The Leadership Style Assessment
The leadership Style Assessment may look simplistic, but the theory that under-girds this assessment tool is quite profound. The Leadership Style Assessment examines the aspect of our temperament that governs our unique style of influence. Every person has a unique style of influence. So, whenever a person exerts influence over others, for either good or bad, they are at that moment acting as a leader. The most basic definition of leadership is: Leadership = Influence.
The Leadership Style Assessment is designed to support healthy team building, identifying what function each team member should play in support of the team. The data is also helpful for constructing leadership development programs for each unique leadership category. The data can be used to guide succession planning strategies. It can also raise red-flags if the assessment conveys a “flat-line” report, which can occur because an individual does not know themselves very well, or because he/she is recovering from issues of emotional, physical, sexual, or spiritual abuse.
Learn more about how to use the Leadership Style Assessment data within your church by ordering David’s book: Made for a Mission, by CLC Publications.
Sample Report: Pioneering Leader
• Entrepreneurial individuals who need to be involved leading new ministry development
• Highly motivated by a noble vision and driven to make the vision a reality
• Very task oriented, but view the necessary tasks as steps in a grand mission that will result in a positive impact upon many people
• Bring to the team vision, direction, passion and motivation
• Value high risk/high reward ministry ventures and will likely be a dominant change agents within the life of an organization
Pioneering Leaders are willing to push themselves and take appropriate risks, striving to discover and reach long term goals: “forgetting what is behind, and straining for what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:12). Pioneering leaders are passionate and are wholly committed to a vision. Paul is a great example of a leader who was focused on pushing out the boundaries of the church, despite the personal risk.
Pioneering Leaders are at their strongest in the early stages of a vision or project, excited by seeking out where God is calling. However, as time passes they may lose interest in the implementation of a vision, eager to be looking ahead to the next challenge. Pioneers are very entrepreneurial. They must be involved in new ministry development. They may also excel in areas of strategic planning, administration or team leadership. However, if Pioneers are asked to serve in such roles without being able to develop new and better ways of accomplishing the work of ministry, they will likely become frustrated.
Pioneers are very task oriented. Pioneers typically claim that they care deeply about people…and will likely cite their passion to reach others for Christ as their justification for developing new ministry systems, programs, and organizations. Because they are naturally vision and task oriented, they may unfortunately be perceived by others as “pushy” or lacking in sensitivity. The Pioneer is typically unaware of how other people may be feeling in this regard. The Pioneer is so motivated by the noble nature of the vision, and the exciting process of creating new and better ministry systems, that they may assume all people are motivated by these same criteria. In fact, most people types are not risk takers like the Pioneer, and are motivated by a sense of stability and security. The values of the Pioneer threaten the values of most people who prefer to move slowly when implementing any change from the status quo. When non-pioneers, who value slow incremental change, are empowered to dictate the pace of an entrepreneurial venture and try to reignin or control the Pioneer, the consequences are typically devastating to all involved as well as to the project. The Pioneer must be empowered to lead. Appropriate support and accountability structures for the Pioneer should be built into the team dynamics of the Pioneer’s team.
In a team context, the Pioneer will bring vision, direction, passion and motivation to the team. The Pioneer should be given full responsibility for leading and implementing the various tasks associated with the project. Since the Pioneer is uniquely capable in their ability to grasp a vision, they may find themselves speaking of the future as though it already exists. For them, it does. Their mind already sees themselves in that future state. Pioneers can already sense and feel what it will be like when the new program, system or organization is fully established. This unique ability to “live in the future” may frustrate team members who can only clearly perceive the present. These team members see all the obstacles that must be overcome in the present and may feel overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. Team members may accuse the Pioneer of being a “dreamer”. The Pioneer is not blind to such obstacles. The Pioneer, however, is able to envision their way through the obstacles in ways that others cannot. A negative consequence of this special insight ability can be that the Pioneer may not adequately affirm nor address the emotional, conceptual and practical needs of other team members. In such cases, team members may feel that the Pioneer simply disregards their concerns and devalues them as individuals. From the Pioneer’s perspective, the more team members raise objections to completing the mission, the more frustrated the Pioneer will become. In his or her frustration, the Pioneer will typically become more forceful in appealing to the vision. The Pioneer may begin to feel that team members are not truly committed to the mission or may spiritually lack the necessary faith to complete the mission.
Because of the relational challenges typically experienced within a team environment, Pioneers should have responsibility over the task elements of a project, while the human elements of the project should be addressed by a Team Leader. Similarly, the Pioneer typically prefers to stay in the “Big Picture” of the project and may become frustrated when having to deal with the fine details associated with a task. Operational details should be addressed by an Administrator. Many Pioneers are excellent Strategic Planners and can create elaborate road map strategies that enable Administrators and Team Leaders to properly fulfill their duties. However, some Pioneers may lack such strategic planning skills. In such cases, a Strategic Planner should be added to the team. And finally, developing new systems, programs and organizations are high risk ventures. Often high risk creates high stress within a team, especially as the project proceeds over many months. The Pioneer is generally ill-equipped to pastor and encourage the team through stress related issues. Every entrepreneurial team should have one team member whose primary responsibility is to pastor and encourage the team members emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
It is important that Pioneering Leaders realize that they cannot accomplish the vision alone…they need their team members and the team members need the Pioneer. 1 Corinthians 12 affirms that the Body of Christ is comprised of many different members who all need one another. It also affirms that God positions the members of the body, just as He has determined. God created the Pioneer and positioned him or her strategically in this world, at this particular time, and within specific churches because God intends for them to create new ministries, systems and organizations that will propel the Kingdom of Christ forward within a world that desperately needs to know the power and love of their Creator God.
The Pioneer typically functions as the Team Leader during the early phases of new ministry development. As the new ministry matures, the Pioneer will need to hand off the ministry to a gifted Team Leader.