Friday, September 26, 2008

From the "How Not To" file... Ahab & Jezebel on "Leadership" (TEC take notes)

This week's morning lessons (1928 BCP) have been in I Kings, mainly the prophetic ministry of Elijah.

The following commentary on I Kings 19:1 - 22:40 is from John Maxwell's Leadership Bible.


Ahab and Jezebel Manipulate People Because They Cannot Move Them

Few couples in Scripture look less attractive than King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. We get acquainted with their ugly style at the end of I Kings. Because they suffered an almost total lack of leadership charisma, they had to use manipulation, selfishness, and cunning to get what they wanted.

Charisma has been defined as a magnetic personal attraction that draws others to the leader, making them feel better about themselves. Effective leaders do well to develop some level of charisma.

In Greek, the word charisma means "gift." God gives a degree of charisma to everyone. Leaders are to give it away to others; charismatic people are others-centered. So why did Ahab and Jezebel fail to demonstrate any charisma?
  1. They set out selfishly to build their own kingdoms (22:8).
  2. They used people in order to get ahead; anyone was expendable (19:2).
  3. They worried about image and lived under false pretenses (21:8-13).
  4. They sulked and got angry when they didn't get their way (21:4).
  5. They pretended to be someone they were not (21:25-27).
  6. They abused the authority they had been given (21:18,19).

Ahab and Jezebel felt no incentive to develop charisma because their position allowed them to use people. Why would they need to inspire others to cooperate with them? Wasn't their word law? Godly leaders must avoid this wicked attitude at all costs.

Roadblocks to Charisma

To build charisma, be others-minded. Leaders who think about others and their concerns before thinking of themselves quickly develop charisma.

How would you rate your own charisma? Are other people naturally attracted to you? Are you well liked? Consider the following roadblocks to charisma. Do you possess any of these?

  • Pride: Nobody wants to follow a leader who thinks he is better than everyone else. Arrogant leaders lose the respect of others.
  • Insecurity: If you are uncomfortable with yourself, others will be, too. Only secure leaders can provide a secure atmosphere.
  • Moodiness: If people never know what to expect of you, they stop expecting anything. Eventually, they won't even approach you.
  • Selfishness: People can tell if you are using them merely to reach your own goal. No healthy person stays for long in such an unhealthy environment.
  • Perfectionism: People respect the desire for excellence, but loathe unrealistic expectations. No one wants to feel the program is more important than they are.
  • Cynicism: People don't want to be rained on by someone who sees a cloud around every silver lining. Negative leaders repulse healthy followers.


cp said...

Gee. Ahab and Jezebel sound a lot like Bush/Cheney to me.

Anonymous said...

No,cp, a more apt personification would definitly be Bill and Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Fr Tim,
Real charisma is built by crucifixion of the flesh, by submission and surrender, dying to the old man and receiving the impartation of The Man, The Word of Power and Peace, Christ Jesus. Charisma is built by rejoicing in The Truth, Love, Life, Hope.

Real Charima is built from suffering in the furnace of much affliction, the refining fire (think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo) and in the Lion's Den (where you are in your diocese) and standing firm before the Goliaths, Pharoahs and Nebuchadnezzars of this world.
Real charisma is a priceless substance, like the ointment the woman used so lavishly on Jesus feet. It costs us, really costs us, but it is definitely worth everything it costs...and then some!

Hope and pray you all have an amazing grace outpouring today at Good Shepherd!
All blessings and peace,

TLF+ said...

OK, gang, 'tis a political year and we are all overheated with that. We have parity now on this thread, with a slap each at Democrats and Republicans. I've always managed to have folks across the political landscape in my congregations. I think that is important in the church, and our main political duty (as laid out in the Bible) is to pray for all in positions of authority. We pray for both major party candidates and their families in the Prayers of the People here (heck, there's room for people to pray for 3rd party types if they want, but midwesterners are not the most spontaneous folks when it comes to intercession).

Thanks, Georgia for your prayers this day! It is shaping up to be an exciting day in the Lord's presence at Good Shepherd, made all the richer by your appeal for us.

Maxwell's comments are really important given the conflicted state of the church today. When there are no common values or authority to which we can appeal, people start clutching at title, position, obscure rules (and the manipulation thereof). We do not manifest Christ to the world.