models of Lencioni to avoid the five dysfunctions of a team and to combat silos in any organization. Moreover, authentic leaders possess certain emotional intelligence skills to help them transform an organization from good to great one.
Leadership Theory Paper
Fr. Tadros Hirmina
St. Peter Seal of the Martyrs, Coptic Orthodox Church, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Professor Anthony G. Allen
Continued in November 2016…
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Maxwell, J. C. (1993). Developing the Leader Within You. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.
Maxwell, J. C. (1998). The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.
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Nehemiah The Leader
Nehemiah’s Care: When Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire, he wept and fasted and prayed before God. He reminded God of His promises to gather His people and bring them to the place which He have chosen. He had faith and trust in God and God alone that He will deliver His people. He did not rely on his own understanding but lifted his eyes and heart to the one who has power to make the impossible possible. Because of his faith and trust in God, God gave him grace in the king’s eyes to grant him his request. Nehemiah not only laid the problem in front of God but when the king asked him what to request, he prayed to God before answering the king.
Prayers motivated him not only to ask the king to send him to Judah to rebuild the wall, but to send with him letters to the governors to permit him to pass through and letters to be given the materials needed for the construction. The king not only granted him all he asked for, but on top of it a royal entrance to Jerusalem; he sent with him captains of the army and horsemen (which is more than he asked for). This is the magnificent work of God.
Nehemiah’s research: As a great wise leader he did his homework and went at night to evaluate and assess the project. He conducted the research without anyone knowing. “So I went up in the night by the valley, and viewed the wall, then I turned back” (Nehemiah 2:15).
“And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done” (Nehemiah 2:16).
Nehemiah’s influence: As Nehemiah invited his people to come build the burned gates of Jerusalem, he did the process below:
– Faced the spiteful situation; “You see the distress that we are in” (Nehemiah 2:17)
– Turned on the fire in their heart to urge them “how Jerusalem lies waste and its gates are burned with fire.”
– Communicated the goal; “That we may no longer be a reproach” (Nehemiah 2:18).
– Assured them that they will fulfil their destination because of His God’s mighty hand with him and the king’s approval. “And I told them of the hand of my God which had been good upon me, and also of the king’s words that he had spoken to me” (Nehemiah 2:18).
– The outcome of his motivation and how his words influenced the people that they said, “Let us rise up and build” (Nehemiah 2:18).
Nehemiah’s reaction to those who despised Him: Nehemiah as a motivating leader responded to those who despised him; “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20). When they faced challenges of their adversaries the very first thing they did was pray to the Lord and they guarded their work day and night.
Nehemiah strengthening his people: “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons….” (Nehemiah 4:14).
He motivated them enough that they had strong faith in their God and in their leader; “with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon” (Nehemiah 4:17).
They were filled with a fierce zeal to the extent to be workers and worriers at the same time.
Nehemiah was constantly assessing the situation and modifying his plan to secure his workers and his project. He was so determined. He had a vision and he was living it and succeeded in making his people live it with him because it was a Godly vision.
Nehemiah’s great motivation to his people was his God backing them up and consistently reminding his people of it; “Our God will fight for us” (Nehemiah 4:20).
Nehemiah was the role model for his followers: he did as he asked from his people; “So neither I, my brethren, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me took off our clothes….” (Nehemiah 4:23).
Nehemiah regained his people’s land and defended the rights of the poor: he got them their land and their rights back. “Restore now to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also a hundredth of the money and the grain, the new wine and the oil, that you have charged them” (Nehemiah 5:11). He did not rest until the officials made an oath that they will restore everything back requiring nothing from his people in return.
Nehemiah set a great example for a great leader motivating his people to follow him. Who can resist following such a leader who is inspired with a Godly vision knowing for sure God’s mighty hand is with him.