Is there a leadership crisis?

Many of our nation’s corporate leaders are talking the talk but are they really walking the talk? Public/government, organizational and faith-based leaders are struggling to stand fast in the light of core values in a time where the distinction between good and bad, right and wrong are a matter of opinion and morals have become blurred. You are invited to participate in this ongoing “Action Learning” discussion to share your personal viewpoint and real-life experience of leadership in America. Some questions to consider; Regarding the leadership crisis, how did we get here? Post suggestions, where do we go from here?

Comments:
Sapper
September 8th, 2008 at 8:47 am
Good, Bad, Right Wrong. How did we get here? I don;t think the business world woke up one morning, tunred the page and said, “I think we’ll work on the bad side of morality today”. It seems to me that this is a condition that has been 40 years in the making, using that “sliperry slope” methodology. It’s like sin. The draw to it, is that there is a little bit of fun in it at first. So if you are able to make a buck by “re-interpreting” the rules, then, little by little, company leaders to make more, by bending rules.
The problem is, again like sin, you get to a point where you can’t determine the line anymore. You are fully ensnared.

Westy
September 9th, 2008 at 12:36 pm
I believe somewhat as Sapper,in their comments that this is not something that merely showed up one day. We have seen over a long period of time the decay of the corporate leadership morales in not only their personal actions but in the way they manage their on business ethics. We have seen many corporate and political leaders around the world brought down by their lack of ethics in both their business and personal actions. Today we are inacting new laws to supposedly deal with this trend. However, I personally do not believe you can regulate this type of behavior through the enactment of laws only. We as employees, stock holders, and public citizens have to continue to pressure the type of behavior we should expect from people in these leadershp positions.

williamboston
September 16th, 2008 at 8:14 am
I would add that the begin of decline is taking our eyes of the Lord and putting them squarly on ourselves. As example, I believe the likes of these guys that think they are transformational leaders. Change the world. But they fail on the most basic of the definition of this kind of leader. They cornerstone trait of attentiveness to the followers, helping them become the best they can be. I bet if you told any one these self made hot shot guys like the smart guys at enron, you are not a transformational leader, your people only follow you for the money; it would cut them to their soul. It just seems to me that above all else, even the money, they need to be loved. They have lost the idea of servanthood leadership. Although they think they are looking out for the shareholders and employees, they have closed their eyes to ethical behavior.

KG
September 16th, 2008 at 9:00 pm
I agree this disaster has been long in the making. My financial advisor just last year predicted a long correction to the market, but certainly no one in the room expected quite this horror, and so much of it due to dismal leadership in the mortgage industry. As long as the numbers were good, loans were just allowed to keep rolling. Nobody loved their neighbors in this scenario. Leadership failures have been with us throughout history, and as fallen beings, it’s hard to say no when confronted with quotas, “we always do it this way”, so-and-so is taking care of it, and “you do your job, and we’ll do ours,” especially when money is involved. I have encountered only a couple of “great leaders,” and am still amazed that they were able to walk-the-walk as well as they did without being pulled off track. I agree that there is far too little true servant leadership in the workplace. It doesn’t come easy for us, and certainly doesn’t put anyone in the spotlight, and so there is little incentive to practice that way unless you have personal core beliefs which ground you.

dt
September 18th, 2008 at 7:42 pm
Ethical egoism is a theory that calls a person to act so as to create the greatest good for herself or himself. Ethical egoism can be extended to mean acting in the best interest of his/her own employer.
At Enron, Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling may have convinced themselves that they were acting in the best interest of Enron. They may even have convinced themselves that they were acting in the best interest of the large group of employees and shareholders that profited from Enron’s activities. For a time, many people did benefit from the actions of Enron’s top managment and this short term benefit may, in their minds, have justified the business model that they must have known to be a ‘house of cards’.
The stock market rewards fast rising stars. The boom and crash of ‘internet companies’ is another recent example.

JCLuvsMe7
September 18th, 2008 at 9:20 pm
The Word tells us there is a way that seems right to us, but in the end it really leads to death (Proverbs 14:12). It is so easy for us to get ahead of ourselves and try to solve our ethical leadership issues or moral leadership issues with our own power and direction yet that may not always be the right answer. As the scripture talks about, it may seem right, yet it leads to death.
As the lines continue to get blurred and black and white seem more like gray, it seems that leadership is have a harder and harder time drawing a line in the sand. It is becoming harder and harder to say what is right and what is wrong as “truth” is bending or customizing for each individual. The Word makes it easier by revealing more and more of what it black and white, where the line should be drawn. Leadership needs to have such guidance and a renewed vision of what truth really is.

kd
September 19th, 2008 at 7:54 am
In answering “how did we get here?” in regards to our current crisis in leadership (i.e. financial institutions, Denver MMS/Oil scandal etc.) I think that John Maxwell makes a good case for the root causes of human behavior that result in bad fruit. To summarize, in his book There’s No Such Thing As Business Ethics” (Maxwell, 2003), Maxwell posits in general the following rationale behind what is effecting the ethical problems in leadership today:

  • We do what is most convenient – especially when under pressure.
  • We do what we must to win – an unfortunate side effect of American Pop culture.
  • We rationalize our choices with relativism – be careful here if you think you are immune! Maxwell states that this results in “ethical chaos” (p.8)

Where do we go from here?
Maxwell prescribes following the Golden Rule and living the 24-Karat life which is simply to treat others as or better than you treat yourself. Sounds easy right? I think that if we just listen and apply what Christ stated in summing up the Law to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Mt 22:37-40). Christians in business therefore, must be the same as Christians in personal life if we are to make a difference.

1598
September 19th, 2008 at 9:31 am
Let us take a step back and look at the morality of leadership at the highest level in our nation. Our previous president as well as our current one have shown that there is a leadership crisis in this nation and it starts at the top. This crisis was in the making far before these two men entered the picture, but I do think that they are a product of a culture that is more focussed on self vs. emerging as a leader through servant acts. Business has become so devisive where heads of organizations are separated from the people in the companies they lead, that they loose sight of the relationship and connection that leaders should have with the people that follow them. Dr. Gerald Bell of North Carolina University teaches that “great leaders build great organizations”. He does not say great leaders build great bank accounts, and I think that is were business is focussed today. How do I build the biggest bank account I can as quickly as I can.
I don’t think that Gov. regulations and laws will fix this issue, however I do believe that a moral servant leader in the White House would be a start, an example. I also believe that universities such as CCU developing servant leaders that are just and moral will provide business with future CEOs that care more about those they lead than their own wealth.

kd
September 19th, 2008 at 9:36 am
In answering “how did we get here?” in regards to our current crisis in leadership (i.e. financial institutions, Denver MMS/Oil scandal etc.) I think that John Maxwell makes a good case for the root causes of human behavior that result in bad fruit. To summarize, in his book There’s No Such Thing As Business Ethics” (Maxwell, 2003), Maxwell posits in general the following rationale behind what is effecting the ethical problems in leadership today:

  • We do what is most convenient – especially when under pressure.
  • We do what we must to win – an unfortunate side effect of American Pop culture.
  • We rationalize our choices with relativism – be careful here if you think you are immune! Maxwell states that this results in “ethical chaos” (p.8)

Where do we go from here?
Maxwell prescribes following the Golden Rule and living the 24-Karat life which is simply to treat others as or better than you treat yourself. Sounds easy right? I think that if we just listen and apply what Christ stated in summing up the Law to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Mt 22:37-40). Christians in business therefore, must be the same as Christians in personal life if we are to make a difference.

IITItwo15
September 19th, 2008 at 1:34 pm
Your existence is random chance; there is nothing special about you. It is “survival of the fittest.” Truth and meaning are whatever you want them to be — twist them to fit _you_. Oh, and the measurement of “success” is money, power, and more money (and in sufficient quantities to be arrogant about your means and decadence). Good character? That is for sissies. Responsibility? I am within the letter of the law, or, “prove it!” No, wait, YOU owe *me*. Role model? Narcissus. Yeah Boi! In your face!!
These are just a few of the messages they were taught growing up. And we stand back, shake our heads, and wonder “why?” What did we expect?
“…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” Joshua 24:1

DB
September 19th, 2008 at 6:07 pm
Even with the events of the last few years starting with Enron and leading up to the investment bank bankruptcies, I am not ready to say that we are in a leadership crisis. Yes we have seen grotesque abuses by senior executives taking advantage of their companies taking massive amounts of money and putting them in their own personal bank accounts all the while letting their companies and employees spiral out of control and hitting rock bottom with nothing to show for it. However, I compare this to another time where there were abuses of a different kind regarding labor. In the late 1800’s during the industrial revolution, it was common to work for twelve to fourteen hours a day six days a week in terrible conditions. It was not until unions formed and the government stepped in and gave the employees rights that these abuses stopped.
Now, the business world faces another crossroads. On one side, we can continue down the same path and keep letting executives take advantage of the system or we can hold them responsible for their actions and get rid of the bad apples. CEO’s should not be able to fall back on a golden parachute. They should like the rest of the world be held accountable for their actions and just like their employees, if they screw up they are punished or fired for it and not given a bonus.
On the bright side, even though there are several companies going under for this such behavior, it is not every company that is doing this and like during the industrial revolution, it is just a recalibration and refocusing that those working in the business world need to adjust.

joy
September 20th, 2008 at 10:29 am
Leadership is not always easy, that’s for sure! It tends to be sticky, messy and full of failures at times – after all, we are dealing with humans! We are dealing off the bat with a fallen nature, full of sin and temptations. However, we must not stop here! I agree with “Westy” that we are responsible, “to continue to pressure the type of behavior we should expect from people in these leadershp positions,” rather than to sit back and wait for this ethical, servant leadership to rise up in those leading us. It starts with our own leadership, laying aside “self” and turning our focus back on the Lord and off personal gain. Lastly, I have to keep in mind something my spiritual mentor once told me: “Don’t see how close you can get to compromise, sin, or temptation…rather, run as far as you can away from that thin line of compromise.” This mentor encouraged and challenged me to make decisions that would not even be considered in the gray areas, but to make decisions taking me as far away from that sinful action as possible. This exhortation has been an excellent reminder for me!

charlie
September 20th, 2008 at 2:53 pm
I think there are several things that are contributing to the continued trends in leadership today. Greed and money top the list, followed by self-interest, lack of accountability, and lack of core values and ethical foundations. As in cases such as Enron, there are surely people within these organizations who know unethical practices are taking place, and I think there are a number of reasons why they don’t always step up. The two primary ones in my mind being fear (of retaliation, job loss etc.) and desperation to survive. In today’s economy, jobs are not easy to come by and people must still support their families. I think that even Christians find it difficult to speak out sometimes, when faced with harm they might inflict on their families. I also believe that corporate executives and others don’t necessarily overtly set out to defraud their companies, stockholders, and employees. I believe it starts out small – acting on the edge of legality in order to maximize profits. Then once hooked, it’s easy to take one small step over the line, then another, and soon it’s gone too far to remedy. Where do we go from here? We may need to build an entirely new generation of leaders.

AOJ
September 20th, 2008 at 10:03 pm
Instant gratification. These leaders are trying to get rich quick, make the money now. It seems like CEO’s are job hoping as a way to get to the next bigger ($$) gig. Instead of taking ownership and investing thier time and energy into truly leading a company, they are trying to make the big money and be done with it… Maybe that is over simplifying, but a longer term viewpoint would go a long ways toward controlling the out-of control leaders.

CHACHA
September 20th, 2008 at 10:37 pm
A lack of Servent Leaders and ethical leaders in this country and around the world is obviously having a major impact on business, educational institutions and even our churches. There is so much greed in this world, everyone wants to keep up with the Jones’s even if it means losing their morals. However if we just spent more time reading the Bible and surrendering our will over to God’s will there would be much less of the disasters we are facing in these times.

CHACHA
September 20th, 2008 at 10:57 pm
There is a leadership crisis not just in this country but around the world, you see it not just in business but in our schools and our churches as well. Greed and trying to keep up with the Jones’s has been a major influence on the universal problem. If more of us would spend more time in the word of God reading the Bible and turning our will over to God’s will I know things would be much different. If there were more Servent Leaders to foster the way and to help keep the ethical side of business in the forefront that would also help. There is no simple answer to how to fix the problem but if each of us do are part that is better than turning our backs to the issue.

Paul
September 21st, 2008 at 8:13 am
This is so true! I see it in the presidential race, we have tow gentlemen who seem to know and want what is best for the majority of the people in the country, but I have to wonder if they are just saying “stuff” to win more votes. Will they actually do what they said they would if the win? I am not convinced they would. This is the type of poor leadership that our children are learning from. We as parents, teachers and leaders need to step up and set the precedence for this type of action. Walk the talk!

DH
September 21st, 2008 at 2:41 pm
I agree I have also seen a few leaders I would characterize as servants. I do respect their ability to stick to their guns and not allow themselves to be sucked in by greed, pride or a desire to be recognized. We have all learned that we should be humble in what we give so the Lord may be glorified and not ourselves. Usually when a corporation gives anything there is a press conference and a giant check saying look at us see how generous we are. There is very little self awareness and the leaders tend to believe their own hype. It has been this way for as long as I have been employed and we have to take it upon ourselves and make what little difference we can on team at a time.

BellaGrace
September 22nd, 2008 at 9:51 am
I agree with AOJ….instant gratification is a huge part of the selfishness that surrounds the current leadership crisis. Leaders are not filling that “emptiness” inside with the love that Christ gives us. Instead they are trying to satisfy that thirst with money, cars and groomed lawns. It won’t work now or EVER! In order to come out of the captivity of this greed and selfishness we need to first believe and trust God, then glorify Him and finally be satisfied in HIM!! He is the one and the only ONE that can satisfy our needs…even those of us who know God on a personal level can go years without being satisfied by him….it is recognizing a problem and addressing it. Just like our fellow Christians that were completely aware of the Enron scandal (and others I’m sure), they became numb and didn’t realize the lack of satisfaction in the LORD.

IROC
September 22nd, 2008 at 9:57 am
I agree with AOJ….instant gratification is a huge part of the selfishness that surrounds the current leadership crisis. Leaders are not filling that “emptiness” inside with the love that Christ gives us. Instead they are trying to satisfy that thirst with money, cars and groomed lawns. It won’t work now or EVER! In order to come out of the captivity of this greed and selfishness we need to first believe and trust God, then glorify Him and finally be satisfied in HIM!! He is the one and the only ONE that can satisfy our needs…even those of us who know God on a personal level can go years without being satisfied by him….it is recognizing a problem and addressing it. Just like our fellow Christians that were completely aware of the Enron scandal (and others I’m sure), they became numb and didn’t realize the lack of satisfaction in the LORD.

apa
October 29th, 2008 at 6:49 pm
If you go to a bookstore and look at the business section you will find an exhaustive number of book on leadership, how to become a leader, what a leader is, etc. Anytime that somebody can get a book published and instantly become an expert you should know that something is wrong. Very few if any of these will include service or servant leadership, what I consider to be true leadership. Today, we have changed the focus of leadership from the group to the leader. Instead of lifting up the whole organization we are giving accolades to only the leader.
People are so intent on becoming a leader that they have forgotten how to follow and listen. We have been telling our leaders that once you get to that position you are supposed to have all of the answers. So once somebody becomes a leader they no longer know how to listen.

apa
October 29th, 2008 at 7:04 pm
If you go to a bookstore and look at the business section you will find an exhaustive number of book on leadership, how to become a leader, what a leader is, etc. Anytime that somebody can publish a book and become an expert there is a problem. Very few if any of these will include service or servant leadership, what I feel is true leadership. Today, we have changed the focus of leadership from the group to the leader. Instead of applauding the accomplishments of the group we a heaping accolades on the leader no matter how he performed. People are so intent on becoming a leader that they have forgotten how to follow and listen. We have been telling our leaders that once you get to that position you are supposed to have all of the answers. So once somebody becomes a leader they no longer know how to listen.

John Luke Picard
November 1st, 2008 at 12:57 pm
No there is not a leadership crisis! To say we have a leadership crisis is to misdiagnose the problem, and in turn will lead to an improper cure. In American culture, we have a morality crisis. Until everyone, not just leaders, begin to return to quantifiable and solid moral values, we will continue to have problems in not only the business sector, but in every sector of life. Prior to postmodernist thinking, Americans lived by the morals and values spelled out in scripture. However, after WWII, people began to question the validity of such values. The postmodernists cry was “there is no objective knowledge or truths.” All truth is relative to one’s viewpoint and if it doesn’t hurt someone else, then it is acceptable. Finally that all religious truths lead to heaven. I truly believe that this type of thinking is what has lead to our current morality crisis. I liked when JCLuvsMe7 quoted Proverbs “The Word tells us there is a way that seems right to us, but in the end it really leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).” I think this is the path postmodernist thinking is taking us. If we, as a people, do not stand up and live, teach, and praise the values taught in scripture, we will continue down this path that leads to death.

MNM
November 1st, 2008 at 11:02 pm
John Luke Picard…Thank you for making me reconsider my stance on whether or not there is a leadership crisis. While my first reaction is YES, of course these is a leadership crisis, you bring up a great point in that there perhaps is a misdiagnosis of the problem. The leadership crisis is just the effect of the lack of morality and ethics in our our society. Obviously, postmodernism has a lot to do with the cause/effect relationship and people being able to answer the fundamental questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Is there a purpose for my life? Does God exist? Postmodernism teaches us the exact opposite of what God’s word teaches us and without Christians truly standing up for their convictions and helping people see truth, the leadership crisis is just the start. There is definitely an urgency for a new paradigm shift. Now what should it look like? I believe it starts by exposing people to the truth. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding…” There is the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood and as Christian leaders, we must be able to decipher between the two. We have to be able to clearly answer the tough questions and give people hope that God stands on His promises. John 14:17 says, “-the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” By standing strong on our convictions and standing for what is true, Christians can expose the lies and my prayer is that people will turn to us because they see the light of Jesus.

birdiesandbogeys
November 2nd, 2008 at 4:49 pm
I agree with JLP that we have a “morality crisis”, but it’s not new. “..all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23) As long as we hold man to the standards of Christ, he/she will fail. I look in the mirror and believe this every day. What makes corporate leaders any different, now or 2000 years ago? I submit that our information age has pulled away the covers on fallen leadership. Sins are exposed all too quickly and we are witnesses. Can we still find flashes of honor and Christ-like ethics among our leaders. You bet, but that’s not newsworthy.

JesusFreak
November 2nd, 2008 at 6:10 pm
John Luke has a valid point. From the time children enter the public school systems, and probably many of the private institutions if they are not “religious,” they are indoctrinated into the worldview of self over others. How can we possibly expect followers or leaders coming out of that educational background to be moral and ethical? The leaders are coming from the same place as the followers so who is going to teach them morality so they can then go and lead in a moral way? It is time for those of us who do not see morality and ethics as
“what ever works” to stand up, stop bowing to the “PC Police” and bring morality (read, “God”) back into our children’s education. This is the only way the “leadership crisis” will ever truly end.

CORebel
November 2nd, 2008 at 9:21 pm
I think that most of you are correct. We did not just wake up and this crisis was upon us. On the other hand it has been being preached in our business schools for decades. The mantra was ” make a profit as long as it was legal”. Never was the words morals or ethical brought into the picture. Now we have made the profit, the maximum profit and look where we are. It is time that profit is not the only factor to look at. My grandfather once told me that not all money is good money..I was not sure what he meant until recently.

CThompson
November 3rd, 2008 at 10:31 pm
In listening to colleagues, friends, and classmates comment on the current leadership crisis, I find one common thread: blame. Everyone wants tp blame the schools or society or the lack of God in the workplace. To some extent, these are all valid points, but a majority of the problem is the result of people placing blame elsewhere. For instance, the infamous Enron scandal displayed a group of leaders that blamed everyone else but themselves for the failures of the company. The CEO blamed the shareholders and the CFO. Kenneth Lay blamed others in the company for their rogue actions. No one stood up and owned their mistakes and attempted to rectify the situation. In this blog I see blame being thrown at our schools, a “lack of God”, and a desire to make profit. In order to solve our leadership crisis, our current and future leaders need to take ownership over their successes and failures.

woodchuck
November 9th, 2008 at 7:25 am
Up until the time of the crash of Enron almost everyone inside and out considered it an amazing sucess. When it crashed we heard a lot of “I knew they must be cheating somehow”….Its funny how we justify making money as sucess but when the cash cow turns into a pig we are the first ones that want to distance ourselves because we know that our cash cow was dirty.

Nile
November 9th, 2008 at 4:17 pm
The law of sawing and reaping is always at work.
The seeds of unethical business practices that have been sawn for years are now ripe and our western capital market finds itself in the midst of harvest. Enron’s scandal was one of the first fruits of that harvest. The source is greed and selfish behavior embedded in the old man (the fallen nature of humanity). This explanation seems old fashioned, but it is true. In the western culture, there is consequence for doing illegal things, but no consequence for doing unethical things. Albert Carr has put it so well in his article “Is business bluffing ethical?” When he compares business bluffing to bluffing in poker playing.
As we all now know, corporate boardrooms were deeply engaged in displaying false strength and confidence that mislead others. It seems as if the entire business community has accepted lying as a permissible strategy for winning.

Nile
November 9th, 2008 at 5:39 pm
You guys are right. Blaming others does not bring any change. The entire business culture has to make a paradigm shift towards ethical matters. We have to start to care for traditional ethical codes, as we are very careful for legal codes. Then we can make a difference. Although it is not easy, it is not impossible also.

Floyd
December 1st, 2008 at 2:37 pm
Is there a leadership crisis?
Many of our nation’s corporate leaders are talking the talk but are they really walking the talk? You are invited to participate in this ongoing “Action Learning” discussion to share your personal viewpoint and real-life experience of leadership in America. Some questions to consider: Regarding the leadership crisis, how did we get here? Where do we go from here? Post some specific suggestions.
Are our leaders walking the walk? If you look at some of the most recent leaders of major corporations you could say, no, they are not. They have golden parachutes, give huge bonuses to the board members, and then turn around and lay off employees or reduce their salaries. This is not the kind of leadership we need. However, you can look at a select few major corporations and see their executives taking huge pay cuts in order to help the company and their employees, and in almost all cases those corporations end up turning their business around for the better. Why? Leadership. Leadership is not motivated by selfishness or greed; it is concerned with the organization and its employees.
How did we get to a place where most of the leaders of our big corporations are acting in this way? We are here as a society, because our morals as a society have decreased. People who stand up and tell the truth for the better of the public are labeled whistleblowers and are punished for speaking out. The “American dream” is money and big houses and cars, not loving family and strong morals, and being a God fearing man. We take God out of our schools, out of our government, basically out of our lives with out completely taking it away, and then wonder why people don’t act with good morals…. Were they ever taught morals? People are taught morals from their parents, but are they home? To advance at work parents spend long hours working and less time with their children teaching them morals, lessons, values. How do we perceive our priorities when we look at the time our parents spend at work as opposed to with us? What are we taught is most important… Morals, religion, or money? How do we view success…being a religious man, having a good family, or is it by our job title and our house? How did we get here? I think it is quite obvious.
Where do we go from here? If you want a business to be ethical, you have to have ethical leaders to run it. If we can change even some of the problems with our society listed above, then that will change our society and hence our leaders for the better.

David
February 5th, 2009 at 9:32 pm
Looking through this thread, CThompson’s post stands out as unique. While I do not agree with his contention that “blame” is the cause of the leadership crisis, I do agree that blame is not the way out of it.
If the cause is a morality crisis, how do we go about reestablishing a common morality? If the cause is a need for instant gratification, how do we get folks to focus on the eternal? Perhaps if we all provided examples of the proper approach within our spheres of influence, eventually the whole tide would begin to turn. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).”
Derek Wilson
February 6th, 2009 at 2:46 pm
I do not believe that we see self-sacrificing leadership in the corporate, government, or really any of the public arena today. The recent collapse of the large investment banks as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are examples of greed gone wild. Even locally, Ted Haggard (in my opinion), demonstrates his selfishness by coming back to the Springs and filming his recent HBO documentary. In my opinion he is running around making publicity in an attempt to position himself for more money.
All around us we see a golden parachute mentality. Folks don’t care about the greater good as evidenced from their fruits. They all speak a good communitarian line because it sounds good and right. However, the proof is in the pudding that few are willing to go without to benefit the many. Even when given a second chance companies like AIG take their executives out with bailout money and go on a lavish retreat.
On a personal and local level, an example of service leadership is my boss, Roger Chandler. He gives all for his folks. He doesn’t have a “I don’t do windows” mentality. He will get his hands dirty and dig into the work with the rest of us. In his position he could choose to not do many things and delegate even more. He does not. Instead, he offers up himself on our behalf and works diligently with us and for us.

Naco
February 6th, 2009 at 9:25 pm
Is there a leadership crisis?
You bet there is. Just turn on the news. It doesn’t take long to see that no one seems to be in control and that everyone is pushing for their own agenda. We got here because we live in an environment that fosters greed. Everyone is trying to out do the other without taking into account the costs or consequences involved.
Where do we go from here?
Sadly, there is no easy answer to this except that we must each make an individual choice to live our lives in an ethical manner. I believe that the best way to get others to do the right thing is by setting the example ourselves. Certainly, we must always seek to do what we preach.

PDG13
February 7th, 2009 at 11:58 am
“Is there a Leadership Crisis”
I believe that there is a leadership crisis. Currently, crisis in America’s economy is a reflection of a crisis in leadership amongst many other things. Some churches around the nation are suffering from the effects of previous leaders. Some leaders may be in a position to lead without the experience and training necessary to make an organization succeed. There is a lot to say for the 25 year old Ivy League graduate turned corporate leader overnight. Education is power and an organization can profit from someone with this background. An organization can learn how to do become more innovative and technology savvy in order to be competitive with other companies. However, it seems as if the values/principles within organizations have shifted from taking care of people to making more money. Many times this is perpetrated by what leaders tell us we should believe in. It is possible to balance all of these and achieve success even if it is in small numbers at first. There are great leaders among us in our work centers, but many times what separate us are our personal values and principles. I think that many times our vector in leadership can be swayed by inexperience and pride. When I see something morally/ethically wrong, my challenge is to confront it. It’s not always the most comfortable position to be in, but necessary.
It is hard to be inspired by leadership if I do not feel my concerns are acknowledged. An example, I know of someone who works for a federal prison and learned that the prisoners respond well to their environment when they are treated with dignity. This means if the environmental conditions such as food, temperature, health, prison culture, and interaction with guards the prison does not typically have violent issues amongst prisoners. I think the concept of, “if you treat your employees well, they will make your job as a leader easier”.

HisLightShines
February 8th, 2009 at 7:23 pm
I think we as a country, look to our leaders, thinking they have the responsibility to change our lives, because we are the followers – wrong. To me a leader is one who is willing to step outside of the norm, take chances for the good of all, and develop other leaders.
I also see a trend I don’t like, especially amongst politicians, and that is the changing of their stance based on the populous vote. While it is wise to listen to the people, they after all placed you in power and should have a say in the state of their country, at the same time however, they do no have all the information you are privy to. They listen to their 3 minutes of radio news in the morning, or 1 hour of TV news, not realizing that they are getting their information from a media that is ALSO trying to make a buck, and sensationalizing the information disseminated, plus keeping out other stuff in fear of pandemonium. OK, off my soap box for now. =)

Bret
February 9th, 2009 at 5:43 pm
How has leadership in the last decade demonstrated the law of sacrifice, if at all?
I would have to say that leadership in the last decade does not follow the law of sacrifice. Leaders in my opinion don’t give up something in order to get something, these leaders are all about what can the company do for me and forget everyone else. Again, nowhere is this more evident then all the big wigs of different companies who pay themselves big bonuses and raises while paying their employees minimally for their services.
Service leadership is doing what is best for the employees and the organization and not doing what would be beneficial to yourself. The golden parachute on the other hand is making sure that an individual is taken care of whether or not the organization or employees are cared for in the end. I believe that service leadership is more effective but that means that leaders would actually have to care about more than themselves…which would be changing a business culture or mindset in my opinion. If we as individuals want to see change then we have to start with ourselves.

Jenna
February 10th, 2009 at 12:51 pm
How did we get here with this leadership crisis? I believe that our leadership crisis began in the Garden of Eden. Adam was placed in charge of the earth and its occupants including Eve. Where was Adam when Eve was tempted, he was with her but not speaking up and correcting her choices. Had Adam stood up and declared the truth and redirected Eve, I believe we would be living in paradise right now. So how do we as new paradigm Christian leaders go from here? We must seek first the Kingdom of God and all the things we need will be added to us. Corporate America is seeking the almighty dollar and finding greed, and corruption awaiting them. Let us seek first to glorify God and we will have what we need and see the impact that obedience can make no matter where we work.

JasonH
February 10th, 2009 at 7:55 pm
Leadership Crisis? Yes! Unfortunately, I can’t think of any real leaders on the grand scene that walk the talk. I’ve seen many corporate leaders “go up and not give up,” then use the golden parachute when it was time to bail, all the while retaining millions for themselves despite their companies going down in flames. Several example include; Viacom (Tom Freston), $84.8M severance package, North Fork Bancorp (John Kanas), $185M severance package, KB Homes (Bruce Karatz), $175M severance package, Home Depot (Robert L. Nardelli), $210M severance package, Pfizer (Hank McKinnell) $122M severance package, Exxon Mobil (Lee Raymond), $98.4M severance package (AOL, Money & Finance “Golden Parachute Club of the Past Year”)
How did we get here? Lee Iacocca was right when he said “Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder.” His main beef were the buffoons in Washington. “How did we end up with this crowd in Washington?” And he’s right? I’ll give President Obama some credit (which you won’t hear me do often). Recently, he put a cap on the CEO’s at $550K for CEO’s to receive for companies in the future that will be bailed out via packages. What I don’t like though is the fact that we’re conceding the fact that we’ll be bailing out MORE companies in the future…We need to STOP conceding and start holding folks to the fire. Perhaps that’s the solution…
I was impressed to read that Iacocca cut his annual salary to just one dollar! He hoped his sacrifice would move these executives to follow him by taking a 10% pay cut to save the company; and it did! By 1982 Chrysler was not only turning around but making a record 925 million dollar profit. The Law of Sacrifice article talks about what sacrifice really is. As a military guy I couldn’t help but think of the WWII sacrifices when I read “We tread on the skeletons of thousands of generations that have lived and died that we might live.” And the grain of wheat that has to fall to the ground and die, yet its seed lives and multiplies and grows. How poetic! That is service leadership. And I believe God still rewards despite it all. Look at Iacocca…Despite his sacrifice, He’s doing o.k.…. (He’s just little mad).

Perry L. Bower
February 10th, 2009 at 9:47 pm
I could not find any examples of anyone who has led in this way. The closest I did find was that Mr. Obama put raise restrictions on his staff for an undetermined time. That is a far cry from the example of Lee Iacocca. The Enron documentary along with examples of other corporations that followed Enron’s business model, have failed and limited their place in the market. There is only so long that either a person or business can sustain that kind of errant model of business. Taking a Humanistic/Darwinian business model will produce it’s own fruit. It is not very desirable.
Sadly, The Church as a whole is not much better. However, one exception I did hear of is Rick Warren, who is a multi-millionaire author and pastor, who gives 90% of his income away. This is a great approach, albeit a bit different than how the question was framed. Pastor Warren exhibits generosity vs. monetary sacrifice, which in my opinion is even more virtuous. It is so very generous of Mr. Obama to put a freeze on the income of his staff during this tough economic time. But perhaps he could cap his own income instead, or give away some portion of his income away as an example to others. My hat is off to Rick Warren and others who accurately see the truth of where our resources come from (God vs. Government) and how we should respond sacrificially (Romans 12:1-2). We are called to be different than the world, and the wisdom thereof.
Examples like Pastor Warren is what Northouse has identified as transformational leadership (Northouse, 2007)(pg. 175). “It is concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals and includes assessing followers’ motives, satisfying their needs, and treating them as full human beings”. Northouse also notes that in the research of Howell & Avolio, 1993, “Authentic transformational leadership is socialized leadership…”. I believe this is a kennard. It certainly can include aspects of some socialized expression, however, In the light of what Jesus did, and His relationships with His disciples, He was clearly concerned with personal outcomes first, then to community, then regional, then global. These concentric circles of influence are different than what is suggested by Howell & Avolio. The transformation occurs individually first, then concentrically outward.
By the mere fact of our citizenship in God’s Kingdom, that should put to rest our striving for any ultimate reward (”we already have a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…” Ephesians 1:13-14), and just be in the business of bearing fruit, fruit that will last beyond our years here in this life. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these (other) things will be added… (Matthew 6:33)”. That is my Golden Parachute.

Sammie Jo
February 11th, 2009 at 7:43 am
My last employer was actively involved in bringing Christianity back into the workplace. This employer provided employees with access to a minister for individual or family needs or crisis, as well as we participated in monthly meetings at which we received handouts from a Christian based business called Character First. Even today I still carry with me a small folded handout entitled, “Character Determines Success” on which the cover gives the definition of character as the qualities built into an individual’s life that determines his or her response, regardless of circumstances. Character First does many things, but one is publishes employer meeting brochures as handouts with the intent of helping to develop 49 preferred character qualities versus their opposite non-preferred character quality, a few of which are: Alertness vs. Carelessness; Attentiveness vs. Distraction; all the way to Virtue vs. Impurity; and Wisdom vs. Foolishness.
Both leadership and management can serve up a common goal, a team concept. But just imagine the attainable goals and results that could be achieved to best suit the majority, if the selection of team members would have characteristics of leadership and management, of both the left brain and the right brain, and would be combined with training on the desirable character qualities.
It is not that we do not have leadership and management, nor is it we do not have good character qualifies; we just have not found a means of implementing them together in the common practice of better achievement for the majority. We think it is difficult to make the time or find the energy, or to take a leap of faith in changing the ways of the unwilling. How is it we think others should? We need to take more care in our selection of our countries leaders. We also need to find a way to develop and implement solutions together for ourselves.

Sammie Jo
February 11th, 2009 at 7:46 am
Is there a leadership crisis?
My last employer was actively involved in bringing Christianity back into the workplace. This employer provided employees with access to a minister for individual or family needs or crisis, as well as we participated in monthly meetings at which we received handouts from a Christian based business called Character First. Even today I still carry with me a small folded handout entitled, “Character Determines Success” on which the cover gives the definition of character as the qualities built into an individual’s life that determines his or her response, regardless of circumstances. Character First does many things, but one is publishes employer meeting brochures as handouts with the intent of helping to develop 49 preferred character qualities versus their opposite non-preferred character quality, a few of which are: Alertness vs. Carelessness; Attentiveness vs. Distraction; all the way to Virtue vs. Impurity; and Wisdom vs. Foolishness.
Both leadership and management can serve up a common goal, a team concept. But just imagine the attainable goals and results that could be achieved to best suit the majority, if the selection of team members would have characteristics of leadership and management, of both the left brain and the right brain, and would be combined with training on the desirable character qualities.
It is not that we do not have leadership and management, nor is it we do not have good character qualifies; we just have not found a means of implementing them together in the common practice of better achievement for the majority. We think it is difficult to make the time or find the energy, or to take a leap of faith in changing the ways of the unwilling. How is it we think others should? We need to take more care in our selection of our countries leaders. We also need to find a way to develop and implement solutions together for ourselves.

junior
February 11th, 2009 at 4:22 pm
It is so easy for all of us, Christians included, to get caught up in earthly, carnal things. The world promises so much and we forget that one day we will leave everything here behind. The only thing that matters is the Name that our heart speaks when this limelight fades. Moreover, the only way to “stand fast” is to constantly remember who we belong to. There is so much confusion and more grey area than ever before when discussing morals and ethics, but my God is not a God of confusion. Instead of being Christians who are always trying to find the distinction between good and bad in an effort to just walk along the cliff without jumping, we need to simply run away from the edge. Too often we desire to identify the fine, blurry line as opposed to just completely steering clear and heading in the other direction. “I’ll just drink until I’m buzzed, but I for sure won’t get drunk.” How about I just throw the six pack out altogether? (I’m not trying to start something here; it’s just an example).
We have to remember that as Christians we absolutely must be something different. We don’t have the luxury of just being able to say, “Yeah, I’m a Christian” without any real transformation occurring. It may not be easy for us to be leaders in a very vulnerable business culture, but God is on our side. He does not say, “Accept me so I can send trouble your direction and make things very difficult for you.” Instead He says, “For I know the plans I have for you; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11. Do we believe that or is it just words? Of course leadership in America is going to different than what God intended it to be…it’s worldly, its material. In order to make a difference we have to trust in His promises and remember that where we are is temporary.

Nickname
February 11th, 2009 at 5:05 pm
In my opinion I don’t think leadership in the last decade has demonstrated the law of sacrifice. I believe service leadership is more effective than “golden parachute” leadership. The law of sacrifice, which considers others before self characterizes service leadership. In contrast corporate greed characterizes the “golden parachute” leadership. To further complicate matters the government at all levels implicitly encourages corporate greed in many ways. For example Enron was given loans and grants by the government at the same time that executives were working within regulations to successfully hide Enron’s shady deals. Service leadership is God’s own style of leadership. Jesus led by selflessly and sacrificially giving up his life in service to humankind, and the benefits of that are still ongoing. The law of sacrifice permeates every facet of life; today we are beneficiaries of freedom and its accompanying blessings because men and women sacrificed their very lives. The sacrifice of one generation preserves the next generation.

Mattb
February 11th, 2009 at 9:21 pm
Organizational leadership continues to become more challenging as the economy plummets, layoffs increases, and technology changes. Competition is fiercer than ever and remaining profitable as an organization is a daunting task for many leaders. Despite these challenges, service leadership continues to reside throughout many organizations. Unfortunately, due to the heightened sensitivity to corporate scandals and “golden parachutes,” the public primarily remembers the dishonest few that the media rightfully exploits.
However, the majority of organizational leaders still demonstrate a service leadership approach. Specifically, many leaders still value the employees involvement and needs in the decision making process. Kenneth E. Smith, who is CEO of H.B. Maynard Co. Inc, is a prime example of service leadership (article website below).
http://findarticles.com/p/arti….._n21399485
Granted, H.B. Maynard is a small company that I never new existed until I completed more research on service leadership. However, I believe these leaders are out there making a difference everyday with their followers. Also, it is our duty to take time to compete an inventory of service leaders within our own organizations. If the service leaders don’t outweigh the self-serving leaders, then it may be time to update your resume.

Mary Anne Mooradian
February 11th, 2009 at 11:09 pm
As I read the responses before my own one posting in particular stands out to me. Naco said, “Is there a leadership crisis? You bet there is. Just turn on the news. It doesn’t take long to see that no one seems to be in control and that everyone is pushing for their own agenda.” I feel the crisis is exactly that … the news. The media overwhelms today’s world. I firmly believe bad things and great things have happened consistently since the beginning of time. However, with the advancements in cell phone technology, internet and more, you can find out “news”, (as well as dirt .. how long did it take for the Brown/Rhina thing to hit the media frenzy), almost in real time. Things become sensationalized because people feed off the sensationalism of it all.
Do we have a leadership crisis? I don’t really believe we do. I feel we have many strong leaders alive today, (although I must admit that I don’t think people always appreciate leaders until they are dead). I think what we really have is a media crisis. It seems like the real trick these days is deciding who you listen to and what is relevant. I feel those are the core items. Many “great” leaders have had some twist or other to taint them – leaders in government, business and bible alike. It surprises me how big of a story Enron is to so many. People act like nothing like this has ever happened before, but I wonder what about those Nazi camps, Child Labor issues, Watergate, Sodom and Gomorrah, the great Flood (destroying the entire earth because things were so corrupt) – just to name a few.
So I guess the real question to me is where we go from here. Just that fact that so many people talk about the “leadership crisis” means their perception is we have one. That perception in itself is a crisis. I think we as a society need to start living in a more positive manner, looking for the good in things as hard as we look for the bad. We are a “catty” society who judges others very harshly. I feel it is OUR obligations, (we being the new leaders of this country), to make a difference. It can start small .. maybe you lead your family, maybe you lead a church, maybe you lead a company, or maybe you lead a nation … but each one of us has the responsibility to approach leadership in a positive manner. I want to close this with a real life example that I feel really describes what is going on in this country …
I fly often for work. Many times when I fly there is someone around me new to flying who gets nervous when we hit an air pocket. I always direct these new flyers to the flight attendant. Are they up serving drinks and happy? If so, we’re probably OK. OR are they sitting in their jump seats praying – than maybe we have an issue. Even if we’re flying along and things seem calm if the flight attendants go running back to their seats screaming randomly .. than everyone becomes afraid..even if there was no reason to be. As a leader your people are looking to you. Are you calm, positive and happy? Or are you strapped in someplace praying for a miracle? You set the tone.

Instigator
February 11th, 2009 at 11:12 pm
Is there a leadership crisis in America? Most definitely. On the surface, it appears that many of our leaders are walking the talk, but so often that is not the case. In reality, few Lee Iacocca’s (leaders who will sacrifice their own personal gain for corporate or organizational gain) exist. Rather, we are seeing the emergence of more Kenneth Lays and Jeff Skillings (Enron).
How did we get here? We are living in increasingly corrupt times where Matthew 12 rings true: “Many will be led into sin, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will appear and deceive many, and because lawlessness will increase so much, the love of many will grow cold. But the person who endures to the end will be saved.” Times are increasingly wicked. Society and culture teaches us to think only of ourselves and grab the biggest gain, regardless of how it impacts others.
Where do we go from here?
We continue to have hope, to live with integrity and ethics, following the standards Christ sets forth in the Bible, rather than living by the rules the world dictates. We keep following Christ, even when the way seems unpopular. We seek to influence those around us to live and lead with integrity. We lead by setting an example. And above all, we continue to hope, and seek and maintain vision. With times of great darkness come times of great and unparalleled opportunity and advancement.

coolngang
February 12th, 2009 at 8:35 am
We have a motto in the military, “Practice how you fight.” Which simply means how we practice is how we fight in time of war. The moral decline of ethical standards in business is just as a fever is to a cold, a symptom of the decline of Godly standards of our society. If an individual is not honest at home then how could they be honest in business setting? If an individual is willing to betray the person who knows him/her best and he/she says that they love most, their spouse. Then how can we expect that person not to betray people he/she does not know on a personal level. The unethical problem is not in business it is in our society, in our homes. We just notice it more in business because it deals with our economics and one persons “sickness” has a manifested effect on others. The scripture says “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 9:17 (KJV) and “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14: 33-35 (KJV).

David Boucher
February 12th, 2009 at 9:41 am
Greetings:
I agree but I think there are controlled variables that make it a crisis. For instance, indiviudal accountablity and company transparency. When companies and leaders agree to offer and accept Golden Parachute packages an economic crisis has been born that grows into economic assasination.
It seems that true leadership has been turned internally with greed and egocentric behaviors the key element to their leadership when it should be completely different (e.g. servanthood leadership).
Yes, leadership is in crisis and until the Key Stakeholders step up as leaders it will never go away.
Dave

Doug
February 12th, 2009 at 12:03 pm
There is no question that we have a leadership crisis in this country. We see it played out time and time again. From the U.S. President on down. And, I don’t think there is a simple resolution to this crisis.
To begin, leadership implies a destination. Where are we headed in this country. As it stands, the direction we are headed in looks bleak. Unfortunately, the “me first” mentality has been at the wheel for too long. It will take nothing short of a miracle to re-direct our course.
Second, I think that many of the people we hold up as leaders, are unwilling participants. They may enjoy the prestige, power, fame, fortune, etc., but they seem unwilling to accept responsibility for people following them. Instead, we see “leaders” such as big oil executives justify their actions when they tell the nation that that they are in business to make a profit at a time when the price of oil per barrel is the highest it has ever been and the price translates to the increased cost of fuel to the consumer to the degree that the consumer can no longer afford to drive. Or we see a U.S. President try to convince the nation that having oral sex is not the same thing as having sexual relations. Never mind the fact that he was married. Or we see our “leaders” refuse to answer for their behaviors at all such as in the recent case of the CEO of a peanut company on the advice of his attorney refusing to give clues as to why so many people have suffered Salmonella poisoning after having consumed products manufactured by his company.
The solution to this problem rests in the principles of leadership outlined in the Bible, and its weight bears down on the people in the church. We have to turn to God for strength, guidance, and wisdom. We have to practice and demonstrate the biblical principles of leadership to the so much that the people around us not only take notice, but understand the necessity of doing what we do. And this behavior has to reach out into the world beyond the church walls. Now, we have to spend as much time and effort at fulfilling Great Commission inside the country as we do out if we ever hope to have an impact in the leadership crisis we are experiencing.

Time
February 13th, 2009 at 12:10 am
Yes, I believe there is a leadership crisis in America. Frankly, it scares me. Although our past Administration at one time billed itself as a God fearing and committed, I felt it bent to pressure as time progressed. Our current Administration leaves me shaking my head. At the initial prayer breakfast, he referred to his conversion as “spending time with church folk” Couldn’t the speech writers come up with something better than that?
I often wonder if an act of deception (of epic proportion) is not at hand in our generation. Are we the God fearing nation we once were? I say NO! Are we bending to the whims and ideals of a culture seeking immediate gratification and looking to a leader that through charisma wins people over? Yes. Charisma does make a leader.
Please understand that I am not tying to be apocalyptic. But, I am making a mental note to check my thoughts in 3 1/2 year to see just where we are.

Corey
February 13th, 2009 at 11:10 am
Is there a leadership crisis? Absolutely!
I understand fully that this post may not be agreeable to many people; however I feel inclined to say it anyway. The leadership problems are our fualt. There are many examples of where leadership failed to recognize the true meaning of the lord and their actions showed it. Examples include, Watergate, Nazi Germany, Slavery (President Washington had slaves) and the list could go on and on. Every generation has their own moral decay. Today we have corporate greed on Wall Street, political corruption in Washington, religious leadership sexual scandals (Ted Haggard). I believe we need to stop reporting these cases of poor value based leadership and start talking about the good. The more public the better examples can get the more likely they can be repeated. We say history repeats itself, well if the only histories people remember is poor, then we are doomed to repeat it. The more positive examples we can show our youth of successful, moral, loyal and honest leaders the better of our future will be.

Greg
February 13th, 2009 at 11:16 am
One problem I have seen is that often leaders are given the role, and they either accept it and abuse it, or deny it and abuse it. Society has given people the opportunity to act unethical and immoral and get away with it. People are taking advantage of the system and nothing seem to be happening about it.
The golden parachute is only adding fuel to the fire, by telling someone that they will get paid no matter what happens to the company is crazy! What motivation does that instill in a person to work hard to even work at all? Leaders should not simply be picked out of a hat or given the title, leadership is something you earn, through hard work and determination. By proving to others time and time again that you are the person who will lead the team or organization through to the end.
I believe that it will take society to change the problem, people are sick of seeing others get to the top and ruin it for the rest. There are to many good leaders out there to continue with the path of leadership we have see in the recent past.

capp stafford
February 15th, 2009 at 6:35 pm
Leadership is in a crisis because of the scandales that were done there were know laws that wasmade for these crimes. It seemed that almost every month a big company was goin under. The forclosres the scandals behind that. It will take more just saying it is a white color crime because these people had stolen majority of the economy money and this is why we are in a depression. When people need to eat and survive how many good people are out there that you can trust?

Cleo
February 15th, 2009 at 6:54 pm
Greetings:
To address the question, is there a leadership crisis, the answer begins with each and every one of us. We are all leaders in some way, we may be parents, we may be coaches, we may run an organization, but all of us have had someone come to us for advice, mentoring, and expertise. We are all part of the problem or crisis as much as we are part of the solution.
Previous posts have noted the increased publicity on the negative or bad actions of leaders. Another posts talks about individuals in their personal lives being dishonest or unethical and that action spills over into business. These are examples of how, as individuals, we are all part of culture we have created.
It appears that the majority of the posts all agree that there is a leadership crisis, but rather than discussing that, shouldn’t we be discussing how we can solve it? Sure, none of us have the power to fix the world, but we all have the power to do our part and with that will come change. We are heading in the wrong direction, and just like the Titanic, we can’t turn on a dime, but with enough energy and time we can turn things around.
Addressing our political leaders, our dear country needs to be run like a business and we need a plan. Every person that owns or starts up a company has to have a business plan and it should be no different for the running of our county. Our founding fathers intended political service to be just that, service for the people. We, as citizens, have a voice and we need to make sure our elected politician leaders are hearing us loud and clear.
We have some critical needs right now, but we can’t focus 100% of our energies on them, we still need to know where we plan to be in 3, 5, 20, and 50 years from now. This focus on the future will be how we turn this country around. America has always been a melting pot, but what does that really mean? Do we want to give up our rich heritage and beliefs to try and create a ‘political correct’ society that values nothing? Who are we? What do we stand for? Our political leaders are taking the pledge of allegiance out of our schools due to a reference to God; in doing so what are we teaching the future generations about who we are? The past is the past, we can learn from it, but we can’t change it. We really need to be focusing on the future and the direction we are going.

Paul
February 16th, 2009 at 10:08 pm
Is there a leadership crises? During the previous presidential race I remember turning to a friend and saying “this is the best we’ve got to offer?” It seemed galling to me to think that somehow these folks running for leadership of their respective parties were really the best their parties and the US had to offer. But I wonder if our leaders aren’t also a reflection of us as followers. While we talk about the need for leaders to sacrifice, it seems that we at times expect way too much and lay standards upon them that we would never accept for ourselves. The reason so many of our leaders may be arrogant and self centered is that that may be the only personality type that can survive our expectations and criticism. It may be the only way to develop skin think enough to not be destroyed by both the process and the job. Is seems to require a certain level of dishealth to seek public office today. What does that say about us as followers?

Victoria
February 17th, 2009 at 3:19 pm
I think that after looking out our current economic crisis and the different struggles many organizations are facing, we all see the desperate need for leadership and can vividly see that many organizations around the world are in fact enduring a leadership crisis. We can all agree that leading in a crisis can be extremely difficult and challenging and determining the underlying premise of leadership crisis varies depending on what type of organization we are in. Just the other day, I was watching “the house of cards” on CNBC and they talked about how many times leadership within an organization and become corrupted as a result of greed. I strongly believe that the minute a leader begin to think of their personal gain rather then the legal and moral responsibility owed to both customers and employees, crisis begin to arise. Some leaders loose site of the so-call “shared-vision” they preach about and the input of other no longer matter. It is also clear that the amount of impact a crisis will have on an organization’s leadership, workers, and stakeholders often depends on its severity.
It almost seems as if you see a big organization/cooperation begging to be rescued every time you turn on the TV. I believe the at some point of times, many larger organizations lost track of the importance of integrity and as a result, the effect trickled down to us all. I also think that best way to fix things would be going back to the basics. Involve the individuals who are affected by decisions made as well as individuals who would be responsible for carrying out such decisions.

MNM
February 27th, 2009 at 9:07 pm
There is a growing awareness in the United States and throughout the world that there is a leadership crisis and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the old, top-down, authoritative power approach to leadership is simply not working. Instead, rising leaders are taking a new approach to leadership that puts the leader and the follower in a position to serve one another in a capacity that recreates a reciprocal-altruistic environment.. A servant approach to leadership is one of vision and direction, and allows the leader to inspire his/her followers through his/her exemplary actions. Servant leadership requires leaders to truly take an active interest in their followers and understand that through intimacy, familiarity, and empathy. As one comes to bear witness to the life of Jesus and the way He walked His talk, it becomes apparent that Jesus made a conscious choice to lead by being a servant first and affirms the notion that the most effective leaders have “volunteer followers.” Jesus credibility implemented this leadership style, and demonstrates it in John 13: 3-8, which states:
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Jesus, who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, understood the implications of washing His disciples’ feet. He was willing to disregard His reputation, His image, and His place in society to demonstrate that through servant-leadership, and demonstrated that when the ultimate motivation is to serve others, there is no better reward. Therefore, instead of focusing on the bottom line or using a balanced score card, Blanchard & Carey (2006) say in the book “The Future of Leadership 2: Visions, Stategies, and Practices for a New Era,” “…the right target for values-based, ethically driven companies is the triple bottom line: being the investment of choice, the provider of choice, and the employer of choice” (p. 155). Therefore, the most important lesson is that servant leadership both starts with people and ends with people. With the leadership crisis comes the challenge of examining the leadership faults of today and redefining a new paradigm that aligns values, visions, and goals in such a way that despite ones’ position, leader or follower, s/he will always walk the same talk.

MNM
February 27th, 2009 at 9:08 pm
There is a growing awareness in the United States and throughout the world that there is a leadership crisis and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the old, top-down, authoritative power approach to leadership is simply not working. Instead, rising leaders are taking a new approach to leadership that puts the leader and the follower in a position to serve one another in a capacity that recreates a reciprocal-altruistic environment. A servant approach to leadership is one of vision and direction, and allows the leader to inspire his/her followers through his/her exemplary actions. Servant leadership requires leaders to truly take an active interest in their followers and understand that through intimacy, familiarity, and empathy. As one comes to bear witness to the life of Jesus and the way He walked His talk, it becomes apparent that Jesus made a conscious choice to lead by being a servant first and affirms the notion that the most effective leaders have “volunteer followers.” Jesus credibility implemented this leadership style, and demonstrates it in John 13: 3-8, which states:
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Jesus, who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, understood the implications of washing His disciples’ feet. He was willing to disregard His reputation, His image, and His place in society to demonstrate that through servant-leadership, and demonstrated that when the ultimate motivation is to serve others, there is no better reward. Therefore, instead of focusing on the bottom line or using a balanced score card, Blanchard & Carey (2006) say in the book “The Future of Leadership 2: Visions, Stategies, and Practices for a New Era,” “…the right target for values-based, ethically driven companies is the triple bottom line: being the investment of choice, the provider of choice, and the employer of choice” (p. 155). Therefore, the most important lesson is that servant leadership both starts with people and ends with people. With the leadership crisis comes the challenge of examining the leadership faults of today and redefining a new paradigm that aligns values, visions, and goals in such a way that despite ones’ position, leader or follower, s/he will always walk the same talk

MNM
February 27th, 2009 at 9:13 pm
There is a growing awareness in the United States and throughout the world that there is a leadership crisis and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the old, top-down, authoritative power approach to leadership is simply not working. Instead, rising leaders are taking a new approach to leadership that puts the leader and the follower in a position to serve one another in a capacity that recreates a reciprocal-altruistic environment. A servant approach to leadership is one of vision and direction, and allows the leader to inspire his/her followers through his/her exemplary actions. Servant leadership requires leaders to truly take an active interest in their followers through intimacy, familiarity, and empathy. As one comes to bear witness to the life of Jesus and the way He walked His talk, it becomes apparent that Jesus made a conscious choice to lead by being a servant first and affirms the notion that the most effective leaders have “volunteer followers.” Jesus credibility implemented this leadership style, and demonstrates it in John 13: 3-8, which states:
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Jesus, who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, understood the implications of washing His disciples’ feet. He was willing to disregard His reputation, His image, and His place in society to demonstrate that through servant-leadership, when the ultimate motivation is to serve others, there is no better reward. Therefore, instead of focusing on the bottom line or using a balanced score card, Blanchard & Carey (2006) say in the book “The Future of Leadership 2: Visions, Stategies, and Practices for a New Era,” “…the right target for values-based, ethically driven companies is the triple bottom line: being the investment of choice, the provider of choice, and the employer of choice” (p. 155). Thus, the most important lesson is that servant leadership both starts with people and ends with people. With the leadership crisis comes the challenge of examining the leadership faults of today and redefining a new paradigm that aligns values, visions, and goals in such a way that despite ones’ position, leader or follower, s/he will always walk the same talk.

apa
February 27th, 2009 at 9:31 pm
One issue with today’s leaders is that they have not been able to define any core values. Without these values they do not have anything to tell them what is right and wrong. The saddest part is when faith-based leaders do not have the core values required to know the difference between right and wrong. These are the leaders that are supposed to teach the other leaders core values. If the church is losing site of what God requires from his people then it is hard to secular leaders to follow. The church needs to stand firm on following God and show that knowing the difference between right and wrong will result in good not only for the leader but also the followers.

DK
March 4th, 2009 at 11:19 am
MNM is definately on the right track in suggesting that effective leadership of the future is in the hands of those who focus on values, ethics and serving the needs of others – whether it be the employees or the customers. It is the definition of what these values are that has been lost, along with the loss of Christianity as the forefront of our nation. In an attempt to include everyone’s views, (which is one of the ideas our country was founded upon), we have given up basic human behavioral truths. Could the solution not be unlike the collaborative approach used in businesses of including all opinions and coming to a consensus that everyone can agree to and get on board with? I realize this is a daunting, overwhelming task, and to be quite honest, I am not sure exactly how one would go about it. But it seems that for the majority rule, most people want these values exemplified, and they must be not only tacit, but explicit to have follow-through and policing.

TPJ
March 7th, 2009 at 2:02 pm
Part of the problem is that we are continually asked to buy into moral relativism. Some of our largest churches aren’t willing to talk/teach about sin and even less likely to take a stance on it. Look at our elected leaders today. Most of them will say they don’t personally encourage abortion, but will not say that it is morally wrong…Scary.

coolngang
March 8th, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Blurred Lines
The continual pressure to politically correct and please all people all the time is what is causing the decline of ethics in business and our society. Churches are prevented or at least discouraged from calling homosexuality sin. Presidents are saying that oral sex is not sex. It is the excepted practice of politicians to make promises that they are unable to deliver. It is a fact of life, it is impossible to please everyone. If Jesus, God made into flesh, God’s son, creator of all things, could not please everyone nor save everyone how can mere flesh accomplish it? If leadership would make the hard decisions and tell it like it is, society would be in a better state. It is the leadership that hides behind closed doors and will not stand up and be responsible for their mistakes that is deteriorating business’s ethics. It is not wrong to error but it is unethical when you lie or blame others. We constantly push the line of compromise to be an all inclusive society. The hard truth is just like water and oil will not mix, neither will right and wrong or holy an unholy; someone is not going to have it their way. It begins with small compromises and ends with business failing due to lack of ethics.

pdq
April 22nd, 2009 at 7:52 pm
A question I have relates to the tension between VALS leadership of a business or institution and the fact that systems in general seem to have a way of compromising individual integrity. Even if senior leaders are transformational leaders, in larger organizations it seems that by the time the decisions get to those who implement at the front lines, there have been a million little compromises. In the best of organizations no one intends harm, but harm still seem to happen whether to employees, customers or leaders themselves. Is this fundamentally the nature of sin or the nature of systems through which sin can have free rein?

Mary
April 23rd, 2009 at 5:02 pm
I believe there is a leadership crisis in America. I feel concerned that our governmental leaders are working to take away our ability to lead and follow as we wish. In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower: “You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership”. I feel lately our county has been getting “hit over the head” nonstop, with the many government buy-ins, buy-outs, and regulations. As the government becomes more involved in the day-to-day actions of corporate life, (including imposing caps on salaries), I worry about what might come next. Could future generations become victims of religious persecution due to government sanctions? It might sound a little extreme, but I can’t keep thinking back to the story of Moses. My solution .. please continue to pray for our country and it’s leaders.

Tasha Tillman
April 23rd, 2009 at 7:55 pm
I would like to digress if I may, back to November 1, when Jean Luke Picard said, No there is not a leadership crisis! To say we have a leadership crisis is to misdiagnose the problem, and in turn will lead to an improper cure. In American culture, we have a morality crisis. Until everyone, not just leaders, begin to return to quantifiable and solid moral values, we will continue to have problems in not only the business sector, but in every sector of life. Prior to postmodernist thinking, Americans lived by the morals and values spelled out in scripture. However, after WWII, people began to question the validity of such values. The postmodernists cry was “there is no objective knowledge or truths.” All truth is relative to one’s viewpoint and if it doesn’t hurt someone else, then it is acceptable. Finally that all religious truths lead to heaven. I truly believe that this type of thinking is what has lead to our current morality crisis.
At the very root of awry leadership there was absolutely a morality issue. Over time, however, that so-called style of immorality evolved in to secular leadership. While certainly I would say that the majority of all leaders are not corrupt, I would argue that those that are learned their behavior from others in – dare I say – leadership. “Lead by example.” Isn’t that what our parents used to say? The examples that have been set are, unfortunately, not very good ones. When you have no moral compass, due to no fault of your own, you have no other source of awareness, except your conscience. But, when you’re taught to ignore your conscience, what have you left. Young, ambitious Wall Street types want nothing more than to make a name for themselves and they are likely going to do whatever it takes to make it to the top, and fast.
With that said, I would argue that the issue of immorality in leadership certainly began out of blatant immorality, but evolved into something more sinister – a lack of awareness or understanding for morality and a preeminent definition of leadership.

John Luke Picard
April 25th, 2009 at 12:19 pm
I want to comment on Paul’s February 16th post where he talks of the leadership crisis being an issue with follower’s expectations and actions. Paul states “But I wonder if our leaders aren’t also a reflection of us as followers… The reason so many of our leaders may be arrogant and self centered is that that may be the only personality type that can survive our expectations and criticism.” I think Paul has touched on a major problem within the US. It is the loss of personal leadership. Our country was built upon citizens taking an active part in issues that the US faces. Nowadays, it seems that everyone is so caught up with personal aspirations, that we do not practice our civic responsibility to ensure that our government officials are who and what they say they are. We live in a day and age where we cannot listen to our so-called “fair and balanced” news media. It has gotten to the point where if you want a liberal interpretation of recent events, you know exactly which news channels or print media to turn. The same goes for conservative beliefs. It may have been true that in the past one could turn on, or read the news and get a fair reporting of events. But I believe that is no longer true. That is why it is of the upmost importance for individual people to exercise personal leadership and become involved in civic affairs. This requires a lot of work and it is very time consuming. But if we hope for change, then everyone must start exercising personal leadership and become involved with the world around them.

Mat G
April 25th, 2009 at 7:24 pm
Leadership Crisis; who defines what a leadership crisis is? In this day in age it seems that everyone can define for themselves what good or moral leadership is, making it difficult to know if we are ever truly in a “crisis, “or not? One person’s crisis seems to be another person’s normal. We seem to have no center in which to base our leadership. We have erased true points of reference, whether on purpose or on accident, we have distorted what it means to be a true leader. This is not meant to be a blanket statement but something that I believe is growing in all aspects of our society; business, family, etc. I think we have been in a slow downward spiral to this point for some time now. The power that comes with leadership too often comes with the abuse of that power. It seems to be in our nature to abuse power, even though we try to do the right things, slowly we make small, deceptive and selfish decisions that lead us to the point we know as where we are now.
My point of reference and my center of what defines leadership is Christ. I think the only place to go from here is toward his example of what leadership truly is. We are going to continue down this road of lies and deception until we find our way back to Christ’s way of leadership. If we could find ourselves being honest in business and trustworthy with our responsibilities, can you imagine what a great and powerful force that would be?

Bassman
April 27th, 2009 at 10:16 am
Another twist has been considered by this author when examining where our culture is today and portion of the Bible that has particular relevence to us. There was an example of cultural and enterprising cooperation in human history not experienced since that time. That time which is spoken of is in Genesis chapter 11. Genesis speaks of a point in human history where they were collectively cognizant of the ability to accomplish such great things, they could build their buildings to heaven on their own (Genesis 11:1-6) (Bible, 1985). It was a time when there were no language barriers, a shared common culture, and considerable willingness for collaboration. All of which in our time today, is not experienced, at least on that level. One aspect that is in common with today’s world is the ever-present disposition in trying to leave God outside of human endeavor. Genesis speaks of a point in human history where they were collectively cognizant of the ability to accomplish such great things, they could build their buildings to heaven on their own (Genesis 11:1-6) (Bible, 1985). From the days of Babel, when mankind was so focused and intent to do such great things, so it is today as humans similarly consider the framework for our endeavors.
Today, there must be great care taken in being able to preserve the dignity of the person in the grand shift towards this collective thought. The reason being, is that mankind has and will forget again our founding heritage as the crown of creation by God (Genesis 1:26-29) (Bible, 1985). If God is not at the center of our world-view overall, and particularly of mankind, regarding how people are treated, and viewed as infinitely valuable (Psalm 139) (Bible, 1985), this movement toward collaboration will meet a similar demise, as it has in other points in history.
Conclusion –
John Alexander, in Leader of The Future 2 (Drucker, 2006) has some valid observations in seeing the trends of business and the marketplace. His main fallacy is that of world-view. If these trends of collaboration are not framed in Christian Theo-centrism, it will fail as another unredeemed attempt of fallen mankind. That is the lesson of the people of Babel. Even God has recognized mankind’s abilities for redeemed pursuits, and unfortunately toward ungodly pursuits as well. This is becoming the lesson for today: Will Americans forsake our heritage of being “One nation under God”, or will the Christian heritage this nation was founded upon be reclaimed and restored. In examining the Genesis account of Babel, this was a purely humanistic endeavor of the purest sense, and God judged the people of their time with communication difficulties that exponentially deteriorated their known culture and abilities as a cohesive people. If therefore, in our day, communications, complexities, and KM difficulties can be overcome, how will mankind react in wielding this new (or rediscovered) power in the marketplace? The results of collaboration and workplace efficiencies will start to expand the organizations productivity toward who and what? Is there a view of God in the plans? Within the natural, unredeemed man, the answer is no.
If God is not in the picture, the result will be similar to any other movement in finance and business mankind has undertaken, and thereby have limited an/or unintend results. One may speculate what the results would have been if the people of Babel were redeemed in nature similarly to that of the redeemed Christian person. With their efforts, collaboration, culture and knowledge all pooled and subjected to honor God in all things. What would that look like? Mankind can experience at least a foreshadowing of this vision with what we have before us today. The best news of all is we will someday see that kind of culture and collaboration in its fullness, when “He will be our God, and we His people” (Revelation 21:1-4) (Bible, 1985). Until then, mankind will probably have limited results in all their ventures until God rules in the New Heaven and New Earth. Until then, our culture would do well to honor God in all things, and thereby receive the subsequent blessings that follow such a people.

Bassman
April 27th, 2009 at 10:18 am
change towards what?

Faith
April 29th, 2009 at 2:38 pm
The originator or inventor of anything has more insight on that thing than anyone else. God almighty (the God of the bible) is the originator of leadership and has set up the appropriate principles that govern legitimate leadership. But unfortunate God and his prescribed leadership priciples have been systematically taken away from the leadership landscape. And all we are left with is a mess of leadership in the throes of fallen humanity. I believe the flaw in leadership can only be corrected if we go back to God in repentance and ask for his guidance.

Tobin
May 28th, 2009 at 3:34 pm
What you see here is what the country has become from the leadership, or lack there of the last twenty years or so. I feel this new “standard” was introduced back during the Clinton Administration. I have witnessed a generation of people that are not held accountable for anything.
America used to be based on personal responsibility. During the many eras of having leaders that were personally responsible for their actions. We had some of the greatest Presidents and best leaders nationwide. Now we have become laxed in the ways of “it takes a village to raise a child” and “its not my fault” attitudes.
I have some news for some of you, it doesn’t take a village to raise a child, it takes ONE responsible parent; most kids prefer two. This “not my fault” attitude passed down to us from the Clinton administration I feel has lead, at least partially, to the fall of this nation.
Just last week my wife was hit by a teenage driver. It was a low speed accident and nobody was injured, however the driver who caused the accident had the dimenor that it was not her fault, then lied to the insurance company for some reason or another! She had backed into another vehicle, who happened to be my wife, when she was backing out of a parking place and had decided before she even exited the vehicle that it wasn’t her fault, not her vehicle, why should she care? Where did this teenager gain this attitude? From her parents. Where did her parents gain this attitude? From their leaders albeit friends, family, coworkers, bosses and even the Presidential administrations. And why not?
Our Presidential leaders have sent a message to the nation that “its not your fault when your business fails” by handing out all kinds of TARP money to failed banks! Wake up America! We should be so outraged becuase its this kind of attitude that is filtering down through the ranks all the way to our kids. They are getting a message that “its ok to screw up, hurt others, cause people their jobs, and ruin the economy because the government will make it all better.” All because its ‘not your fault.’
What this country needs is people who stand by their convictions. People who are not afraid to take chances (Give Up to Move up) and then reap the consequences of poor decisions. This country needs people who are willing to step up and claim responsibility for their actions no matter what the consequences may be. The answers on what makes a great leader are in the books we have read, but until American’s start changing their attitudes and start claiming personal responsibility for all their actions, this nation will not see any good leaders for a long time. Its about time that the government stop bailing people out and start holding their feet to the fire when they do wrong, lie, cheat, steal, and swindle hard working Americans out of their retirement plans, savings, and their earned fortunes. America needs good leaders at the top to hold people responsible and allow them to fail when they do instead of handing out “Golden Parachutes” becaues they made someone’s stock rise.
When we start holding people accountable for their actions is when this nation will turn around and you will start seeing great leadership come alive in the nation, in corporations, and in the economy of this great nation. Start changing attitudes one person at a time. The words to be passed down are “Personal Accountability.” America needs some.

Pickle
May 28th, 2009 at 6:55 pm
My personal opinion is that there is a leadership crisis…not only from a knowledge perspective but also from a morale perspective. There is much discussion about the baby boomer generation retiring and taking with them a vast amount of knowledge. This would account for the leadership crisis from a knowledge or skill perspective.
The more startling trend, unfortuantely, is the leadership crisis from a morale perspective. The leaders that grace the headlines of today’s papers are not there because of outstanding leadership practices. They are there because they have disgraced the name of leadership. They have exhibited selfishness in their motives. They are prime examples that we live in a fallen world. Unfortunately, until the motives change, until leaders realize that leadership is not about themselves, we will continue to see a leadership crisis.

Richards
May 29th, 2009 at 10:12 am
I am not sure I can come up with an example of the law of sacrifice in the past decade. Leaders want to make an impact but it seems like they do not know how. They seem to feel that if they sacrifice something they will look weak or not in control. I think a perfect example of this law would be the small business owner who sacrifices high pay and time off to build their business and grow their employees. Someone who understands that it is not all about the money; it is about the long term investment in the future, either the future of the company or the future of our nation. Congress should sacrifice their pay raises, and even take a pay cut, to help our nation out of it’s financial troubles.
The lack of sacrifice is, to me, what has brought us to a leadership crisis. People say all kinds of things and make all kinds of promises to get elected or to get hired at a job. Then they do not want to give up thier lifestyle or the corner office to make those promises happen. They are all talk. they say they believe one way or that they have a certain type of values; buit you just do not see it in thier actions.
I have a freind who says that “your talk talks and your walk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.” In other words we are going to believe your actions not your words, and if they do not match you proably will not be trusted. Our leaders today, political and business, have this problem they say one tnhing and do another.
How are we going to get out of this mess? That is a ggod question. It seems these days that the only time people stop abd think about these things is when something bad happens. I think we as a nation need to take a chance and wipe the slate clean. get rid of the individuals who have been in Washington for ever and gotten comfortable and rich. They have forgotten what is is like in thier districts. We should bring in fresh blood, but not politicians; how about bringing in everyday people who know what it is like to live day to day. They will need some help with some of the international issue, but it would do wonders for homeland issues.

Squirrel-bait
May 30th, 2009 at 1:05 pm
Unfortunately, yes, I think there is a leadership crisis in our country today. Take our president, for instance, it has been very difficult to get him to give specific details of actions he will take or to take a specific position on many of the issues we face in America today. I read an article in the Kansas City Star Newspaper about the KC mayer and he seems to be taking a page out of the president’s book. The article is entitled, “Funkhouser’s State of the City Speech Lacks Focus, Leadership” (http://www.kansascity.com/340/v-print/story/1221702.html, May 28, 2009). The article indicates that the Funkhouser, who is facing possible recall, “lacked a sense of urgency to deal with the many challenges facing Kansas City.” I think this mayor represents many of the leaders in America today. They are afraid to, or don’t have the skills to, answer the hard questions and lead people to find solutions. I recently read John McCain’s new book, Hard Calls, and he noted six things that leaders need: Awareness, Foresight, Timing, Confidence, Humility and Inspiration. McCain says that a leader needs “the imagination to conceive as a whole the future you think you possess the means to shape” (2007, p.75). I don’t think today’s leaders can see any other future other than the one that puts cash in their pockets and gives them power over people.

Thurman
May 30th, 2009 at 7:56 pm
To my knowledge leadership the last decade has not really demonstrated the Law of Sacrifice except for in the last year or so during the economic recession. During this economic downturn, I have heard of a few examples where small business owners will sacrifice their pay for their employees. In one instance the business owner gave the majority of his income to the highest performing manager. In another instance, the business owner gave his portion of income as a scholarship to his employee’s children. I have an example of a leader “giving up to go up” from my previous sales job (which occurred just before the recession began). Our new sales manager came from another region in the company. When I was hired, I was told by recruiters that I was lucky to have him as a manager because he was very well liked by his employees. It wasn’t until mid-way through the year that our sales team heard through the grape vine that he made a huge sacrifice for us. At the beginning of the year when the budgeting/quotas were created, he took on a much higher personal quota so that each of us on his sales team would have lower numbers to hit and have a much better chance of winning the President’s Club award at year end. He didn’t even tell anyone that he did this, but we found out through the budgeting team when they were reviewing the final numbers and noticed the sacrifice he made. Ultimately, several members of his team were recognized and obviously he didn’t exceed his quota since it was so large. The lesson learned was that all of us worked above and beyond for him knowing that he sacrificed his year and performance to help his team achieve success. In my opinion, he was using social perceptiveness, personality and motivation in a sense that put his team first in achieving success and recognition at the end of the year.
Service leadership would be a few of the examples I provided in my response above. “Golden parachute” leadership would be examples of some of the most recent large corporate CEO’s that have used their power and greed to make out with an excess of $20M or more in bonuses, plus stock options and a near $100M a yr. salary (CEO examples like AIG, Countrywide and Home Depot).
The service leadership example is more effective based on the example John provided in 78′ where the CEO came out of retirement to take over a struggling car company and in 3 years turn it into $100M profits. In a different type of service leadership, my previous manager’s example (see above) provides a valuable lesson to everyone on how making sacrifices to benefit your team will provide the opportunity to go up at some point.
In addition, I would like to point out that my manager did it the right way, the way that Jesus asks us to serve others in the Bible. Serving others by doing good deeds and not advertising them to the public.

Alexander
May 30th, 2009 at 9:12 pm
When discussing the current leadership crisis I feel leaders have been missing a few key ingredients. You can read all the books you want on leadership to learn styles and methods but if you don’t have a solid foundation built upon honesty, integrity and servitude you turn into what we see today. Many leaders don’t consider the consequences of their actions because they are looking out for number one. That selfishness has gotten us where we are today.
If we go back to our schools and teach what it means to have values, integrity, honesty and what it means to be a servant leader, we will start to see a shift in current trends. There are schools such as CCU and the Air Force Academy at their Center for Character Development, that provide a basis for this type of leader but there has to be a concerted effort on schools at lower levels across the country. It may be too little too late but if we get a change in the average American mindset we can start to make a difference. This also comes with bringing God back into schools to provide the true baseline on how we should act.
One other shift may happen through employee and share holder complaints when dealing with corporations. Americans in general have a high tolerance for pain but I can see the temperature rising. This is also taking effect in politics. The liberal viewpoint has really starting revealing itself in decisions that are being made about this country’s future and there have been some rumbling. The question is, will it be too late to turn things around.
Well, that’s my two cents worth.
RDA

Micah
May 31st, 2009 at 7:43 am
How did we get here? I believe that there is plenty of blame to go around but as a business man/entrepreneur most of my life and college professor the past five years of my life, I have observed that a good part of the blame belongs to our nation’s top business schools; Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, Northwestern… When you consider these MBAs are elevated to the top ranks in corporations have two things in common; their training and extreme individualism (it’s about ME!) which, in turn, breeds narcissistic nihilism.

Preacher
May 31st, 2009 at 7:08 pm
I fear that our leadership crisis starts with each one of us. We are all leaders for Christ. God has chosen each one of us to be a leader somehow in this world. I believe the crisis began when we (as a country) stood by and let God be taken out of our schools, trying to change the pledge of allegiance (take God) out of it, and trying to fit the business lifestyle as part of our world; instead of having it God’s world.
I am not so sure that we as a country can get out of this crisis on our own. I truly believe it will take a miracle from God to help us. We (the people), will need to pray, trust in God (not humans), and follow his guide. One more thing, we need to pray that God leads us to put the right leader in the right position.

Just a Vessel
May 31st, 2009 at 8:16 pm
Our leadership crisis has occurred because we have taken our eyes off God. Where is He in the day-to-day operations of this country? Financially, Scholastically, Medically…the list goes on! We have corporations failing because they didn’t pay their bills and now want bailouts! Proverbs 11:14 tells us “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety”. Who are these leaders seeking council from? Apparently not Christ-followers. Greed is abundant. Our country is becoming morally obtuse and Christian leaders need to step up to the plate and realign our goals as a God-fearing nation.

newworld
May 31st, 2009 at 11:09 pm
believe that there are very few examples in this decade of “A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up“ like that of Lee Iacocca. We may come to see a few corporations that will be required to sacrifice in order to save the company with the recent bailouts. I wonder however that there are many corporations today where the president isn’t just replaced without being given a chance to save a company. Seems the thing is to bring in a new leader with a new direction.
In the previous decade we have many examples. Henry Ford almost lost everything but scarified profits to realize growth I believe that this was a good demonstration of giving up. Service leadership examples can be found in some non-profit organizations and with some Church Pastors or other church service workers. I find that service leadership can be rewarding when it benefit are for a great good.
Golden Parachute leadership as near as I can tell is employment perk that is given to upper management. I would suspect that these perks are given to CEO, CIO, and CFO’s. When the sacrifices are high and you are such a central figure in a company, when you are expected to make public appearances and speeches, when you’ve have realized gain and profit and led you company in new directions, I believe there should be some benefits beyond normal salary.
I would split the difference and say that service leadership should lead to Golden parachute leadership. It’s my belief that if you have proven abilities and you have sacrificed, and are performing well that it should lead to reward beyond normal rewards.

Preacher
June 1st, 2009 at 12:51 pm
I believe the Leadership Crisis starts with each one of us. We are all leaders, even if we are not in the leadership role. We all make choses that will affect our role in this country. “God chose a leader to suit himself, a leader who listened to him” (Yancey and Stafford, The Student Bible, 1 Samuel). I believe that when we (as a country) took God out of school, our personal lives and work lives started to change on how we conduct business.
The way we need to go, we need to get on our knees and ask God to forgive us as a country and pray that he will come back into our schools, our personal, and work lives. Without God we will not make it. I know that no one is prefect as God is; but, when picking the leaders we need to pray that God will put the right person in the leadership role.

Kristina
June 4th, 2009 at 1:10 pm
I believe this country was founded by believers in God. Yet, look at what has happened. God has been “kicked out” of the public schools. These children are our future leaders and they need to have God in them. Is it no wonder that we now have a President who does not proclaim to be a Christian? How is he going to lead this country without the “real” leader’s help – God. We need to get on our knees and pray for this country and for ourselves. We need to listen to God in all our decisions as leaders – whether in business or in our personal lives.

newworld
June 15th, 2009 at 1:27 pm
The LED 501 Leadership course has offered me a new perspective in so many ways. First the worldviews discussions offered insight into a Christ centered leadership perspective and taught me how to apply Bible teachings into daily leadership. I believe that this is especially important because leadership brings challenges that will be trying. Christ centered growth will give me the morals and values I need to be a successful leader with a solid foundation.
The texts offered us the ability to explore the various leadership models. Some outdated, some cutting edge and a few used for very specific situations. I found that I know the possibilities and gained tools that will allow me to change leadership direction when and if required. New directions will need to be verbalized and shared through selling by providing followers with how they impact the bottom line.
I am very much wish to impact future followers with win/ win leadership. Integral leadership seems to be the way to lead by providing a new paradigm. Business is a tuff competitive environment. We must stay abreast with the latest Leadership tools. Leadership will be demanding but with time we should find it to be rewarding. Firm footing and solid morals and values will provide stability when leading. There will be challenges so a clear vision and direction will help to provide further stability. I found a diverse work force brings rewards. I found how to apply leadership in a globalized environment.
The discussion treads, text and response papers provided the right mix. I learned as much from my classmates as I did the text. Fleshing out application of learned subjects I found that we shared a common understandings of the reading and in worldviews. The virtual class room environment provided us with ability to collaborate and explore leadership and management principles. This is the beginning of realizing our potential through exploration of leadership and management principles.
Our influence can have lasting impact either negatively or for good. People today want leaders, but they want to be influenced by someone whom they can trust, a person of good character. I want to become someone who can positively influence other people. We need good leadership in today’s economy leaders who are willing to show fiscal trust and can influence personal growth.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.”
Matthew 4:23. To me this means: Putting others first in your thinking, find out what others need, then meet the need with excellence and generosity.

MarkLEDCCU
September 10th, 2009 at 7:47 pm
The leadership crisis has always been here; from our first mistakes at the Tree of Life to the guys that aggravates you at work every day. We all struggle, albeit in our own ways, with saints and sinners, bullies and braggarts, and your inevitable instigator in the crowd. However, we trudge along looking for that person who has gained the wisdom necessary to care about you and the efforts and talents that you contribute to the organization. It may take you a few iterations, but they eventually show up. You can take those who have issues and train them on models of leadership, styles and approaches. You can quote, traits, skills, style, situational, contingency, path-goal, leader-member exchange, transformational, team, and psychodynamic characteristics of what they should be, but invariably they revert to carnal stupidity. Regardless, C. Gene Wilkins stated it best in his 1998 book “Jesus on Leadership: Timeless Wisdom on Servant Leadership” by saying, “The essential lesson I learned from Jesus on leadership was that he taught and embodied leadership as service.” Therefore, our mission is to carry on that tradition of service to increase our relationship with him.
Now, I am somewhat pragmatic about leaders and leadership. They must be defined by a number of traits and have characteristics not unlike Superman. However, in my experience and training it all boils down to preference. You can debate preference (personality) assessment, but cannot argue with the results. In contingency leadership you can be a “Patton” in combat, but a dud behind a CEO desk. Peter G. Northouse expands this thought by saying, that contingency theory, known in many military organizations, is a leader-match theory that depends on how well a leader’s style fits the context or situation”. What situation was the leader in? How effective has he? It is all relational and based upon a combination of nurturing, experience, knowledge, education, love, and fear; not necessarily in that order, but pretty close.
Where do we go from here? Backwards of course! Leaders always like to say, “Let’s get back to the basics!” Well, backward in this case means back to our biblical principles, back to the Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes, the Perseverance of Elijah, and of course prayer. Will we ever get there? Probably not… Therefore we must execute due diligence and continue to worship and witness to help those in need of Christ. At least then, they will look at you and say, “That is a good leader!” Then we can go back to work and enjoy our daily grind all over again; facing inept management, warped combinations of leadership style and badminton, and sit back at lunch with our four-hour old tuna sandwich and smile at the living soap opera knowing that Jesus loves you and them crazy folks too.

Dan
September 17th, 2009 at 10:38 pm
I feel one of the greatest thing that couldv’e happened to this country and our economy would have been to let the systems work themselves out. Giving the economy a bailout, with borrowed money nonetheless, was in my opinion the worst thing that could have happened. Think back about the days after the Great Depression, did higher taxes work? No. Did tariff on imported goods work? No. Franklin D. Rosevelt did more harm than good to getting the economy back on track…sound familiar? What needs to happen is a complete encompassing market purge. This would help America to see our overwhelming reliance on the government, and is the greatest inhibitor of innovation and growth. There is a leadership crisis! We have a crisis of leaders who are unwilling (or unable) to step out and innovate! This is our current leadership crisis.

Gary@LEDCCU
September 18th, 2009 at 6:11 pm
We hear a lot about change these days. Both parties actively engaging in blaming one another about why or how our economy has digressed to the point it where it’s at. On one side the cure is more Government intervention and control; on the other side more power should be in the hands of the people. “For the people by the people” echoes in the halls of liberty, while freedom still whispers softly as a reminder to us all from we whence we came.
We all desire freedom no matter what political leanings we are drawn to. But freedom dictates guidance from leadership that is fair, consistent, ethical, but yet firm. People enjoy the plaesures and priviledges of what freedom brings, but left to themselves people become as lost sheep without a shepherd. Leaders from both parties past and present have incorporated and instituted laws that have supposdly been for the betterment of our society and it’s citizens. Study today’s and past leadership closley and try not be swayed by smmooth talk or lengthy rhetoric. Examine the motives of our current leadership and those in more recent years with discerning wisdom, and ask yourself,”Do these leaders desire to truly help our country and it’s troubles, or are they more interested in building a kingdom for themselves?
Practice Servant Leadership!

Becky
September 19th, 2009 at 2:28 pm
I really do think there is a leadership crisis. I don’t think that any of the leaders do what they say. I personally think that our nations leader put all this stuff in to our ears for us to believe that he would do and in the long run he wasn’t planning on doing it. I wasn’t for our current leader and I had our doubts in him. It is very hard to trust me and there intentions because you obviously don’t know if they are telling the truth and are going to actually “walk the talk” do what they say or just tell us so we will believe it.

Snoop
September 19th, 2009 at 5:35 pm
1: How has leadership in the last decade demonstrated this law, if at all? Provide examples of service leadership contrasted with “golden parachute” Leadership.
“[He] rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded… If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:4-5, 13-17). By demonstrating how even our Savior is willing to become the servant for us, we must also act the same and serve those we lead.
The world, however, has lost sight of this valuable lesson, seeking benefits only for themeselves rather than those they serve. It is easy to look at the examples of the Enrons, and Fannie Mae’s of the world, but examples lie elsewhere. As was pointed out in the article by Lee Iacocca, our government officials are elected into office to represent and SERVE the American people, yet both the politicians and the people have lost sight of that fact. As the famed Davy Crockett once said, “I have never knew what is was to sacrifice my own judgment to gratify any party and I have no doubt of the time being close at hand when I will be rewarded for letting my tongue speak what my heart thinks. I have suffered myself to be politically sacrificed to save my country from ruin and disgrace and if I am never again elected I will have the gratification to know that I have done my duty.” By realizing that his duty lied with the people that put him in office, Davy Crockett would not part from his fundamental beliefs that he sought the best interest of America, not his own personal gains.
We all need to heed the words of Lee Iacocca when he wrote “Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.” This holds true not only for politicians, but also for corporate leaders. Being a publicly traded company means that we as investors hold a portion of the ownership of each company we hold stock in. Hence, we are the bosses. Also, if it weren’t for us as customers, there would be no need for businesses in the first place. Therefore, we need to put our foot down in regards to “us” being the reason these companies are in business. By getting them to realize that we are what matter, instead of one individual CEO, or a Board of Directors, we can shift the idea of corporate leadership away from the golden parachute age and into an age of servant leadership.
2: Which do you believe is more effective, and why?
I believe that the servant leadership is the more effective method of the two. The issue with the golden parachute idea lies not with the concept of having a single head to an organization, or one leader who dictates business, rather the focus lies with that one individual rather than who they are in business for. AIG, AT&T, Apple, all the large corporations are in business because they want to make a profit. The key to making a profit is by selling and expanding your business. This is done by making a superior product for your customers. With the golden parachute idea, the focus is on the product and the bottom line, whereas with the servant leadership idea, the focus is on the customers (who ultimately keep you in business). Therefore, in order to be the most successful, you need your attention to be in line with your customer base, to ensure returning customers i.e. stabilized business.

Steve
September 19th, 2009 at 7:06 pm
It is hard to say how we got to this leadership crisis in America. I think that there are many contributing factors that led to this single point. One of the major factors though, was the competing work environment that allows non-ethical and immoral character. With more and more business leaders trying to gain the old mighty dollar and going through anyone and anything to get there, true leadership started to decay to the point that we see now. From Enron to the recent drop of the stock market, the leadership of most corporations has either fallen by the road side or started running for the hills with their golden parachutes. One would say that this is hopefully the end of the unethical and immoral character but I have a feeling it isn’t over. Not until business people and the consumers put their foot down and say that’s enough, will any change ever come. The bailouts of corporate America is just another reason for the leadership to stay where it is or get even worse. We need change, real change where a man’s word actually means something and no one wrights into a contract a clause that pays them for screwing up more lives.

Ricky
September 19th, 2009 at 9:44 pm
When I look at the leadership of this country today, I wonder how much or how many of them really love this country, or are they just in it for the money. Look at the 2010 COLA (cost of living allowance for retirees and social security recipients), ZERO, now look at Congress and the Senate, oh wait they need the raise, most of them are well over $200k a year why would they not need their COLA.
What a way to show the love of your country, what leadership? Just as Iacoccoa lowered his salary, why would one group not get a raise for increased cost of living, but the other group (living way above the national average (as much as 10 times)deserve a raise?
When I step back from what I know to be right and fair, I look towards the world in general and just wonder how other scan be so self centered. The leadership of our nation wants the votes to stay in office, the votes of those very people they are placing a hardship upon.
Service leadership is exactly what it says, “service” leadership, doing what is right, proper and to assist others at all costs, Not waiting for the golden parachute clause to be utilized to get out of work. Our congress and leadership needs to learn this principle.
I persoanally say, fire them all and lets start from scratch, oh wait that would cause such an uproar and kaos. Here’s a great thought…why can’t they just do their jobs and make this country what it is supposed to be, the land of the free and home of the brave…not the land of the oppressed and home of the slave.

ErnieFlames
September 20th, 2009 at 1:02 am
Regarding the leadership crisis, how did we get here? Where do we go from here?
My Dad, now deceased, was a “man of his word” and his hand shake was as good as a contract. He and older generations valued character which resulted in a higher standard of leadership. Our fathers and grandfathers did not simply follow someone based on extrovert personality but on what he stood for and what he modeled. We have lost that standard and set a lower one.
Today, people “shuck and jive” each other for the sake of the almighty dollar as the world values money not character. Our leadership shows us falsehood for personal gain is better than integrity. A prime example is President Clinton who escaped impeachment even though he was not a man of his word to the American people or his wife. We must get back to old school standards via leadership mentor programs and not computerized management learning tools
Proverbs 18:12 says “Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.” Humility must be achieved prior to leadership and, without humility, we should not honor someone by making him/her a leader. Through humility, a leader exercises being trustworthiness and, in being trustworthy, he is willing to take up his cross and work for the greater good. A leader succeeds as a result of trust which is not simply received but obtained through process.
Our test must be whether our actions are pleasing to God. Jesus models sacrificial leadership which is pleasing to God. Indeed, the message of taking up our cross is not for the sake of material gain but for the sake of saving our souls. In Mark 8:36, Jesus asks us, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your own soul?
Profits are certainly great when they are a blessing for pleasing God. However, we must be leaders of service and sacrifice for the sake of saving our souls. When we have no focus on saving our soul or those of others, we lose our leadership. In order to restore leadership and overcome the crisis, we must bring God back into the heart of all leadership.
1 Timothy 6:17-18: “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.”
May God Bless and Protect the U.S.

Don
September 20th, 2009 at 2:55 am
I’m not really sure that a majority of today’s politicians are actually talking the talk. They seem to be more experienced in talking out the side of their mouth. When I tune in to see what exactly they’re saying, I come away thinking, “huh.” Because of their double speak, it’s no wonder they can’t walk the talk. I know this may sound a little cynical, but how can you lead the country, much less lead a kindergarten class, if your thought process is so completely out of touch with the American people? It’s time for these people to get down on their knees and ask our Heavenly Father for guidance. If there reluctant to do so, and want to continue down the same path, then I say throw the bums out.
I apologize for being a little too emotional, I just think my children should have the opportunity to live in the same great country that our founding fathers created.

ErnieFlames
September 20th, 2009 at 2:16 pm
Regarding the leadership crisis, how did we get here? Where do we go from here?
My Dad, now deceased, was a “man of his word” and his hand shake was as good as a contract. He and older generations valued character which resulted in a higher standard of leadership. Our fathers and grandfathers did not simply follow a man based on extrovert personality but on what he stood for and what he modeled. We have lost that standard and set a lower one.
Today, people “shuck and jive” each other for the sake of the almighty dollar as the world values money not character. Our leadership shows us falsehood for personal gain is better than integrity. A prime example is President Clinton who escaped impeachment even though he was not a man of his word to the American people or his wife. We must get back to old school standards via leadership mentor programs and not computerized management learning tools
Proverbs 18:12 says “Haughtiness goes before destruction; humility precedes honor.” Humility must be achieved prior to leadership and, without humility, we should not honor someone by making him/her a leader. Through humility, a leader exercises being trustworthiness and, in being trustworthy, he is willing to take up his cross and work for the greater good. A leader succeeds as a result of trust which is not simply received but obtained through process.
Our test must be whether our actions are pleasing to God. Jesus models sacrificial leadership which is pleasing to God. Indeed, the message of taking up our cross is not for the sake of material gain but for the sake of saving our souls. In Mark 8:36, Jesus asks us, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your own soul?
Profits are certainly great when they are a blessing for pleasing God. However, we must be leaders of service and sacrifice for the sake of saving our souls. When we have no focus on saving our soul or those of others, we lose our leadership. Thus, in order to restore leadership and overcome the crisis, we must bring God back into the heart of all leadership.
1 Timothy 6:17-18: “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.”

ErnieFlames
September 20th, 2009 at 2:28 pm
In Luke 14, Jesus teaches us about humility. Leaders must learn from Jesus and practice humility according to Luke 14:11, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Our leadership crisis stems from leaders who always want to be first instead of putting other before them.
May God Bless America with humble leaders.

Bobbie Malone
September 20th, 2009 at 6:24 pm
I don’t think that a lot of today’s leaders are walking the talk. A few weeks ago we found a congressional leader who was married and considered to be “for the family” unknowingly discussing what he and his mistress did on an open microphone. I am sure many people, from what he talked, thought him to be someone of a different character.
He has since resigned his position.
All too often these days, we are hearing about similar instances where morality has been thrown out the window and people, those we have given our trust to and placed in office, are doing whatever they want as if they never expect any repercussions.

sugarcones
September 20th, 2009 at 9:27 pm
Is there a leadership crisis? Indeed, there is. The very nature of Corporate America is to “be the richest”. Monetary gain is the heart of a business. Therefore, the leaders aim to make the money. Only, along the way, people got so tied up into it, that they lost their focus and morality.
The best and truest leaders that come to mind did not exist in the business world. I think of Jesus and how he led by servant-hood making many sacrifices, including his life, to give us the opportunity to live in heaven with him some day. I also think of Harriet Tubman who risked her life in hopes of saving others from their cruel treatment as slaves. She led over 300 slaves to safety in the North. She had no gain accept to know that she had helped others. Did Lincoln have monetary gain from his deeds in leading the Civil War? Hardly! He knew that the ideas of slavery were unjust and not Godly. In the end, he gave his life to further the quality of life for others, without any tangible gain for himself.
I imagine most business leaders that are doing more than attempting to fatten their wallets are working for a business that isn’t completely focused on profits- such as The Red Cross. I understand that even not-for-profit companies need money to survive, however, I am sure that there are more self-sacrificing people in businesses that have humanity causes in the mix as well.
The only real way to handle a problem of this magnitude is to begin by working on ourselves. We need to set examples of the values and morals we believe in- even in tough circumstances. God says that we are the salt of the earth. A little salt goes a long way. If we stay true to our morals and beliefs, we will make a difference, even if we never know we have.

Claire
September 20th, 2009 at 11:02 pm
In the last thirty years, Lee Iacocca was an amazing example of servant leadership amongst a culture of greed. Unfortunately, greed and selfish pursuits have only intensified. Setting an example for his management team by receiving just a dollar a year in base salary allowed his executives to experience how deep Iacocca’s commitment to Chrysler was. Additionally, it gave executives the opportunity to determine how they would integrate their compensation with their commitment to saving Chrysler. Having worked in the Bell System since 1998, I have observed servant leadership in words, yet not in actions such as Iacocca implemented. At Lucent Technologies we experienced stock prices soaring to $88 per share and within a year they had fallen to the $4 range. Leadership began to implement a reinvention of the culture to “save” the company. However it was just words as there was no communication of the tangible efforts executives were taking to cut costs. How helpful it would have been to hear of executive pay cuts, corporate jets being sold, or executives using rental cars or taxis instead of limos in an effort to come alongside employees working diligently to cut costs. More employees would have invested in the vision of saving the company had they believed leadership had as much skin in the game as they did. “The true leader serves. Serves people. Serves their best interests, and in so doing will not always be popular, may not always impress. But because true leaders are motivated by loving concern rather than a desire for personal glory, they are willing to pay the price” (Eugene B. Habecker). There needs to be a return to servant leadership in all entities, from the sole proprietor to a large corporation. Leadership must be based on morals and service to succeed over the long term.

Dan Westermann
October 9th, 2009 at 1:06 am
One of the most difficult things to do in leadership is to affect change within an organization, especially when the corporate culture does not encourage it. Many organizations have started implementing Socio-technical systems to help drive them forward in to the Twenty-first century. These ST systems help to increase productivity, knowledge sharing, and provide an e-learning environment for the employees. This type of e-collaboration tools help to alleviate the need for an organization to be completely dependent on one leader and his/her leadership styles. While it can be beneficial for an organization to have a leader that is charismatic and transactional in their leadership style; Most often these types of transactional leaders empathize with the ideals of the Fredrick Taylor-esque style of management that creates a great deal of hierarchy and structure within an organization.
While transformational leaders would be best suited for an organization that embodies some of the “newer” ways of management described in the paper by Dr. Aldridge. Socio-technical systems allow an organization to share knowledge freely and must be in an organization whose corporate culture encourages this type of knowledge sharing and collaboration while still maintaining rights to their own intellectual property. Although according to Nash’s equilibrium theory, it may be best to share some of our intellectual capital with other organizations in an effort to do what’s best for the market as a whole. While understanding that we are a long way from collaborating with other company and swapping trade secrets, STS are breaking down a tremendous amount of silos that have been built up for decades within an organization. The closer we can come to breaking down the silos within an organization that each hold a tremendous amount of intellectual property, the closer we will be to developing a business model that encourages employees to solve problems and empowers them to do just that – freeing leaders to lead. What a concept.

t_runner
February 8th, 2010 at 3:50 pm
I don’t really feel like there is a leadership crisis, rather leadership has just evolved and changed into a different model. I think there are more temptations than there ever used to be: technology, programming and overall more opportunities for corruption, but there are still a lot of really good leaders. I believe this blog is also a good example of the fact that there are a lot of great leaders in our midst – people who are thoughtful and reflective and who notice that there is temptation all around them, but make the conscious effort to avoid it and to lead in an honorable manner.
I also think that the people that are poor leaders are simply more visible than they ever were before due to technology and media watchdogs. I don’t think there are fewer good leaders, just more visible bad leaders.

Terry Rich
February 8th, 2010 at 9:31 pm
Over the last decade, I have seen an increasing number of leaders, both government and corporations alike that have practiced the golden parachute leadership style over the servant-leadership style. One does not have to look too far to find a scandal of some kind that involved a leader practicing self-interest. Regretfully, America has slowly shifted society norms from “A day’s pay for a day’s work” to the “get rich quick scheme” approach of doing business, which is highlighted by today’s anything goes—instant gratification lifestyle.
In 1970, Robert Greenleaf originally coined the phrase Servant-Leadership and its message has been growing at a steady pace but will it be enough. Servant-Leadership is characterized by a leader that places the follower at a level higher than self. A leadership style based in mentorship that encourages the follower to strive for a higher level of being while working together to develop the better good through the building of community. An example of a corporation that converted to this leadership style is TDIndustries, a heating and plumbing contracting firm who has consistently ranked in the top ten of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America”. This company also requires all TDIndustries partners to also be trained in this style of leadership. However, this style of leadership has been around since the days of Christ ministry, the original practitioner of this form of leadership—well before the phrase Servant-Leadership was coined.
Golden Parachute Leadership is characterized by individuals that find it is best to act in their own self-interest. This can take the form of elevating one’s self to a level equal to or above all others with no great desire to harm or help others unless that action would also benefit self. A style of leadership practiced by many top corporate executives; like the former president of a corporation whose identity will remain anonymous. This individual had a large golden parachute clause as the result of a company buy out and decided the run the company as he saw fit without regard for the interruption of business development some sectors experienced due to the company buy out. This resulted in his ability to force the board of directors to honor his golden parachute clause after one year and leave the rest of the company to fend for itself amongst declining contracts and revenues.
Personally, I am an advocate of servant-leadership, since I have experienced both styles of leadership in both the military and civilian sectors. Those leaders that practice the golden parachute style of leadership may initially get a head-start in increased accomplishments, but over time the servant-leadership style prevails. This is due to followers being more willing to rise to the occasion for leaders that have their best interest at heart versus leaders that use up and discard followers, like any other expendable resource, when they are no longer useful. I feel it is high time for America to turn the corner, thus reversing this devastating trend in favor of a new era in moral and ethical leadership.

Stephen McQ
February 12th, 2010 at 9:09 pm
Tasha Tillman’s post on 04/23/09 addressed the possibility that rather than a leadership crisis, we might be experiencing a national morality problem as the root cause of how we got here. She is probably right. It is always easier to blame those at the top instead of taking a moment to identify the areas in which we as individual have contributed to this. We all need to accept the responsibility we have in this and make the changes necessary to make this a great nation again. As Christians we should be setting the example (Matthew 5:13, 14) in both the Christian and business world. Unfortunately, there have been almost just as many major Christian scandals in the news as there have been business scandals. So which truly caused more damage, unethical Christian leaders which may have had an eternal impact on some, or business leaders with their temporal impact on many?
While this morality problem may have been one of greed, I don’t think that it was a result in the changing mentality of the leadership from “A day’s pay for a day’s work”. This mentality starting becoming prevalent with the onset of unions and has not been typical of a leader in the open market system. This is not what our country was founded on. This is the land of opportunity, the place where your dreams can come true. The place where the risks you take can make you rich or break you. Idealistically America is capitalism at its finest.
There are still good leaders, but it appears they may be isolated phenomenon’s at the moment. It is now our responsibility to support those who lead us and those who are elected while becoming the leaders we need to be.

Nancy Gorham
February 13th, 2010 at 12:38 am
I believe that we have seen many leaders used the “golden parachute” idea in the last decade as can be seen with all the bankrupt businesses and even more recently with the banks that got bail out money and then gave their execs millions in bonuses. Yikes!
I also believe that service leadership will get you the golden parachute in the end. The whole idea of business is providing a good or service to others, so it stands to reason that being a servant leader, willing to give up to go up will result in more money, power, and esteem for the leader willing to do it.
I would also like to point out that before Lee Iacocca was in the position to give up he had a long and successful business career with Ford. He was in a financial position to accept a $1 a year salary and still take care of his needs. There is something to be said for that. He was a good enough steward before his time with Chrystler that when it counted, he was able to give up. So many people put them selves in positions where they are financially strapped, they can’t even consider giving up any of their pay no matter how much it is.
In short, part of being a good leader is being personally financially sound. It makes the leader more effective and a better example to their team.

JeferS
February 13th, 2010 at 2:19 pm
Is there a leadership crisis? Yes, I believe there is. Because of our inherent desire to satisfy ourselves with material possession, status, or finances, leaders today find it extremely hard to develop high ethical standards and to rise above those around them. To take a stand for something different is incredibly hard to do. I rarely read about leaders demonstrating the law of sacrifice these days.
In personal experience, my last boss was the perfect example of servant leadership. He was truly concerned about each one of his employees and co-workers, and consistently went out of his way to make sure we had everything we needed in order to successfully operate. He also listened well, was trustworthy, and followed through with what he said he would accomplish. He was a true equalizer. He brought out the strengths of each one of us and helped us bond with one another to form a community. He truly exemplified Northouse’s comment: “Servant leadership values everyone’s involvement in community life because it is within a community that one fully experiences respect, trust, and individual strength.” (2010, p. 385). I know that my co-workers and I are a stronger team because of him.
In contrast, I’ve also had experience with a golden parachute leader, and it was awful. This leader acted in her own self-interest to the detriment of the company. She was unethical and truly was neither a successful leader nor manager. Her inability and lack of knowledge of how to run a company was exemplified in the mistrust her employees had towards her and the stability of the organization. During my time at that company, I definitely learned how not to run a business.
Currently, from my standpoint and experiences, servant leadership is more effective; at least of the relational health of an organization and its employees. And I would hope that in the long run, this style of leadership would have a positive effect on the bottom line. I would have to say though, that in the short run, it someone were looking at financials, the golden parachute approach could be fairly effective-providing it was accurate information.
While the golden parachute leadership style does seem fairly negative, it is interesting the importance that self-interest takes in the UATTRA example. (Rupp, 2003). In the explanation of this assessment tool, it is mentioned that even as adults we retain that childlike motivator-to serve ourselves and pursue only that which will provide us with the most happiness or satisfaction.

sam
February 13th, 2010 at 3:46 pm
I do believe that we are currently facing a leadership crisis, on a macro level, as well as a micro level. It is easy to take swipes at corporate leaders and government officials when they fail to uphold what is considered to be basic ethical behavior, but what is our role as individuals in this crisis? What is at its core?
I have recently came across two quotes, both of which I feel address the core of the leadership crisis we are now experiencing. The first is from American author and poet, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau is credited with saying, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” I do not feel that the root of this problem are our current leaders, they are only the branches. The root, or core, of this problem is a general loss of moral values in society today, and not just among those in leadership. Once the moral compass of society is off it opens the door for the advancement of unethical leadership. Moral relativism has altered for many the meaning of words such as truth, honor, and justice making them abstract ideals and not absolutes. In this process individuals have failed to stand up and challenge this way of thinking, and have allowed it to grow. Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Moral relativism has got to stop. It is time for individuals to take a stand, not “hacking at the branches,” but “striking at the roots!” This needs to happen at the micro level, within our families, within our own lives. Only then will we have the proper direction to deal with the crisis and replace the leadership we have with the leadership we should have.
The second quote if from the 18th century British writer and philosopher, Mary Wollstonecraft. She said, “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” The current leadership crisis is fuel by an overall search for happiness, purpose, and meaning. This is truly what people are seeking. The problem we must face is that even a return to moral behavior in the long run will not resolve this crisis; it will require a change of heart. The happiness which Wollstonecraft refers to here, whether she realized it or not, can only be found through a relationship with Christ! Many of our great leaders of the past held strong to Christian values, but these values did not always carry over into their personal lives. This has got to change. Einstein is also credited with saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” If this is true, then Christian values, must permeate all aspect of our lives, not just as ideals, but at the core of who we really are. If this is done then over time leadership will change, and the crisis will be averted. If not, then we can expect our leadership to head further and further in the same direction.

Cookie Monster
February 13th, 2010 at 8:57 pm
The problem with a term like “leadership crisis” is that it means different things to different people. So the first step of any discussion is to define the term.
We have seen a lot of examples of bad leadership in the news the past decade, from Adelphia to Worldcom, but is that because of a leadership crisis, or is it because of better exposure of unethical practices that have always gone on? Is the world of “on demand” media exposing these unethical leaders faster and more reliably than ever?
And if this is the case, is it possible that the perceived leadership crisis is actually growing pains of a corporate world that is improving?
It is nearly impossible to prove whether there is a leadership crisis in America today or not. There are no studies that accurately reflect the prevalence of unethical behavior in corporate leadership that was never uncovered. It could be that today people are just finding out how bad some of the leadership is.
Going forward, the extra exposure provided by media may provide a catalyst to encourage higher quality leadership and ethics.

Anne
February 14th, 2010 at 11:45 am
How did we get here? We have gotten here by allowing our values and our ethics to fall down one small notch at a time, I’ll let that go and then someone else lets something else go and it just spirals down.
How do we change it? The same way we got here, one small step in the “right” direction at a time.
I think the service leadership is much more effective if a company is looking for a “leader” to lead them.
I was very impressed with the Lee Iacocca excerpt, where have all of those leaders gone? What has happened to our nation that we all pansy tail around everyone else and feel the need to be “gentle” so we don’t hurt anyone. We don’t have many service leaders anymore because we reward these “golden parachute” leaders in monetary ways so we can say we have the top dog and you don’t.
I was with Dow Chemical when Stavropoulos retired and then was called back less than a year later to resume CEO and the gentleman that took his place was let go. I had heard that the other man was given a large sum of money when he was let go, so, was that a “golden parachute”, I think so. If I wasn’t doing the job I wouldn’t get a large sum of money to be let go… Why are these “top leaders” different than you or I?

powerdroid
February 14th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Leadership in the last decade has not at all hit the mark when it comes to the law of sacrifice. It has been made clear within the past year that company leadership is far more concerned with personal gain rather than gains of the entire company. We see leaders like those at AIG who’s company is failing and loosing money and yet their board and directors are taking away high dollar bonuses. What is not right with this picture? We need more leaders to be like Iacocca and turn down salaries while their companies are not doing well.
Despite so much press about the self-centered leadership, a few bright spots still show. From S. Truett Cathy and family (Founder of Chick-fil-A) to C. William Pollard(Former Chairman and CEO of The ServiceMaster Company), there are leaders who are willing to follow the sacrifice and put the companies and its employees before themselves. Throughout the 1990’s, Horst Schulze was the president and CEO of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. They continually won awards for service and more specifically the Malcolm Baldridge Nation Quality Award. Schulze provides a great example of what it means to put the company first. In the last part of The Ritz Carlton mission statement it reads: “Our leaders will constantly support and energize all employees to continuously improve productivity and customer satisfaction.” When asked about the success of the hotel chain, Schulze said, ” When making decisions, I ask myself: Is it good for all concerned – God, the organization, the employees, the customers and vendors? If yes, then drive it forward relentlessly.”
If there were more leaders like Schulze, there would be no more need for ‘golden parachutes.’ I believe the answer of which is more effective speaks on it’s own. You do not see people disgruntled with these CEO’s that do the right thing. You see them upset with those who take their ‘golden parachutes’ to safety, while their company collapses. To me what is most frustrating about these men taking the ‘golden parachute’ is that it makes people believe that capitalism is evil and the reason this is happening. It’s not the fault of capitalism, it’s the fault of these leaders not being held accountable and the failure of those who can do something. It goes back to the basics of morality and ethics.

Brandi Kroese
February 14th, 2010 at 8:33 pm
Much like what Kelly Rupp discusses in The Collaborative Work Systems Field Book (2003, p. 513) we are expected even as leaders to do more with less and faster than ever before. When you consider that the vast majority of leaders today are promoted with little to no training, have little to no resources, and are expected to get things done sooner rather than later it is no wonder we are in a leadership crisis. When you have CEO’s of huge organizations making sure that they get their paychecks, bonuses, and stock options there really is no need to train and facilitate effective processes within the company. According to Maxwell in The Maxwell Leadership Bible (2007, P. 213)”Good leaders model commitment before they ask anyone else to do so.” We have to remember this and know that as we walk the talk we should model what a servant leader looks like. Unfortunately we will often fall short but we need to keep trying and serve our Lord by serving others. People learn best by observing others and experiencing it for themselves.

Donna H
February 14th, 2010 at 9:55 pm
Service leadership as I understand it, is the process and the mentality as the driving force for how a leader conducts him/herself, resulting in a positive direction of the team/group/company. It can be argued that servant leaders are too busy promoting others and their needs to focus on goals of the organization, but I suggest that in doing that, it in effect causes the organization to succeed if the employees know they have their backs covered – this then makes the model effective. I think a leader can do that, as well as manage the tasks at hand, therefore keeping the organization/team on track to meet goals – it has to be a balance, and the servant mentality needs the backing of the Christian aspect, else servanthood for the sake of it can bankrupt itself.
Are we in a crisis? From a surface view the answer would be yes considering the over-trampled topics of the Enrons. I think that is the media playing up the bad guys. We have allowed the media to have a great deal of influence on our society. However, we have much more influence of the good as well. The Greenleaf organization has been around since the 1970’s, and small business opportunity has grown immensely during these times in the last decades providing more opportunity for good business leadership. In a crisis? I would say no. While the moral trend is a decline curve I would not judge it a crisis. Perhaps I have rosy filters on.
Where do we go from here? There is so much more information out there to plant the seed of the idea of “Leadership” – internet, etc. In 1970 when Robert Greenleaf began his crusade there was no outlet for his web page to exist on the internet. VALS Conferences could go global. Teaching, just as in our classes, don’t have to be in-seat. Spreading the word on Leadership, and specifically Servant Leadership has far reaching fingers.

Ross M.
February 15th, 2010 at 11:38 am
The Law of Sacrifice was demonstrated by Betty Beene; the CEO of United Way of America (1997-2001). Ms. Beene, was a leader that was not afraid to serve, she worked with and alongside her constituents. Ms. Beene “routinely pitched in and worked late into the night stuffing envelopes or helping out on a similar project along-side her staff (Kouzes, 2004, p.20). Leadership embracing the law of sacrifice does exist. However; as Mr. Iacocca stated: “The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.” Therefore; the over emphasis of the bad consumes us, and we are often left with the feeling that all organizational executives are corrupt, and involved in fraudulent dealings.
The “golden parachute” style of leadership is similar to Machiavellian ideals. Machiavelli, believed in strategy that promoted the individual self; disregarding others. One of Machiavelli’s more famous quotes:” A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.” The “golden parachute” style of leadership is opposite the servant style of leadership which I feel is far more effective. Jesus’ example of servant leadership was perfect. Jesus said: “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:26-28).” A servant style of leadership is beneficial for many, while the “golden parachute” style of leadership enables one. An effective leader has to have a mindset of servitude; to collectively guide an organization as a whole.
Kouzes, J.M. (Ed.). (2004). Christian reflections on leadership the challenge. San Francisco:
Jossey-Bass.

http://www.thinkexist.com/Engl…..3765_1.htm

mml123
February 15th, 2010 at 12:40 pm
I don’t believe we have a leadership crisis per se, rather I believe we are in the midst of a leadership paradigm shift. The role of leadership is evolving in our society from one of management and bottom line decisions to more of a motivational, inspirational role. The leadership of tomorrow will have challenges that predecessors never had to deal with before. It will take time for this evolution to take place and perhaps by then a new style of leadership will be on the horizon. Change is the only constant.

Ross M.
February 15th, 2010 at 1:34 pm
I think one of the reasons leadership has failed to be as strong as possible; is due to underlying agendas. In 2008, Lee Kun-hee the chairman of Samsung resigned because he was accused of tax evasion, breach of trust, and securities violations. Mr. Lee was convicted of breach of trust, and tax evasion. Mr. Lee was sentenced to three years imprisonment, and well over 100 million in taxes and fines. However; Mr. Lee’s record was cleared by the president of South Korea (Lee Myung-bak). The president felt that the country needed Mr. Lees help to try and secure a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Samsung sales make up for approximately one fifth of the GDP in South Korea. Therefore; the company’s sheer size and stature and the influential position Mr. Lee held; allowed him a pardon in hopes of fulfilling the leader of a countries underlying agenda. I understand that this is a leadership blog relating to American leaders but we are now heavily involved in a world economy. I believe leadership abroad, influences domestic leadership.
I would like to think that our government is better than the republic form currently standing in South Korea. I would also like to think that large corporations which contribute considerably to the U.S. GDP would not be given special consideration for other agendas, if they experience economic trouble or executive level corruption. There have been recent instances that raise questions though, as to what underlying agendas may have been fulfilled with the government assisting large U.S. corporations. Leaders need to be held accountable; especially those representing large corporations. I believe the government has intervened too much recently. Individuals are expected to stand and persevere in this country, and provide for themselves. A large corporation which has a safety net in the U.S. government in case it fails perhaps needs to “land on its face,” or better yet; use adversity humbly as an opportunity to reestablish corporate goals and adopt a position of servitude, as a way of reestablishing corporate dominance.

J Tilsley
February 15th, 2010 at 6:13 pm
I think the idea of service leadership, especially in the past decade, is unfortunately in the minority. Executives in most areas of business are viewed as “fat cats”, and for good reason. Most of them (not all, mind you), but most are simply concerned with their own bottom line. Will they get what THEY want? They only look inward and upward, never to the outside and below them. The idea of a golden parachute frankly makes me ill. Especially with all of the famine and troubles parts of this world face. These people are obsessed with retiring with millions of dollars so they can continue to stuff their faces and drive fancy yachts.
I admire service leadership more than just about anything. I hope someday I can demonstrate this type of leadership to others. It’s the epitome of Christ…to serve your fellow man. I think employees respect that idea, certainly much more than the “fat cats” way of thinking. Because of this, I think it evokes a much more powerful and pro active response from employees to want to prove themselves and make the boss happy.

J Tilsley
February 15th, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Well I think the idea of service leadership, especially in the past decade, is unfortunately in the minority. Executives in most areas of business are viewed as “fat cats”, and for good reason. Most of them (not all, mind you), but most are simply concerned with their own bottom line. Will they get what THEY want? They only look inward and upward, never to the outside and below them. The idea of a golden parachute frankly makes me ill. Especially with all of the famine and troubles parts of this world face. These people are obsessed with retiring with millions of dollars so they can continue to stuff their faces and drive fancy yachts.
I admire service leadership more than just about anything. I hope someday I can demonstrate this type of leadership to others. It’s the epitome of Christ…to serve your fellow man. I think employees respect that idea, certainly much more than the “fat cats” way of thinking. Because of this, I think it evokes a much more powerful and pro active response from employees to want to prove themselves and make the boss happy.

Jorja H
March 6th, 2010 at 2:24 am
I think the leadership crisis is that too many people want to lead and then once they get there they no longer know what to do. Political leaders must play the game of making their constituents, funders, and committee members happy. Clearly, this is a no win situation for them. It becomes an issue of who can lie the best before it all implodes. The second issue is that citizens look towards government to fix all of their problems instead of trying to fix them on their own. Government bail outs just enable people instead of requiring them to participate in their own salvation. The STS paper by Adridge (2004) argues, “by maximizing the degree of self-regulation, work group productivity and job satisfaction will be consistently higher” (p. 2). This same concept of autonomous decision making can be applied to the individual instead of Big Brother (governmental leadership)dictating what should be done and yet failing to govern themselves.

Josh Tilsley LED501
March 6th, 2010 at 1:25 pm
I absolutely think there is a leadership crisis. In the midst of recent scandals at some of our nations largest companies, it’s hard not to be skeptical of our leaders anymore. There is an increasingly conscience-focused marketplace erupting here in the 21st century. Ethical business practices and actions are becoming both scarce and in demand…and interesting paradigm. I think the result of the demand for better business ethics is a direct result of the poor performance as of late from our business leaders. I think one of the key issues is that businesses can often attain short-term gains by acting in an unethical fashion; however, such behaviors eventually undermine the economy over time, which I believe is what we are seeing now. So how is this remedied? If I had a clear cut answer for this, I’d be a millionaire. I think a key step in the right direction, however, is to stop pushing for the old business model of “dog eat dog”, and start working together to accomplish a greater goal. This does not mean competition should be abolished. That would go against everything the American economy stands for. But it’s not to say that we can’t still collaborate with one another. If the cut throat model was tossed out the window, perhaps businesses and leaders would be less tempted to act in an unethical manner. Furthermore, with the advancement of technology, if companies implemented an STS (socio-technical systems) model into their corporate structure, it would create an environment where there is less pressure on the upper level execs. I believe a change is coming, for the positive. I believe Americans are tired of unethical practices and are going to start paying closer attention to how companies conduct themselves. While the corporate world will never be free from unethical practices, I believe there will eventually come a day when those instances will be relegated to the minority.

Stephen McQ
March 6th, 2010 at 7:47 pm
Yes, there is a leadership crisis. As in every good crisis it’s always a little fun to find someone to blame. Main Street wants to blame Wall Street for its greed and corruption and Wall Street wants to blame Main Street for its greed and ignorance.
There will be a shift in leadership styles which will be neither fully top down nor fully collaborative. Both have proven to be failures if left unchecked. In regards to top down leadership, our recent economy with the ever public scandals is evidence enough that change is needed. In regards to collaborative leadership, just ask a chef if there can be too many cooks in the kitchen, or as they would say on the reservation close to where I grew up, “there are too many Chiefs, and not enough Indians.”
Employees are driving the way companies are now sharing, transferring and leveraging knowledge. There will be a next generation of leadership that will evolve to incorporate socio-technical systems thereby creating the context for this knowledge sharing and innovation. This would still allow for a separate leader while enabling collaborative work groups providing a competitive advantage.

Terry Rich
March 8th, 2010 at 11:23 pm
Over the last three decades, I have seen definite indications that the global political scene and marketplace are experiencing a definite leadership crisis. A crisis rooted in the inability or unwillingness of todays appointed or self proclaimed leaders to make ethical and moral decisions on both a business and personal level. An epidemic most rationalize away as the shifting of societal norms based on an ever evolving corruption of the post-modernist worldview. An environment where deceitful transactions of word and deed are common place, creating a constant flow of newly devised scandals.
A grave statement about society’s leaders which raises the question, “When will this neglectfulness and avoidance of accountability be reversed?” A question that should be of great concern to the up and coming leaders of the future, which can only be addresses by these same individuals. A deliberate shift from the practice of golden parachute leadership to the embracement of servant-leadership, thus enabling all levels of a target populace to effect change, is required to halt and reverse this declining trend in leadership effectiveness. A trend that must be addressed at all business and personal levels, if this new global socio-political and economical climate of cooperation and collaboration is to survive.

t_runner
April 18th, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Social change is something that greatly interests me. How does something become accepted by a society? Think about things that were once not accepted and now they are: women in business and balancing work and family life, homosexuality (to an extent), and even little silly things like wearing white after Labor Day. However one looks at it, there are things that were once not accepted and now are. Sexual orientation is something that is facinating to me, as I have a lot of homosexual friends whom I respect greatly. I love seeing that society has begun to accept these individuals as they do anyone else, but I’d like to make even greater strides. I think the answer is that it takes time and a lot of grassroots efforts by individuals who have greater influence, but I hope as more and more people learn that people they know and love are homosexual, that they will become more open and accepting of people and eventually it will not be seen as something to be judged for.

Terry Rich
April 20th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
America is suffering a leadership crisis; however this crisis is not just isolated to the unethical corporate leaders of this country. The standard of American military leadership has declined at an astronomical rate as well; since most prefer to study a problem or issue to death versus make an informed decision. This lack of decisive decision making is impacting the defensive readiness of our country and wasting precious dwindling resources in the process. The American military needs to return to basics, fostering the art of leadership versus careerism focused managers who seem paralyzed to act from fear of damaging a career. Without this return to days of old where mission accomplishment was paramount, the American military will slowly slip into a corporate type mindset without established business rules; one step away from anarchy.

Donna H
April 20th, 2010 at 8:48 pm
The dictionary definition of Crisis is this: “a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.” Are we at that stage, that turning point? Defined this way, I would say not. It has been more of a process the way we got to what we see today in business and society. It wasn’t a turning point from yesterday to get to today, nor will it be a turning point to get to tomorrow. Biblically it is no surprise. In looking at the brighter side, I would also suggest that perhaps we have no crisis, but that the media is leading us to believe it – we are more exposed to the dark side, and the media loves to illuminate the dark side.
Considering the example of our present leadership in government – it has been a rare find to speak to someone who voted this individual in, or appreciates his MO. So I question, where are all the people who did vote this individual in if the percentages I see would lend he would not have gotten elected? With that same line of thought, if there is a crisis in leadership, why isn’t business and society at a standstill? Is the media illuminating the really bad ones, while the masses of good are being ignored? Does media drive this? Or is it a matter of positive or negative thinking? I will agree that there are most definitely leadership issues, and the examples of the bad are atrocious and unacceptable. I will also say that there has to be a multitude of good and ethical leadership that still provides a foundation for our current business state, else we would be at a standstill. There is, however, still plenty of room for a huge influx of Christian based, Values Aligned leadership to keep the engine running and I say keep pressing on in increasing the percentages – why not go for 100?

Fiadonu
April 24th, 2010 at 10:01 pm
I believe that there is leadership crisis in America, it seems that we wake up everyday to some news about companies collapsing due to ineffective leadership, it is true that currently the distinction between good and bad, right and wrong is a matter of opinion.
I think the journey to where we are today begins from the upbringing of our children who ultimately become the leaders of tomorrow. Children of today are not held responsible for anything and lack respect for authority (both parents and others over them) they grow up with no boundaries and yet when they become leaders we expect them to fall in line- there is a missing link. The bible says that train up a child in the he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it, Proverbs 22.6.
Secondly, America as a society is moving away from God, the word says that “draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you” James 4:8, implying that the opposite is true as we move away from God he moves away from us, and without God we can do nothing, chaos is what will occur and that seems to be the issue leading to leadership crisis in America.
Where we go from here depends on the choices we make, if we continue to go the way we are going, then the future is bleak, however if we will go back to God as a nation and live by His word things will look up, this nation was built on the word of God and that is why it is what it is, a super power, let us go back to our roots.

DJB
September 11th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
Is there a leadership crisis today? Yes and no. The question is how can you find or even determine who the failing leaders are. Our instinct alone lets us know our limitations, thus we skirt around the issues, give false information with authority that makes it sound real and we even surround ourselves aroung people who are intelligent and potential leaders. In my humbled opinion, and sorry to bring politics into this, but our President has shown poor leadership. Now some people might blame that on Congress, but still our economy is stuggling severly. A good leader would bring the bipartisan differences together through strong negotiation and compromise to come up with a viable solution to help restore our prominance. In the business world, I work for a company that catters to the military. Although they claim not to have a top down culture, they do to an extent. Funny, but you would believe that is the military personnel the run the company that would have that mindset, but it is not. It is middle management who has never servered that has the military mindeset. The upper crust (as I like to call them, top execs) share their thoughts, their ideas and beliefs while developing a company strategy that is bought in by in all at that level. Unfortunately, it hardly makes it to our level. As I see it, our middle managers are insecure to the notion they may not look as resourceful as they should. Thus, they demand, yes demand, that their subordinates not talk, email or communicate with uppper level management. Although, I have explained two different styles of management and I would think that it would falter at some point. I am a true believer, that the good hearted nature of leadership wins over the issues of the lower level subordinates. This company is striving very well, even in a down economy and it is in direct relationship to the leader who makes certain that there is open communication. And although we may not be able to get to him, the customer does. And when that happens, he corrects our problems promptly. In short, I stated that there is and there isn’t a crisis. I still believe that. I believe there are good people running companies as well as greed controlling companies. I just pray the good wins over the bad. Thank you for allowing me to particpate in this dialog. Blessings.

CAsoccer
September 15th, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Is there a leadership crisis? How did we get here? And where do we go from here?
When looking at these three questions, a CEO in today’s corporate world would probably not agree that there is any problem to begin with. He or she would state, “we have come to be here by hard work, innovation, and competitiveness; we move on from here by motivating employees, capturing consumers, and raising the bar.” What they may not realize is that they are compromising the ethical standards in their companies during this economic crisis to compete in the business realm. We cannot fix what we cannot see!
There may have been a line set years ago by a company about the integrity and accountability that must be held and followed at all costs….oh wait, maybe except at the cost of profit increase. This line day after day, year after year will get pushed further and further back. It is the duty of the leaders in the company to reinforce the original lines and also follow those rules themselves. Too often I have seen management fall short of meeting their own standards.
I truly believe that if one has the right role model in their life they are more likely to respect and follow in the footsteps of that leader. Earning respect from your subordinates is the first and most effective way to motive them. As a leader or manager you want your employees to buy into the purpose of the company. The only way to do this is to sell the truth, have faith in the purpose and through your actions of integrity they will learn to respect you as a leader.
So, where do we go from here?
As Christians in the secular business realm we must reestablish that line for ourselves in our everyday job and become the light in our work place. Christ speaks of how the light cannot exist with the dark; I truly believe that by following Christ that light will define those dark places. This light will make it easier to see where the ethical and leadership standards are being lost and where the company needs to improve.
“For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God….Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)” Ep 5:5-9

lefitasi
September 15th, 2010 at 9:31 pm
Romans 7:23 “but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.”
The struggle between “law of mind” and the spirit of God (more commonly known as, the struggle of ‘flesh’ and ’spirit’) is emphasized well in this passage. It’s one thing to want to live a godly life, but it’s another to actually master our habits and behaviors in order to conform to a godly life. Human willpower isn’t sufficient on its own to tame our natural impulse toward sin. Humans need God’s grace. The farther away an individual is from Christ, the more difficult it will be for him or her to win the battle against their fleshly desires.
I believe the increase in unethical business conduct is due to the number of individuals who have lost their faith or relationship with the Lord, and therefore, their earthly flesh and desires of the heart have become dominant in their life. And, what is the common desire of our earthly flesh? Happiness, love, money, etc. What are all these to us if they are not desired for the Lord? Empty. Where would an individual find true happiness without the Lord? There is always an aspect of the human flesh that will desire more than what they have. Only through God’s grace can we achieve true happiness. When those who have lost their faith have discovered God’s grace, will they learn to work for the Lord in everything they do, including ethical business practices.

jjubic
September 16th, 2010 at 7:59 am
In the last decade, I do not think we very often hear or see a leader giving up to go up. Plus, in our world today the news and media does not like to focus as much on someone giving up something, but rather all the different scandals and wicked things that are occurring. However, I do believe that some people do understand and grasp the concept of giving up to go up. Personally, I have not witnessed this or heard of any leader doing this recently in a large company, but I know there has to be people out there. I think of it to as people giving up there current life to Christ to have a new life. We see this monthly, weekly, or even daily in our society. I truly believe in some area in most peoples lives they are leading someone so if they simply give up a small item to serve or help another individual then they are preparing themselves for when a big decision comes up they can “give up to go up.”
Service leadership when an individual leader emphasizes with his/her followers and generally cares about them. He/she is willing to compromise his comfortability for theirs. He/she knows what their followers need and seek to get that for them. A parachute leader on the other hand it focused primarily on themselves and what is best for them. They want to accomplish the things they are required to accomplish and that’s it. Parachute leadership can be effective for the bottom line of a company; but overall the camaraderie of a company will be nonexistent. Service leadership on the other hand makes the employees of a company feel valued and therefore will produce better outcomes overall. People deserve to be treated and served well while they are serving at their job. Servant leadership is most effective in most areas of leadership.

Christy P LED 501
September 16th, 2010 at 5:29 pm
Personally, I do not see many leaders in todays world showing service leadership. I know they exist. But they are in the minority in today’s times. Leading by helping others or “give up to go up” is rare. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of a “service leader”. I also see service leadership through my senior pastor. He gives up to help others and always has a servant heart. On the other side, the golden parachute practice is unethical and wrong. It is merely an “out” for someone in the company who is not doing their job. Why should they get paid if they were not doing their job? An example of this is former CEO of BP Oil Tony Hayward. While oil was spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico and polluting the waters, he received $1.6 million, plus an $11 million pension. I believve service leadership is more effective. This is seen clearly through the life of Jesus Christ and His followers. The golden parachute is not effective because there is not motivation for the leader to help the company succeed. If he/she fails and the company does not succeed, they get paid anyway for leaving the company.

kingdd
September 16th, 2010 at 8:50 pm
In my opinion the “golden parachute” is a principle that was created in an attempt to motivate business executives through money/greed. While the motive behind this idea may have been to give leaders a safety net and prevent them from unethical conduct, I think that by observing recent events we can see that it has backfired. Call me “old fashioned” but I believe that a leader should only receive a bonus if they do their job well, and as a outcome, the company prospers, resulting and the employees and shareholders are making a profit. Unfortunately this elevates the well being of the leader above all else, often at the expense of others. If the good of the whole is not longer more important than the good of one we are moving in a very destructive direction.
In contrast service leadership elevates the needs of others above the executive. This form of leadership was exemplified in the life of Christ and as evidenced by Lee Iacocca is still the most effective method, even today. Or as Maxwell puts it in his 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership , “Successful leaders must maintain an attitude of sacrifice to turn around an organization.” Unfortunately it seems we are seeing a overwhelming trend toward the “me first” style of leadership.

Robin J
September 17th, 2010 at 7:29 am
In today’s economic climate, it has become exceedingly rare to witness leaders who “give up to go up.” Corporate America has been characterized, in recent years, as an “every man for himself” institution. Not often do we witness a leader who is willing to make sacrifices for the good of the company and its employees. One example of a local Colorado leader who has “given up to go up” is the president of Metropolitan State College of Denver, Stephen Jordan. I recently read an article about Jordon which discussed the funding crisis in higher education. Rather than increasing tuition, Jordan opted to take a sizable paycut instead. I think this speaks volumes for his character and really makes him stand out among so many who would rather see their company collapse than to forfeit a single dime. Service leadership gives leaders a chance to truly lead by example. Jesus Christ was a proponent of service leadership and His rate of success and the success of his followers speaks for itself. On the other side of the spectrum, “golden parachute” leaders, such as the many executives involved in the multitude of bailouts, tend to think less of the good of the company and more about saving themselves and padding their own wallet. We can see firsthand that this type of leadership is not effective. Many major banks were run by this type of leadership and have failed by the dozen. Service leadership is much more effective. The president of Metro State College has ensured the happiness and success of the students and employees of the instituion by making sacrifces of his own. This environment fosters a much higher rate of success.

Beau Rollins
September 17th, 2010 at 3:26 pm
Leadership in my opinion does not include the words give up and most successful leaders don’t do it. I have a good example of a good leader and it happens to be my Dad. I think he would fit the bill of being a service leader. In fifteen years I have watched him climb to the Vice president level of a fortune 100 company and started out as a metal fabricator. In his position his pay also depends on servicing the customer and he has always made bonus except for last year. One thing I see that he does to make him successful is not being afraid to give his opinion on issues and backing it up. I don’t believe a good leader goes along with every idea without understanding the issue. Something he always says to be an important tool is listening. If you aren’t listening to the issue than you probably are not on the same page as the customer, employee, or stockholders.

Gaye Lynn – LED 501
September 17th, 2010 at 4:59 pm
Having worked in both the corporate environment as well as a church, I have seen this issue from a few different perspectives.
In the church, I worked in our private school. I saw great examples of servant leadership. Our principal was one such example. He worked for the school for many years making a very meager wage. yet he was one of the first ones there in the morning and one of the last ones to leave at night. His heart was for the kids and their families and he would do whatever it took to improve their education and help with the needs of the families. A problem arose in which this principal ended up taking the blame – details to long to put here but he did not deserve it. However, he chose to quietly step down, support the school in all of his conversations and never spoke ill of those who caused the issue. He even continued to attend and support the church. There was no large severage package for him, but God has blessed him richly.
On the other hand, a corporation I worked for was bought by a much larger corporation. Ultimately, the new owners decided to close the California office and move all the jobs to New Jersey. Many people lost their jobs in the process and have taken a long time to recover. However the senior leadership of that company have all either retained their jobs or received large Golden Parachutes. During the buyout, they were communicating the benefits of this takeover and encourgaing employees to stay even saying there was no reason to be concerned for our jobs. I know they may have not known all the details but it certainly felt dishonest when we were ushered in to a meeting where we were all told you will be unemployed within 12 months.

MelissaS LED 501
September 17th, 2010 at 6:53 pm
I agree with several different aspects from the previous posts. I feel that one of the ways we have arrived to where we are now is financial motives, but also ways of thinking. Far too often in the corporate world individuals are concerned with the “here and now”, not of consequences or planning accordingly for the ‘future’. Also, the mentality of ‘if it’s broken we will just replace it versus genuinely trying to fix it…’these process or lack thereof can drive through an entire organization. Beginning from financial decisions, training and development, or simply relying on ‘cheating to win’–without taking in consideration what may ‘look good’ isn’t always the fact or best for the organization or its employees.

TIME2LEAD
September 17th, 2010 at 7:13 pm
I believe there is a leadership crisis; the leadership mentoring programs in many of today’s organizations seem to be extinct or existing but not exercised. When organizations begin growth or undergo great change, everyone is scrambling to align their organization and any mentoring program is quickly tossed to the side. It is important that today’s organizations begin to realize the value of cultivating leadership within their company. Cultivated leadership within an organization gives an organization options for growth, it is like having another tool in the toolbox. When an organization needs to expand they can look inside the organization if an elimination needs to occur at a management or leadership level then the organization can pull the next candidate to fill the open position, it provides opportunity for advancement and spurs an environment where repeatable processes are carried from one leg of an organization to another with a common vision, values, and goals. Last year I had an opportunity to attend a state football championship, the team that won the championship has also won the same championship the previous 5 years in a row making last year a total of 6 years. When I started digging deeper I discovered that the reason the team had been so successful over the last 6 years is because they utilize the leadership cultivation concept. The High School coaching staff works closely with the community pee-wee football organization, as well as the recreation commission and middle school teams, they provide them with their playbooks and encourage them to run the plays at very young age groups and they carry the information as well as momentum into their older age groups. The children are infused with a common vision and common goals and the team leaders are developed from a young age. The coaches of the high school league have cultivated a team of winners who know how to perform in any given situation and it has provided them with state championships 6 years in a row. How much better would a company perform if a leadership cultivation concept was maintained or highly exercised by leadership organizations.

Chris C. LED 501
September 18th, 2010 at 8:22 am
I think that there is a leadership crisis in some places but not others. I work in church ministry and I see a movement in churches that encourages leadership. Along with this, I think the most important strength and need for leadership today is servant leadership. Coming from a church perspective, I see servant leadership from many pastors. I think the best example that I can think of that served as a good example of this was a couple from Dallas, TX who moved to Denver, CO to serve a small church. They were worship pastors who came from a very large church in Dallas, and they made great money. However, to come to the church in Denver they had to take a $30,000/year pay cut. I was amazed to see that they were willing to take that size of a pay cut just to serve in a community they did not know well. I believe that God blesses that kind of a heart, and I hope that we find a similar willingness within ourselves to serve. We may not have to take a pay cut like this couple did, but we can serve in different ways in whatever job we have. A manager can show him/herself to be a good servant leader by showing true care for the employees. This will include looking out for the best of others and not just themselves. Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 10:24, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The opposite perspective is the “golden parachute” person who will not try to serve but will look for gain. We have unfortunately seen too many leaders over the past decade who have tried to take advantage of situations rather than serving. I believe servant leadership is effective because this kind of a leader will gain more respect from employees and it will serve as an example to them in how they can serve others in the company.

Chris C. LED 501
September 18th, 2010 at 8:25 am
There maybe a leadership crisis in some areas of management and leadership, but one strength I see is in the area of servant leadership. I work in a church setting where I see many pastors living as servant leaders. I think the best example that I can think of that served as a good example of this was a couple from Dallas, TX who moved to Denver, CO to serve a small church. They were worship pastors who came from a very large church in Dallas, and they made great money. However, to come to the church in Denver they had to take a $30,000/year pay cut. I was amazed to see that they were willing to take that size of a pay cut just to serve in a community they did not know well. I believe that God blesses that kind of a heart, and I hope that we find a similar willingness within ourselves to serve. We may not have to take a pay cut like this couple did, but we can serve in different ways in whatever job we have. A manager can show him/herself to be a good servant leader by showing true care for the employees. This will include looking out for the best of others and not just themselves. Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 10:24, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The opposite perspective is the “golden parachute” person who will not try to serve but will look for gain. We have unfortunately seen too many leaders over the past decade who have tried to take advantage of situations rather than serving. I believe servant leadership is effective because this kind of a leader will gain more respect from employees and it will serve as an example to them in how they can serve others in the company.

Chris C. LED 501
September 18th, 2010 at 8:55 am
There maybe a leadership crisis in some areas of management and leadership, but one strength I see is in the area of servant leadership. I work in a church setting where I see many pastors living as servant leaders. I think the best example that I can think of that served as a good example of this was a couple from Dallas, TX who moved to Denver, CO to serve a small church. They were worship pastors who came from a very large church in Dallas, and they made great money. However, to come to the church in Denver they had to take a $30,000/year pay cut. I was amazed to see that they were willing to take that size of a pay cut just to serve in a community they did not know well. I believe that God blesses that kind of a heart, and I hope that we find a similar willingness within ourselves to serve. We may not have to take a pay cut like this couple did, but we can serve in different ways in whatever job we have. A manager can show him/herself to be a good servant leader by showing true care for the employees. This will include looking out for the best of others and not just themselves. Paul said this in 1 Corinthians 10:24, “Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” The opposite perspective is the “golden parachute” person who will not try to serve but will look for gain. We have unfortunately seen too many leaders over the past decade who have tried to take advantage of situations rather than serving. I believe servant leadership is effective because this kind of a leader will gain more respect from employees and it will serve as an example to them in how they can serve others in the company.

Wibbs
September 18th, 2010 at 11:09 am
Is there a leadership crisis in America? Yes, I believe that we as a society are far more secular than in recent years. We are so consumed with ourselves we fail to try and fill others needs. We need to only contrast Seervice leadership and the Golden Parachute leaderships styles to see this in effect.
Service leadership – Many of my fellow class mates have made not of the fact that there is not allot of this type of leadership present in today’s current business environment. Well, at least not at the top of the corporate ladders anyway. I work for a company that employs about 100 people in 7 different offices. I had some reservations about going to work for this company but they were put to rest by one of the senior partners. He sat with me and encouraged me to utilize, what he believed, were my talents and he worked hard to instill some faith in me about the direction my career would go in his company. Since coming aboard I have seen him interact with each and every professional in the office, taking interest in their lives and their livelihood. He is a mentor to many and a friend to everyone, he asking if their is anything he can do to help us be sucessful. I believe he personifies service leadership.
“Golden Parachute” Leadership – By far we hear, see, and read stories about these type of leaders far more often than those who practice service leadership. Someone made reference to the former CEO of BP, he was paid millions to leave his position even though the company lost billions on the Gulf disaster. We can also look at the insurance and banking industries and see examples of the same type of behavior. Executives paid huge bonuses even though companies have had the worst performance in their history.
In my eyes service leadership is far more effective. If someone has a vested interest in your success they are willing to do what needs to be done to see you succeed. They are far more willing to help you than hurt you. With the Golden parachute approach the leader is secure no matter what the outcome is so there is no interest in the people they are to lead. A service leader can create an emotional response that is beneficial to the organization. They are able to get others to see the vision and care about it like they do. With a golden parachute leader you may get charisma and people may buy into a vision, but if it becomes apparent that the leader is only in it for his or herself it wont take long before they lose their influence. You can think of it like a bank, with a service leader they will tend to deposit more into the bank than they will ever withdrawal and with a golden parachute leader they will try to withdrawal more than they have available to them.

Brian V LED 501
September 18th, 2010 at 12:55 pm
Chuck Feeney is the first business leader that comes to mind when thinking of giving up. The book: The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing. The book explains how Chuck Feeney made billions of dollars on duty free shop and gave it away anonymously. I also think of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who both have given a lion’s share of their wealth to charity.
Outside of the more well known cases of golden parachute I remember one case that almost took place at the local bank by me. The stock in 2007 had been worth $40/share. In 2008 it had dropped to $1.26/share. It had actually dropped all the way to .60 but the shareholders accepted a buyout from another bank at 1.26. The president, who had been largely responsible for the bank tanking by accruing the amount of debt they did, gave himself a golden parachute of $2million. The president never got that because the US government stepped in as the banks insurance company (FDIC) and seized their assets (the bank) and sold them to US Bank so that the stock went down to 0. The president never got his parachute.
I believe that servant leadership is more effective, not only because it is the right thing, but because it gets the best out of those you are leading. People will work harder for those they want to work for.

Jen Walton
September 19th, 2010 at 5:17 pm
Service leaders today are very rare. While there are some leaders out there who will work for an annual salary of $1, they are in essence working for free. I do not believe that this itself classifies someone as a service leader.
From some posts in our class discussions examples of service leaders are the church leaders who follow God’s will and relocate and take a pay cut in order to follow Him. The greatest example of a service leader is Jesus. He did it all and had the ultimate sacrifice. Other service leaders today would be those in the military. They are out there fighting for our country, some of them losing their lives.
I do believe that there is a leadership crisis. Too many people are living beyond their means to even consider being a service leader in a financial sense. They don’t have the option of following Christ and taking a pay cut.

Sarah
September 20th, 2010 at 4:32 pm
I don’t recall a time when morals were the basis of business decision making. I think core focus was making money and expanding the company. I think its safe to say that the main crisis doesn’t just lie in leadership. I think the blame should be placed on company as a whole, society and individually. When your core values come from the top and work their way down then we choose to follow the leader. So how did this come to par? Who put these leaders in their positions? For whatever reason, they were chosen to be in their positions through some form of choice, whether it was through promoting, voting, or hiring them to be in their positions.
I do think that many organizations don’t focus on doing the right thing if it doesn’t benefit the company, organization or industry financially. Our nation is a very greedy one. So how we got here took time but everyone had a part in it. Like our economy, its based on many different aspects. Everyone plays their part in our economy whether its spending, buying or selling. Where do we go from here is a good question. How do you change the way a whole nation does business? It starts with faith (MAT 17:20, NIV) He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” So if our intentions our righteous and good then nothing is impossible.

Stephen C.
September 21st, 2010 at 4:23 pm
One person I believe to be walking the talk is Richard Stearns. I his story to be one worth remembering.
In The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? Richard Stearns illustrates the principle of servant leadership beautifully. Upon receiving his MBA at Wharton School of Business, he found favor and notoriety in every facet of his business career. Highlights of his resume would read – CEO of Parker Brothers, Vice President of The Franklin Mint and CEO of Lenox Inc. But, in the summer of 1998, Richard stepped down as CEO of Lenox, sold his two-hundred-year-old field-stone farmhouse, relocated his wife and children to Seattle, accepted a demotion in salary, and became CEO of World Vision. Within two months, Richard was in the jungles of Uganda, sharing his personal testimony to those who would listen, simply put, “Lord, break my heart for the things that break yours.” Mr. Stearns’ story clearly shows the power and cost of being a servant leader. The ability to impact lives through servant leadership, can potentially, cascade into an even greater affect on the whole of society. One person could affect another, and another, until it spreads like a common cold. The ability to wield such influence can usually be traced back to self-sacrifice (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Theresa). The “golden parachute” leader is starkly opposite of the servant leader. This type of leader is motivated by selfish reasons (status, money, power, etc…). Although both leaders may profoundly influence their organization, servant leaders will have the satisfaction of leaving a legacy of hope, long after he/she has retired.

Mike
February 5th, 2011 at 6:10 am
Some leadership are talking the talk, but not walking the talk. They will say it, but never do it. Leaders need to follow through with what they say. As an employee, we want a leader that will check on things when we ask and one that will get down and dirty with us.
The leadership crisis is here because leaders won’t get down and dirty. How did we get there? It has been over a long period of time that we got there. Leaders have lost the morality of doing what is right. Leaders need to fight for what is moral and leader by example. You can walk and talk one way, but expect the employees to do the total opposite.
Where do we go from here? As in the past, we need to continue to hold leadership to a high standard. As leadership, we can lead by example. We need to be able to walk the talk. We need to make sure we show that out family, peers, friends, the company mean more then our greed, money, and other items. It is not about ourselves, but about the people we impact on a daily basis.

Shawn
February 8th, 2011 at 6:20 pm
When I look at the leaders that I have been under the last couple of years, I can see how the economy has affected their leadership and management skills. Leaders are more impacted on how they decide to manage employees by upper management because of more budget cuts. My experience with this type of situation is when I worked for Hewlett Packard. During my time at Hewlett Packard they were set to move to New Mexico for budget reasons. My manager had to make some moves that he did not agree with, like letting go of people that had been with the company for 10 years or more. He was stuck in a situation to both perform like Lee Lacocca and sacrifice himself, or follow what upper management wanted in order to not jeopardize his job. I saw the same situation when I used to work for a college that operated in Colorado Springs, CO. Again managers’ values had to be pushed to the side that way they could keep their jobs and support their families. When I look at these managers, I cannot say they are wrong or right on how they handled the situation. I have been unemployed before, and it is really hard these days to find a job with security and great benefits. I look at where I am today because of the job market, I am a person with a human resource degree working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a correctional officer. Not that there is anything wrong being a correctional officer and I am very grateful for my job, I would just rather use my degree. When I look at how the economy and upper management are changing the leaders that directly interact with employees, their thinking becomes a tough choice. Where we go from here is praying that we do not have to keep cutting jobs and putting our leaders in these predicaments and that we can have a foundation built more on employee satisfaction.

Tim McT
February 9th, 2011 at 9:52 am
Our crisis in leadership is the result of a decline in moral values. We hire CEOs who can drive short-term stock values, we vote for politicians that will tax me the least or give me the entitlements, even in churches we follow pastors who give us sermons that make us feel good about ourselves rather than challenge me in my faith. The Apostle Paul reminds us that you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). The sad fact is, we’re getting exactly what we asked for.
Leaders receive their power and authority from followers. The crisis in leadership results from followers who don’t have the scruples or wisdom to demand good, honest, stalwart leaders. It seems as though we’ve become complacent. As long as my 401K is growing and America remains a dominant super-power, what difference does it make?
Global solutions are impossible because you cannot insist that a follower not follow a bad leader. In fact, the only thing I can control is – me. To that end, I am working to become a great follower – one that strongly supports leaders who demonstrate high character, passion, and competence. Where appropriate, I also encourage those I know to do the same. I am sure there are more sweeping methods to usher in great leadership, but in the end, its a bunch of followers that establish their leaders. I hope to do my part to be a great follower.

Becky
February 9th, 2011 at 1:45 pm
As long as “truth is relative” what walk would we have our leaders talk? And how are they to know which walk to walk and which talk to talk?
The foundations of good leadership are built on a solid understanding of morality, ethical behavior and truth. Upon these a leader can develop his/her skills to match his/her leadership needs. Mistakes in the workplace, can be forgiven of someone with integrity and who makes an honest attempt at reperation. Without these the leader will inevitably fall because no one will believe that he/she is redeemable. Our nation is currently in a leadership crisis because of moral relativism. Our current leaders believe that there either is no truth, or that their truth is the only one that matters.Leaders will only come out of crisis when they adopt foundations that will hold them through their mistakes.

Beck
February 9th, 2011 at 4:58 pm
It is my opinion that we are suffering through a leadership crisis because of moral relativism. Moral relativism is the idea that morality varies between individuals and cultures and so there is no objective right and wrong. Our leaders are suffering from an inability to discern between good and bad behavior, meaning that when we make arguements to tell our leaders that we want ethical behavior, they don’t know what we are talking about. To them, what they are doing, is ethical and therefore right, to them. How can we expect our leaders to behave with integrity, when our culture is steeped in moral relativistic beliefs?

51 Comments

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  1. Clint H. says:

    We got to this point because of ego. Nobody from the top positions of organizations to the top positions of government are willing to ask for help, or to listen to any suggestion that may be different from what they originally had in mind. Our government leaders are always looking to play politics, even though they all claim to want to do what is best for the country. Organizational leadership also is too busy trying to keep their jobs, instead of leading from their hearts and brains.

  2. Clint H says:

    We got to this point because of ego. Nobody from the top positions of organizations to the top positions of government are willing to ask for help, or to listen to any suggestion that may be different from what they originally had in mind. Our government leaders are always looking to play politics, even though they all claim to want to do what is best for the country. Organizational leadership also is too busy trying to keep their jobs, instead of leading from their hearts and brains.

  3. E Garza says:

    Do we have a leadership crisis?

    Why yes, yes we do. I think we are living in an age where leaders are more concerned with what they can gain, rather then how they can better their companies. Golden parachutes are being handed out at the door to leadership as party favors, while subordinates jump out of the plane chuteless.

    We desperately need leaders that have their employees best interest at heart, service leadership. Our nation is yearning for leaders we WANT to follow. If leaders don’t believe in the company, do they really think we will? Leaders seem to lack passion, competencies, and true commitment to excellence. Sub-par will only last for so long…are we willing to wait?

  4. Bob Fleck says:

    Is there a leadership crisis, yes. I think that our leaders are too inwardly focused, worrying about if they are going to get theirs. How about a different approach:

    The law of Sacrifice – A leader must give up to go up. I don’t see this too often in larger companies especially in the last decade. Main stream media is touting the golden-parachute executives and the fall of their companies because that is the stuff that sells.

    Golden parachute leadership is inwardly focused. Organizations have an easier time finding executives because they are offering some form of security. Servant leaders would rather see the organization succeed than line their pockets. A few golden parachute executives include: BP’s CEO Tony Hayward, Enron’s Ken Lay, Lehman Brothers executives, and Hewlett Packard’s Carly Fiorina. Personally I would much rather work for the following group of people who invest in servant leadership. Shirley Ward CEO of the Ward Group filled a vacant buyer position for several weeks, Chris McKee managing partner of Venturity performed assistant controller duties for an extended sick leave employee, and the leaders at Zingerman’s, Weinzweig and Saginaw answer phones and bus tables at their restaurants when they visit. Leaders would be wise to follow Jesus’ example of servant leadership as he washed his disciple’s feet. John 13:16-17 says: “Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

    I personally believe that servant leadership is more effective than golden parachute leadership. Who wants to follow someone that is only looking out for #1 and not putting their all into the organization? The Serving Leader by Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert has five servant leader actions to transform your team and are ones I try to follow.

    1. Run to Great Purpose
    * To do the most possible good, strive for the impossible
    * Sustain the self’s greatest interest in pursuits beyond self-interest
    2. Upend the Pyramid
    * You qualify to be first by putting other people first
    * You’re in charge principally to charge up others
    3. Raise the Bar
    * To serve the many, you first serve the few
    * The best reach-down is a challenging reach-up
    4. Blaze the Trail
    * To protect your value, you must give it all away
    * You biggest obstacle is the one that hinders someone else
    5. Build on Strength
    * To address your weaknesses, focus on your strengths
    * You can’t become the best unless others do, too

  5. Kahiko 1 says:

    Throughout our nation’s history there have been numerous paradigm changes affecting future generations. Those who grew up during the Great Depression had different values then those who experienced World War II or the height of the Civil Rights Movement. And those who experienced the ‘50s and ‘60s had different values than those who experienced the ‘70s and the Vietnam War era. Through industry and technology the world has become a smaller place. World leaders once dominated their countries with strength and conviction in the belief they could make their country a better place for a good cause. There are still leaders out there who are willing to fight the good fight. I don’t believe it’s a matter of having a leadership crisis, I think it’s a matter of personal values and how it’s imposed on society. World leaders need to learn to put aside their differences and come together for the common good of all nations.

  6. Michael Babb says:

    Do we think that it is too much to ask to have leaders, employees, managers and others in a position of authority to do what they say they’re going to do? To do what they should do in a position of power and responsibility? We, as bystanders, might think so but the culture has become one that accepts and expects businesses to employ certain practices that many would deem unethical in the name of accomplishing their goals, increased market share / bottom line or pushing their agenda. It happens where we work and it happens in our nation’s capital and it is something that needs to be addressed if we are to continue being a country that stands for anything other than ethical decent
    We’ve grown way too accustomed to our leaders, both political and otherwise, pushing their agenda or ideals rather than promoting ours. In the workplace it decreases morale in the political arena it decreases morals. Why has this been established as the status quo? It is because we have allowed it to be as voters and employees in this nation and our workplace. I’m not saying that we need to rebel in the name of trying to accomplish something here. I am merely saying that we need to take a stand, have a STANCE and make our voices heard as value based people. People that want to see a better tomorrow for our children.
    Recently, a woman I know was running for an elected position within the local school board. When discussing with her how she had run her campaign, I found that she would not accept any donations to help with any of the signage, the marketing or getting her name out on the streets and increasing her prominence within the community. I found it strange, but was curious as to why she might take thousands of dollars out of her own pocket to run for an elected position that doesn’t pay a salary. I decided to pry and ask her why she would do such a thing and she replied, “Because I don’t want to owe anyone anything when I am sitting in my position as an administrator for this school.” We continued to discuss the matter and I started to think that if she were taking this much caution for a school board position and trying to avoid “owing anyone anything,” what must people elected into the Senate or Congress feel from the people that support them financially? What pressure must they feel to push certain agendas? What do we, as voters, know of these supporters and the potential risk we run of voting someone into office that might have the right words and can talk the talk, but lacks the ability or fortitude to walk the talk after being elected?
    We have become way too complacent of the leaders around us and spend more time trying to explain their actions away rather than holding them accountable for their behavior. We are the PEOPLE and need to remember that we have a say in the way that our workplaces function as well as how our nation is run but first, we must have a stance before we can take one or we will continue to accept the status quo.

  7. Staci says:

    In regards to the leadership “crisis”, I would have to say that the lack of morals, servant leadership, and proper training is key. First, lack of morals and reliance upon God has significantly impacted the leadership positions of today. No longer do people search for answers from God, but only rely upon their own knowledge. In today’s time, people are trying their best to remove Christ from every area they can. From our pledge of our country to the very CHRISTmas season. The leadership of today, both government and corporate, want nothing to do with Christ or His principles.
    Servant leadership is another area where leadership is lacking. the idea of everyone watches out for him/herself and no one else, has taken away from the values of servant leadership. This is a selfish behavior that does not contribute to solving the problems within leadership today.
    Proper training of the future leaders is another area that is lacking. The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Too often there is no true responsibility given. Most often they are not taught the proper morals necessary to be a good leader.
    As Christian leaders, it is our duty to address these issues and attempt to lead with Christ’s help.

  8. Reilly Watanabe says:

    I feel that over the past decade leaders that you see in the news rarely practice service leadership. They attempt to get what they can for themselves even if it comes to the sacrifice of others. An example of both service and golden parachute leadership is in the school system. Our schools have a major shortfall of funds and are struggling to keep standards but have no funding to do so. I personally know teachers that will go out and buy the things that their classroom needs out of their own pocket because it is not in the budget. However if you look a few rings up on the ladder you see the superintendent of the district making over 100K a year. Just think if they made less along with other top executives in the district how much more money the schools could have to teach our children.
    Service leadership is highly more effective as it shows the other workers values that can be emulated. The leader often times sets the pace for the company and others will follow. Only being out for yourself will only get the person so far and eventually others will not trust or want to work for that type of individual.

  9. Reilly Watanabe says:

    There is definitely a leadership crisis currently in America. There are two completely separate people that come to mind to contrast when considering this, the current President and Dan Cathy the founder of Chick fil-A. The president is purported to be a Christian man but goes against the Christian belief that abortion is ok. He supports essentially killing an unborn human being for what I believe are simply for votes. Instead of holding true to his moral beliefs he is letting the voters sway him for the sake of getting reelected. Dan Cathy on the other hand has stuck by his moral beliefs that marriage is not for everyone. He firmly believes that gay/lesbian couples should not be allowed to be married and recently stated this to the Baptist Press (July 16th, 2012). This is a man that is sticking by his moral values and does not back down when confronted. We could use more leaders that stuck to their morals and beliefs instead of running and changing when being confronted.

    Guilty as charged. (July 16th, 2012). Baptist Press. Retrieved from http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=38271

  10. Jeff Ross says:

    I am a firm believer that the world of business is at the crossroad of ethical leaders stepping up to steer things down the positive road or continue to drive things into corruption. With the level of technology and access to information, leaders have the capability of uncanny amounts of knowledge and power. People have learned how perfect fraud and make it a lifestyle. Taking Enron as the obvious example, their accounting books were allegedly being inflated for years. Mike Muckleroy left the company in 1993 because of the way he thought things were run. Shady courses of actions were being taken and he took the high road. These shady practices clearly carried this mega corporation into the future and made their top executives hundreds of millions of dollars. This practice of shady accounting was plain as day in such a large firm, but they are a long shot away from being the only firm to engage in these actions. The practice of reckless business practice and questionable lending took down the American economic system in the late 2,000s. I believe that there are plenty of positive leaders that are out there, but this country calls for the servant leaders of the past like Lacocca from Chrysler.

    The Golden Parachute theory of leadership has its good examples, but negatives can be too closely related to this idea. Golden Parachute leadership is when the CEO or an executive is awarded a huge sum of money for their services or in the event of a buyout. With an extremely positive career and a track record of positive gains in the company, this style can be justified. However, a CEO that aspires this golden parachute treatment could be easily tempted to step on others including their own company. This could be this particular leader pushing to get their company sold so they can take their golden parachute into “unemployment” or “retirement.” If this is the motivation for selling the company, that particular leader may go to any means to sell it. This could even hurting their own company in a major way. There is too much room for error in this leadership style. This style of leadership too easily breeds greed.

    Servant leadership is an art that seems long lost in the days of men like Lacocca. Men these days would laugh in majority hearing that this is an option to save their company. It is a day and age of selfishness. The idea of sacrificing ones well-being as Jesus dis has blown way with the wind. Jesus was the ultimate example of sacrifice for others. He gave up His life to see the world have the option of human salvation. We are not called to give up our lives, but if a CEO could grasp the idea of servant leadership, not only would they gain respect from peers, but most of the time they would have ultimate gains because other executives and peers would be inspired. A leader like that is followed to war as was Lacocca from Chrysler. The man sacrificed his life of retirement for almost no salary, and this inspired the entire firm. This brought everyone in the company on board, and in the long run created ultimate success for the firm. This man’s actions can be a testimony for CEO all over as well as mankind.

  11. Jeffrey Kistler says:

    I strongly feel there is a leadership crisis in America today. Look at our current president’s recent actions, such as repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military. Our president is now saying it is morally acceptable to be gay/lesbian and should be allowed to serve openly in the military. Christ has taught us the sinful nature of homosexuality, yet our president is now saying it is acceptable in today’s times.
    Another example of our current leadership crisis is the explosions of golden parachutes bonuses. A recent study by GMI identified the top 21 CEOs exit combined bonuses exceeded $4 billion dollars, which is the entire GDP of Barbados (shelter, 2012). At a time when our economy teeters on another crisis, how can leaders honestly and morally accept these outrages payouts? As future leaders, we need to always lead by the examples of Christ, which means we must be honest, ethical, and loving, rather than lie, cheat, and bend rules for the sake of personal gain.

    References:
    Sherter. (January 13, 2012). How CEO “golden parachutes” hurt shareholders. In Money Watch. Retrieved November 4, 2012, from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57357812/how-ceo-golden-parachutes-hurt-shareholders/.

  12. John Higgins says:

    When talking about the leadership crisis that we are now in, one of the key questions to ask is how did we get here? Albert Z. Carr uses the analogy of a poker player who uses the art of bluffing to win a hand and if he plays the game right win the whole game. Most people who play poker play for the fun and excitement of playing cat and mouse and feeling as if they are on the edge and are trying to balance. I think it is similar for many of the leaders of organizations. Many of them are A types and like to feel the rush of closing big deals or seeing how far they can bend the rules before they get caught. Growing up I had a friend who was really good at cheating at card games and board games but when he didn’t get caught he would tell us. For him it wasn’t about winning the game as much as seeing if he could pull a fast one and get away with it. For many of us when we play games of dancing around the line of right and wrong we get addicted to the feeling of will I get caught or not or to the money or fame that comes with playing this game. For most people they keeping doing it until there isn’t a line anymore or we are so far away from it. That is how we got to where we are today. The next question is how do we move forward to a place where leaders once again have the trust of the people? I believe the answer is servant leadership and we need to teach this to our children and our twenty something’s that will be the leaders of tomorrow.

  13. Courtney says:

    Many above have pointed out that the problem is with morality and the relativism that our culture has embraced. Perhaps that is true. There are also problems with personal responsibility, delayed self-gratification, loyalty, humility, and many other factors that could probably fill a book. However, are each of these things not characteristics of an ideal leader? If we develop leaders with these characteristics, would the followers not follow? Furthermore, should we as tomorrow’s leaders not first seek to lead ourselves and our families? If I lead my own life (at least in the earthly sense, for I acknowledge that Jesus is ultimately my leader), rather than actively looking for someone else to lead me, does that not keep me from blindly following someone I should not have followed? If I learn to surround myself with wise people but also realize that no one is going to give perfect advice all the time, then I can take the wise counsel I receive along with scripture and prayer and decide for myself what is right while also minimizing the chances that I will lead myself astray.

    I believe the problem is not as new as it appears to be when we look back at history through the lens of our time. Organizations, and for that matter entire civilizations, rise and fall, yet there is nothing about the churches in Greece as described by the Apostle Paul that does not exist in our time. Aside from the obvious cultural and technological differences, there is also nothing different about the sin that exists in our time and the sin that existed in Paul’s time, or Noah’s for that matter. People still lie, cheat, steal, murder, and betray. The problem is in the human heart and our tendency toward selfishness, and it did not start within the last half century or within the last millennium. It started in the Garden of Eden. Call me a pessimist, but I don’t believe we are going to change the world. We may make a nice dent in it during our time here, impacting this generation and leading many to Christ, but there will still be an abundance of selfish leaders and a dearth of selfless ones. There always has been and always will be.

  14. wmrosselot says:

    Jesus provides today’s leaders with a model for daily living. In today’s society, many leaders have lost this philosophy and it shows in the work performance by their employees. Christ has set a standard, a great leader and his lessons should resonate through every aspect of our lives. I know that I am trying to do my part at my current job and I know that in order to succeed, I must first put Christ first in my life and he will guide me through these tough times that are ahead of me. I have learned that without Christ, life is simply lost. We as followers of Christ are leaders in some form or another. Just as Jesus said several time, “Come, follow me, be my disciples” (Matt 4:19, Mark 1:16-20), I plan to use this statement in my leadership style.
    God has called us to be leaders for Him, spread the gospel to others who are not through our spiritual gifts, but the gifts He gives us, they need to be exercised (Rom 12:6-8), developed and matured in order to bear the fruit which is there for us to receive to accomplish the message in The Kingdom of God (John 15:8). In order to be a leader or to lead people, we must be familiar with the situation at hand and be comfortable to be able to handle what it brings. A good leader should lead by example, have a positive attitude and outlook, and be self-disciplined. A leader should sacrifice his present position for the future and in this way he will inspire others to do the same. It takes time to develop these skills and one needs to have patience in this matter. God will use us according to His plan, not our own agenda on life. Jesus never placed any burden on His followers that He was not prepared to carry Himself (Matt 11:28-30).
    To be an effective leader, one must possess the ability to communicate to others at any given time or situation. I still struggle with this principle but I am getting better at it. I have no problem when there are a few individuals around but it is when there is a crowd of people. My words start to stumble and I perspire like I am in a sauna. Hopefully with my new role in the new ministry at church, I can and will overcome this embarrassing event. Communication is an essential aspect of leadership and Jesus was extremely competent in it. He could talk to fishermen, scribes, religious leaders, common folk, tax collectors the poor and rich and the sinners because He could speak their language. He often used their daily lives as parables in communicating His teachings. The parable that stands out to me (Matt 4) is about the sower in which He spoke it to a large crowd by the lakeshore. Here was trying to communicate the Good news through a life lesson about how to plant the word of God and how you can tell who is listening and grasping the idea and who is not. Jesus used many parables so his disciples and followers could clearly understand Him. In these parables, He used nature, people and situation so that they could understand the ways of the world and how it would affect them if they veered away from God. These parables still work today if one wants to listen and apply its principle and meaning into their lives. Jesus also teaches us to stay in constant communication with our Heavenly Father (Luke 5:16). He teaches us to stop in our daily lives and pay attention and pray to our father throughout the day. Jesus often left and went out alone to accomplish this. We must do the same in order to maintain our personal relationship with God. I understand that this is sometimes and possible hard to do but we must as a follower do this first. Also as a principle of communication, a leader must be wise of time. He must effectively communicate what needs to be done and the time frame that is set for each project. I feel without the time piece, communication can fail. Employees will do whatever they want and how long they want to do it for. Time cannot be recycled, when it is gone, it is gone.

  15. Stephanie S. says:

    The leadership crisis has been caused by poor decisions made by managers and leaders within organizations. These poor decisions have negatively impacted the stability of large companies, affected the lives of many, and created unstable work environments for all. The decisions of the management staff have been made because of lack of ethics and morals. Decisions should be made with everyone in mind not for the advantage of those individuals who are hoping to come out ahead. I believe that there needs to be more Christian leaders who bring about a more positive environment and make decisions based on others around them. 2 Timothy states “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the truth.” It is so important that all employees regardless of rank make good decisions. 1 Timothy 4:12 states “…but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” We should all set examples to others for how God wants us to act.

  16. Mark H. says:

    This all goes back to the “Age of Enlightenment” or Post-Modernism. When Darwin came out with his theory of evolution that was the catalyst and tool many atheist in the academic and science world to clamped on to start questioning everything. Next thing you know we have no more moral absolutes. And this has trickled down into every realm. The liberal media only spins what they want the public to hear and consequently public officials with a highly questionable values become our elected officials.
    Our education system has fallen pry to these immoral values and we no longer teach about a created universe or at least give it an equal billing with other worldviews.
    We have a society that believes they are entitled and looking at Uncle Sammy to provide the handouts. I am not sure how much more of a fiscal burden this country can endure.
    As if this is not enough look at how greed has taken over in the corporate world, Enron being a perfect example.
    Over two hundred years ago William Wilberforce wrote a book called “Real Christianity” little did he know at the time how close to the mark he was and pertinent his words are today.

  17. Mark H says:

    We started off track as soon as Charles Darwin’s theories were accepted. Darwin’s theories were the catalyst atheist in the disciplines of academia and science were waiting for to question creationism and Christianity. No don’t someone was bound to come along with a theory that was going to put mankind on this course eventually.
    Darwin’s theory almost instantly changed the way our school system. Instead of a Christian reading primer we started using secular books and creationism changed way to evolution and other theories. Moral absolutes gave way to relativism. Now we have a liberal media that truly seems to give opinion and they’re own agenda vice report the real news. Consequently the public is ill-informed and officials with highly questionable values become our elected leaders.
    On top of all this than we have some questionable personal values. We have become a society of entitlements. Everyone expects a handout from Uncle Sammy. I wonder just how much of fiscal burden this country can take. And we have creed. Enron is a perfect example of executives getting too greedy. Free enterprise is what makes this country so special but greed is opening the door for more and more government oversight. And while laws need to be enforced this has a dark side and screams of potential socialism.
    Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With great freedom comes great responsibility”. We have taken our freedom for granted both as leaders and followers.

  18. Amber G says:

    Regarding the leadership issue, several things come to mind. I believe free will, which is God given, is being abused. I also believe that we are so politically correct now days that we do not speak the truth, or even the absolute truth either. God is being removed from everything secular, so both worlds, the secular and the religious are being separated more and more. The country has moved from one that is under God to one that is divided by those who are God fearing and those who are ignorant to our creator and are fearful of nothing. Those that choose to recognize God as the One who is in control and the One who we are ultimately to submit to, are fighting against the fellow man who doesn’t believe. I think that this leads to relativism, which is contagious, and taints even the most devout Christians at times. Christians see the secular world and start to forget the kind of God we serve and start to want to be sinful like the others who are not followers. Even if they think that something is okay because it relatively fits their situation. I think that the secular world is lost, and the Christians trying to live in it are under attack and tempted to sin. The original fall of Adam could be considered part of the current issue with leadership. The original sin, where Adam rebelled against God’s instruction in Eden, is an example of how we can be swayed so easily to do the wrong thing. I think our leadership has been tempted and swayed to do the wrong thing. No matter how small or large, it is still wrong for leadership to work in corrupt ways.

  19. TracyR says:

    There is a leadership crisis in America, it is evident in our government which trickles down to the little people. The government is so concerned about being politically correct for areas that are considered to be unmoral per the Bible and unconstitutional per the constitutional. People came to America to brake away from the strict policies of religious practices of the King. This country was founded on Biblical beliefs that helped enrich our lives with Godly leadership. Today, the government is quickly pulling God out of the practice of leadership. For example the state and church. The government has stepped into church and mandating the church say and do certain things. Such as the government stepping in and mandating Catholic churches offer certain things their church is against in the insurance policies. Also, Hobby Lobby being attacked to offer insurance with services that are against their religious beliefs.
    Leadership in the government is more concerned with the money they earn and stepping on the liberals toes.

  20. AnnaS says:

    I do believe we have a leadeship crisis in the United State of America. Our government leaders lie, cheat, steal, kill, and destroy. Even the moment of silence has been taken from schools and organizations. We no longer have the freedom of speech because we can no longer say what is on our minds without offending someone. It is sad that we can no longer instill Biblical principles to our students at school yet it is okay to teach them about sex. The government system we once believed in has become the enemy we fear the most. The government and anti-Christ activist have been slowly spreading their agenda and removing God from society. What happened to the leaders who were willing to stand for justice and truth? I believe that they are not allowed to speak or have a place of prominence. In the end God is still and will always be the one and only supreme ruler who will have the final say.

  21. Vandiver says:

    I was inspired about a classmate at CCU and how her boss was a very important part of her mission at work. When her boos was fired because of her confidence and leadership skills with her team. However, other managers were maybe nervous about her ability to take over ther positions. It is amazing how organizations fail to support or lead the great workers in our world, leaving them frustrated and uninspired with the organizations values as a whole. I am looking forward to find an organization that has values, ethics and they care about their clients and workers, because without us, they would not succeed.

    Vandiver

  22. ScottV says:

    I do believe there to be a “masked crisis” in leadership in our country. I say “masked” because people want different things from their leadership. Some people love the current administration where as some people hate it. Biblically speaking, there is very little about any government for many decades which would cause you to feel there are true biblical principles. The Bible is mainly used as a cliche to give the appearance that “the guy” or “the gal” has solid ethics, etc. This carries over into the business sector but thats when people need to be even more hush-hush about the way they feel which basically lets them off the hook completely.

  23. J Pansey says:

    Ues there is definitely a crisis where Leadership is concerned in the 21st century. I believe that honesty, which is a core strait for any leader, has been comprimised and rationalize. If employees have a difficult time believe that their leader is being honest with them then trust in the leader has also gone by the wayside. We, as employees, are all adults and do not need things to be sugar coated and lied to. If God cannot look upon sin then he will have to look away from the leader or organization who practices the lack of honesty. We can find a firm example of dishonesty and distrust in how our government and/or elected officials are performing today. Everyone is out for their own agenda – like two children who will not share a toy. They will fight to the bitter end and the only people that will suffer is the American citizens. I am ashamed of their ethics, lies and attitudes. God please help use.

  24. wxwoman says:

    I believe the current government has lost touch with reality. Lets just keep printing money so the countries leaders can continue to spend like there is no tomorrow. Our leaders are giving themselves raises and taking jobs away for their constituants. In the last few years after the bank crisis, those same leaders were upset at the bank CEO’s who were taking big bonuses while their workers suffered. Is this not the same situation today? Where are their core values now? The American people are required to live within their means, why not the government? I think the leadership needs to buckle down and live within their own means, decline pay increases, maybe even cut their own employees in half. Jesus asks us to trust Him and obey His word. I trust He will provide change where it is needed.

  25. Michael says:

    I do believe that there is a leadership crisis in today’s world. There are too many leaders out there that just want to get promoted to have the earnings that come with the position and this does not make for a good leader because they are not committed to the job. I work for a company that has, in the past, promoted people that were neither committed nor were they ready for their new positions. Recently the company has turned to a management course that takes the applicant through a few months of what the position will be like with classroom training and on the job training. I believe that this will help weed out those people who are not totally committed to doing the job for the right reasons. Of course I believe that leaders are who they are through their beliefs and strategies of how they conduct their business.

  26. CountryBoy says:

    Are our corporate and government leaders authentic, transparent or transformational? Do we see great examples of servant leadership in business today? Are our leaders “walking the talk?”

    Srikumar S. Rao (The Leader of the Future 2, 2006, pp.179-180) offers some examples, including William Pollard (former CEO of Service Master), David Neeleman (former CEO of JetBlue), N. R. Narayana Murthy (former CEO of Infosys Technology) and Alex von Bidder (co-owner of the Four Seasons restaurant). However, these few examples are a small percentage of all today’s leaders, and as my Mom used to say: “One swallow doesn’t make a summer.”

    For me the burning issue is this. Who wouldn’t want to be a charismatic, respected, ethical, inclusive, “service” leader – so what is preventing this from happening?

    There are possibly many reasons, but at least one reason is that talk is cheap! Corporate leaders know what to say and when to say it – and this is often motivated by what the shareholders want to hear. Elected government leaders also have a vested interest in saying what their constituents want to hear. How do these leaders get away with this? I can think of two explanations: (1) there is no accountability, and (2) there are no consequences for failure.

    If we do a better job holding our leaders accountable for their performance based on what they promise, and if our leaders understand that their failure to perform will result in actionable consequences, I suspect that many more of our leaders will start “walking the talk!”

    Reference
    ========
    Hesselbein, F., & Goldsmith, M. (2006). Tomorrow’s Leader. The leader of the future 2: visions, strategies, and practices for the new era (pp. 173-182). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  27. R.L. says:

    Moral Decay Starts at the Top—Take Action

    Yes, there is a leadership crisis caused by the absence of moral truth, which starts at the top in our country. Governmental leaders including the President, senators, representatives and local officials lack moral truth. The President is a driving force behind abortion rights, he supports homosexual marriage and his administration has increased the public debt by 5+ trillion dollars during his time in office. The People have lost all confidence in the U.S. Congress to act or lead by ethical standards and, currently, our Colorado Legislature is a snapshot of the President’s administration. Boulder County, Colorado officials (where I reside) practice moral relativism.

    Knowing that governmental leaders are so deficient in fundamental moral principles, by what right do we have to expect business leaders to set a good example? That would be hypocrisy in its rankest form. So what are we as Christians to do? Is it even possible to bring morality back into public life?

    What can motivate us to be better, more responsibly engaged citizens in the battle for moral truth? Our Christian faith. We must choose to live with a strong, Christian moral compass and display moral truth/ethics in our lives. We must FIGHT, as Christian soldiers, to cleanse our government and our business world of moral decay. As part of that fight, all of us should be active in government/politics so that we can effect positive changes. We must not become calloused to unethical behaviors in our government and businesses; instead we must take action against these behaviors. The future of our society depends on it.

  28. peppermint patty says:

    We must always remember that our motivation for fighting the good fight should be to serve the Lord regardless of the expected outcome. As they were threatened with being cast into the fire to be burned alive, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up’” Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV).

    Our society has taught the current generation that we are a product of Natural Selection, Random Chance, and all of the tenets of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. “Survival of the Fittest” taken as a business model is not ethical. This basically is an offshoot of “Right Wing Enlightenment Thought” which teaches that we can have good business morals without God.

    Likewise, “Left Wing Enlightenment Thought” is no better which teaches that we can have good civil government without God. As long as we continue to kick God out of our society especially out of our educational system, we should expect to see more Enrons, Solyndras, and other dishonest business practices enabled by a likewise corrupt civil government.

    We cannot trust corporate leaders to be honest and ethical in the 21st Century as long as our society continues to leave God behind. There are notable exceptions: Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Wendy’s and others that follow ethical principles. However, businesses that truly try to follow biblical principles are currently being punished by “Obama Care” with its requirement to provide health insurance for abortifacients. This greatly discourages ethical business leaders from entrepreneurial activity.

    Nonetheless, it remains that “godliness with contentment is great gain” 1Timothy 6:6 (NKJV). And although we should not always expect that gain to be material, the Lord can and does bless his people as they seek to follow Him.

    Southwest Airlines could be arguably be said to be the most effective airline during the past decade as well as during the three previous decades. According to their website http://www.southwestonereport.com/2011/, “Southwest Airlines earned $178 million in 2011, marking our 39th consecutive year of profitability. No other U.S. airline can make the same claim“. Southwest has over 45,000 employees that have benefited from this profitability while benefiting from the service leadership style of their management.

    According to Northouse (2012), “leaders at Southwest instituted an ‘others first’ organizational philosophy in the management of the company, which starts with how it treats its employees. This philosophy is adhered to by those employees who themselves become servant leaders in regards to the airline’s customers.” And “the airline’s mission statement is posted every 3 feet at all Southwest locations: Follow the Golden Rule— treat people the way you want to be treated.”

    So, it is not surprising that Southwest Airlines is the only airline that has remained successfully profitable for four decades while other airlines have struggled repeatedly with bankruptcy. Customers who like the way in which they are being treated continue to make Southwest Airlines the most profitable airline in the industry.

    Reference
    ========
    Northouse, Peter G. (2012-02-02). Leadership: Theory and Practice (Kindle Locations 4908-4919). SAGE Publications, Inc. Kindle Edition.

  29. Chris Murray says:

    I believe when any leader, especially spiritual or political, proclaims their Faith it is vital that they follow through with what they believe. When a leader is hypocritical, from what I know, can have damaging effects. In government, especially, critics and the public especially are waiting for a, “slip”, and are sure to criticize. I believe when one proclaims their Faith or their lifestyle, they beed to realize that they are taking a risk, and can suffer many consequences if they do not live by it.
    The we got to this point, I believe, is the downfall of morality in America in general. With the media can be easy to be become desensitized to moral values. Morality is not nearly conservative as it was twenty to fifty years ago, and it continues to get looser. There’s more pressure now, and it is very easy to fall into, “temptation” or give into immoral lifestyles especially for leaders with Christian values.
    The only place to go from here, I believe, is to pray and hope for Christian leaders that lead a life integrity.

  30. John says:

    Is there a leadership crisis? The answer would be yes. While there are more than enough people willing to lead, there are not enough people with the proper leadership skills and the ethical fortitude to lead us where we need to go. I believe there are two issues regarding the leadership crisis we are currently experiencing. The first is that leadership is really not taught at any level from K-12 through college. Now sports at any of these levels do to an extent teach leadership but it is not reinforced with in class teaching. It was not until I started my graduate studies that I started learning leadership skills from an academic perspective. Through my work experience I have learned leadership skills through trial and error but I truly did not understand the concepts and reasoning behind some of these techniques to leading until looking at them through books and class discussions. I feel that leadership skills and techniques need to be taught starting in high school and continued during a student’s undergraduate program. Given the opportunity to learn and develop these skills the leaders of tomorrow would be more equipped to deal with the challenges and uncertainty that the future brings.
    The other issue that is causing the leadership crisis that we are currently experiencing is that ethics are not being taught at home or in the classroom. Aristotle believed that ethics and virtues were instilled into someone through their upbringing as well as their education. With so many broken families as well as all the families where both parents have full time jobs, the ethics and life lessons that were once taught in the home are no longer being taught. The other area would be in the classroom where teachers have too many students to give every one of them the attention they deserve. Teachers are also being consumed with all the centralized testing that they must prepare students for.
    There are many reasons why we are having a leadership crisis but I would say that the most glaring reason would be education and more specifically the learning of leadership skills and right and wrong. Until society starts spending more time educating children about leadership and what is ethically acceptable we will continue to have a deficit of high quality leaders to take us in the right direction.

  31. mcdanielsteve says:

    Is there a leadership crisis?
    Yes there is, but the lack of leadership is a symptom of a larger problem. Our entire society is suffering from a morality crisis. John Sire’s book The Universe Next Door does an excellent job describing how the West moved from a Christian theist society to Naturalism, Existentialism, Nihilism and New Ageism. This transition occurred because we removed God from the center of our worldview. Naturalism replaced God with natural laws. When natural laws were found to be inadequate at explaining the “whys” of life, it was replaced with Existentialism and eventually Nihilism. When Nihilism was discovered to lead to soul crushing despair, we replaced it with ourselves at the center of the Universe (New Ageism). Now that we are securely placed in the center, there is no one to tell us what is right and wrong.
    We are not going to have good leaders until we have a moral society predicate with God at its core.

  32. MikeL says:

    The overwhelming consensus is that, Yes, there is a leadership crisis, both in business and government.
    The daily headlines are full of examples of leadership in crisis – from the nuclear threats of North Korea’s leader to the abortion doctor who is on trial for murder…
    While the root causes of this leadership crisis may be many, I propose that a contributing factor is the area of accountability.
    “The higher we go, the fewer there are who can hold us accountable” (Buzzell, 2007, p. 585).
    It appears that near the top of most organizations, there are not individuals or structures in place to hold leaders accountable. There may also be an air of arrogance or pride which overshadows the leader’s ability to take direction or input from others in humility. Without accountability, leaders may push through their agendas with their own purposes and goals in mind.
    “The wise leader realizes the importance of dependence upon and accountability to God” (p. 585).
    “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.
    To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice
    (Proverbs 21:2-3 ESV).
    Accountability takes:
    • Intimate relationships – those who really know the individual
    • Tough questions – those that reveal an individual’s motives and heart
    • Honest answers – a willingness for an individual to tell what they are really like
    • Confession and repentance – a willingness to say “I was wrong” and the decision to change
    A leader who is willing to place themself under an accountability structure with those that he or she trusts will be successful. “Skilled leaders consistently receive feedback from those who work above them, beside them, and for them” (p. 188).
    In light of the challenge of the ongoing leadership crisis, it would be wise for leaders to assess their level of accountability and to engage those that they trust with such a purpose.

    References
    Boa, K., Buzzell, S., & Perkins, B. (2007). Handbook to leadership: Leadership in the image of God. Atlanta: Trinity House.

  33. SD34 says:

    I do believe that there is a leadership “crisis” in America today. However, I do not believe that it is a new concept. So many times in years past, leaders have made unethical and immoral decisions, even when they know it is wrong. The government is doing its best to drive Christ out of everything from schools to our country’s historical documents. This is the main reason that this crisis has come about. No longer are people relying on Christ for guidance and teaching. Instead, Christ is being shunned and banned. The founding fathers did not build this country to be free from religion, rather they built it for freedom of religion. It is not the government’s place to tell us what we can or cannot worship. This nation’s leadership core values and morals are not focused on Christ, and that is why this “crisis” is present today. As Christian voters, it is our responsibility to stand firm and support those in leadership positions who are also standing for Christ.

  34. Harbinger II says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with MikeL’s post that there is a leadership crisis in business and government. However, I believe the root cause is the leadership crisis in the home and in the church.

    “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there, I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests, and it was not there, I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius in her public school system and her institutions of learning, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution, and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
    Alexis De Tocqueville, quoted, by Reverend Clarence C. Reynolds, D.D. in the September 6, 1922 issue of The Herald and Presbyter, p.8.

    We are supposed to be the bride of Christ, yet we chase the shiny things of the world from the comfort of our own homes. This is due in part to our church leaders who focus on entertainment rather than repentance.

    Breakdown of the family unit also contributes to the crisis in leadership. Where did most people generations before us learn leadership? From parents and grandparents. Today, more than one out of four kids in America grows up in a single parent household (http://www.childstats.gov/datatables/single.asp). With both parents working to make a living, many two parent households often do not provide proper leadership/mentoring.

    Where do we go from here?

    “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

    Everyone knows that our world is broken, Christians and non-Christians alike. We see it in government, business, and at home. However, the majority of “solutions” are geared toward picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps. If we could just be smarter, nicer, more technologically advanced, the world’s problems would be solved. We have to start by rejecting this naturalistic, worship of ourselves. We need God’s perspective of our sinful nature and helplessness so that we will fall upon our knees and seek him. We can not simply reason our way out of His judgements. Disasters such as 9/11, the financial collapse of 2008, and even today’s bombings in Boston were allowed to happen by God so that we, individually and as a nation, might turn from our wicked ways.
    “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
    knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4).

  35. HollyW says:

    Unfortunately, we have reached a state of crisis with our current leadership in organizations, politics, education, and communities. This did not take place overnight, but has been a gradual decline for decades. As a society, we have allowed unethical behavior to become the “norm” and now are upset at the outcome because it is noticeable and to be honest, offensive in some cases.

    The behavior our current leadership lacks is; accountability, ethical decision-making, consequences, and authority. There is not a magical solution to correct what has taken so long to decay, but changes are necessary to prevent any more damage to our society as a whole. Leaders need to be held accountable for all of their actions and decisions. If poor actions/decisions are made, then there should be some form of consequence so that we do not continue down this path that we find ourselves in.

    We as a society should be able to stand up and say no to poor ethical decisions and actions with some form of authority to hold “leaders” accountable. If there were more consequences established for poor choices and held consistent with punishment, people would stop and think twice before taking advantage of the system.

    Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14 ESV).

  36. JohnM says:

    Leader or manager? The owner of a company hired a consultant to help him discover why his all employees hated him and yet at Church everyone loved him. The consultant followed the CEO for a period of time at his business and discovered how hard working employees produced many goods as expected by the owner, yet the environment was very hateful towards the owner. Nobody cared about him, but they had a job and that was all that mattered to the employees. When the consultant followed him at Church, the consultant discovered how well liked and loved this man was. Being the consultant he was, he continued digging in to discover why the difference. At Church he discovered he served as a deacon, served on several mission trips and even served as a Sunday school class teacher. He would minister to those in need at Church and help them at their homes when help was needed.
    The consultant sat down with the owner of the company to discuss what he had observed yet was still unsure why so much animosity toward the company owner. When the consultant met with the owner, he explained how much he served the people in his Church. So he asked the owner “What do you do to serve the employees at your business”? The owner stated “I don’t need to serve them, they work for me”.
    The word of God (Holy Bible, NIV version) reminds us of several points about serving that are found in the following scriptures: Luke 22:26 “But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” You decide whom you’ll serve. This one decision separates a manager of people, from a leader.

  37. Dana Samm says:

    There is a leadership problem in organizations today. It has become unfortunate that many leaders today are more concerned with what they can get out of an organization for themselves rather that what they can do to help improve the organization. This begins from the top down. Some of these CEOs are just concerned with the bottom line. Make as much money as possible no matte how it is done. Tyco, Enron, and Anderson Accounting all come to mind when considering examples of bad leadership. This has occurred because leaders have shifted their values, morals, and ethics. If we were to look back at history, it would probably be safe to say it was around the time that God was forced out of schools. This was the first step in which we started to give up our freedoms. This one small step has begun to shift our whole outlook on values, morals, and ethics. Leaders do not just decide one day they are going to change the way they operate. It is one small step at a time, then when this step has been comfortably achieved it is on to the next step in which we slip farther from the will of God. So today we see leadership is now pretty much all about me. What can I get out of it?

  38. azilliza13 says:

    How did we get here?
    Romans 1:24-25
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
    Mark 7:20-23
    20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
    Luke 6:45
    45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
    Jeremiah 17:9
    9 The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?
    We got here because of our hearts, and we seem to have been here since Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Because of this we have been trying to find ways to advance ourselves in a God like image. We want to be successful, victorious, a leaders, fortunate, rich, intelligent, and most of all, our own God. We want to control our outcome and will do almost anything for it. If we are not God focused our leadership style will be self-focused. On the other end of the spectrum if we are God focused then our leadership style will reflect one similar to Jesus.
    Where do we go from here?
    Because it is a man’s heart that defiles him it is hard to come up with a set rule to follow. Ultimately we as individuals have to care for our society, we have to believe in a God and follow his teachings and then we have to teach others.
    1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
    If we lead and do not love then it means nothing. We as leaders have to guide our followers to safety; we have to provide them with a hope and a future. and, if we are only looking to our best interest, our own hope and future then how can we say we are/were truly successful in leading others to a common goal.

  39. Jay McGuie says:

    There’s definitely a leadership crisis in the United States today and to say otherwise would be nothing more than blatant denial. However, the crisis in leadership is only half of the problem. American society in the 21st century has come to resemble the island society detailed William Goldings “The Lord of the Flies” where we have a large group of strong-minded individuals who all want to be in charge. The crisis leadership in the United States is also compounded by a crisis in followership. The pioneering American spirit has grown to such a degree where if you’re not in a leadership position you are considered a second-class citizen. Those people who would naturally follow a qualified and competent leader will now do anything to become a leader themselves even if they don’t possess the necessary skills, qualifications, or integrity. It’s easy to blame the leaders of our country both in government and in business for the breakdown of leadership in this country but one of our biggest problems in government, industry, and the church is a lack of people willing to follow a capable leader.

  40. Brandon says:

    It is not that this country has a leader shortage. In fact leaders are popping up all over the country. The problem is that the country has a follower shortage. Over the past 5 years my work has brought me all around the world and back again. In my travels, I have run into hundreds of great leaders who lead the most positive lives one can imagine. What good is a leader though if those who should follow have no respect for them? We live in a world where the women and men who are the shining light in dark places have been replaced by the modern day bozo the clown and all his friends. Young kids are no longer looking up to their parents, youth ministers, and pastors of their churches. They are looking up to characters like Honey Boo Boo. There are plenty of leaders and their time for leading will be soon. The Lord has shown that he is not happy with the sinfulness of this country and just like every other sinful nation he will have his will with us. You can guarantee that every knee will bow and every mouth will confess Philipians 2:8-11 (New Living Translation). Through these hard times those leaders who seem to be missing a flock will have an abundance of followers. The luke warm individuals of this country need to suffer to realize that the Lord is here with us and he is not pleased. They also need to realize that their idols won’t be their when they are struggling, but the Pastor will show up. Their idols won’t be there to congratulate them when they overcome severe obstacles in their life, but the leaders that love them will. The leadership is there but they need followers, and those will come in the Lord’s time because this country has go. As leaders we need not fear because the Lord has not left us nor forsaken us Hebrews 13:5 (New International Version). We need to keep our chins up and press onward towards our ultimate goal.

  41. Troub11 says:

    Despite the significant number of historical examples of leadership failures that have severely impacted major corporations, there does not appear to be consistent commitment towards real change. The pressure that corporate leaders are currently under to deliver profits to shareholders has only increased with the declining economic environment. Corporations are asked to do more with less and some find that they cannot be successful, or as successful as they want to be, without operating outside legal and ethical boundaries. What is surprising is how hypocritical these same leaders can be as they profess ethical adherence publicly while privately operating in a vastly different manner. Enron serves as a perfect example of this hypocrisy as they had an entire manual dedicated to corporate ethics that was clearly not followed by corporate leaders. The personal values and ethics of the leadership in a company set the tone for how the company operates. This is because behavior that is consistent with the values and ethics of the leadership is supported or reinforced while behavior that is not is eliminated. This cascades down through all levels of the company.

    In order to break this pattern, leaders need to support ethical and moral actions not just in word but also in practice. The focus should be on doing what is right, over what is most beneficial in the short term. This ensures the long term success of the corporation even while it might make certain situations more difficult. Beyond simply avoiding the pitfalls of illegal actions, this type of leadership and action leads to a more dedicated and hardworking employee base as people gravitate towards good leaders who do what they say.

  42. JRamNan says:

    I too believe that there is a leadership crisis. But as Jay stated I too believe that we have a problem with people who are not qualified to be leaders getting into leadership positions. These people now have the authority over others that might be more qualified to lead than they are. Also the obvious statement that “we are a fallen people” can not be more true. We need the help from our savior Jesus Christ to help in our daily lives, whether we are leading or following. We need to make sure that our moral and ethical choices are where they should be as someone in power or not. As Troub11 stated we need to “focus on what is right, over what is most beneficial in the short term.”

  43. awells22 says:

    I feel that the leadership crisis is due to pressure from the community and other politicians. If a leader is strong enough in his/her faith, he/she will have the strength to do what he/she is called to do. When called to a leadership role, the leader should have a close relationship with God so that they will know which way to move. Proverbs 4:26-27 reads, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (2011. NIV). When God has made our paths known, He will not stray us from the journey. We only need to be confident in our calling as Jesus has called us to. This would get rid of the leadership crisis if all leaders were Christians.

  44. rebecca6s says:

    There is no leadership crisis there is a selection of leadership crises!

    The Bible follows this rule in Philippians 2:3, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves” (NIV). Leadership is teamwork and serving the team and their needs. This is what is lacking in America’s leadership, coupled with an antiquated and outdated management system. We need to throw out the ninetieth century management ways of total dictatorship and work hard and find a new system that encourages workers to think for themselves and achieve higher goals and still be an individual in a team. Most of the work force is highly educated and wants to give impute to making things better. Why then are we mandating and ruling over them like they have no thought or aspirations. Leaders a chosen by their actions, we need to set into motion a way of harnessing this natural selection for choosing our leaders in organizations. It is unfortunate that all you need a piece of paper to be given a spot in a leadership position. I am weary of this system and want to set the management system on its head like those before me like Whole Foods, Google, and W.L. Gore and Associates.
    Respectfully, A future mover and shaker

  45. rcheatham says:

    I do not feel there is a leadership crisis however, there is a financial crisis. Financial crises makes leaders behave in irrational ways. Many leaders need to learn to make sacrifices. Sometimes sacrifices lead to long term benefits.

  46. droseman says:

    When we think of the current leadership crisis and ask, how did we get here, it is easy to focus on the things that we can see (corrupt business leaders, inept/corrupt politicians, greed, etc.). However, I believe that we should focus on the theology–or lack thereof–in our culture. For almost two centuries, our country was guided by the belief in God, and the belief that people were created in His image. The natural result of this belief is to believe that people (created in a good, just, holy God’s image) have inherent value, and deserve respect. Inherent meaning that they cannot earn, or lose, that value–it is something bestowed upon them.

    As we have moved away from our common belief in God, what has gone with it is that inherent value. A person’s value now is determined by what he, or she, brings to society. For example, sports athletes, movie stars are paid enormous sums of money for the service (entertainment) they provide to our culture. Their value is the result of what they can do (for us). Consequently, the value of the ‘average person’ has diminished. Leaders who have cheated their companies/employees out of millions can give many reasons, but there is one underlying reason: they didn’t value the people they were ultimately stealing from.

    So, where do we go from here? We remember that people are created in God’s image. They have the same value and deserve the same level of respect that we do–regardless of life choices, social status, etc. What’s more, we remind others of this truth, and we stand up for it. Even if it costs us, we stand up for the value and respect of others. Be this whistleblowing of self-sacrifice, we must see people as having inherent value. Putting ourselves above others lessens their value and increases ours. We cannot stand for this if we desire to be agents of change in this world.

  47. ss142 says:

    I believe that the moral and ethical issues we face today are not new by any means, nor is this some new phenomenon. It touches core human traits that none of us are proud of, but should be fully expected to surface. Greed, selfishness, and lust for power are a few examples of what I mean. These traits, along with many others, have always been present in people and therefore in businesses, organizations, and the government. I think the only real difference in practices by leaders these days compared to the past is twofold: first, it is simply known or observed by more people now because of the “information age” and secondly, it is broken down and studied much more.

    It seems as though that we now have experts and studies in every field and topic these days and I think this attributes to how much we analyze things. Information through the internet has become boundless. Between the two things I mentioned, people are becoming much more aware of leaders and what they should be doing when it comes to ethical concerns within organizations. I say all of this in a positive way, but it is important to always remember that even though people are inherently good, they have evil tendencies and desires that surface in some. If they are leaders, this can have an obvious effect on the area they are leading in.

    The distinction between good and bad and right and wrong have always been opinions. Morals are in the eyes of the beholder. With the way our country has been slowly drifting towards self-indulgence and less restrictions, soon what we see as unethical today may not be so unethical 50 years from now. It is alarming to see how quickly the world is changing and shows more and more how much God’s followers need to share the love, peace, and joy that only come from Him.

  48. bkinder says:

    We believe we are in a leadership crisis because we have begun to use the term “leader” extremely liberally. Leader has mistakenly become interchangeable with the manager. Assignment to a position may grant them the authority to manage. However, leading only begins when one or more person CHOOSES to follow. Employees may follow a manager because they want to get paid and in fear of their employment being terminated. This is merely doing their job or executing the directions of the manager. However, employees follow a leader because they are inspired. This inspiration may be for any number of reasons; however, it is normally nurtured through a personal relationship or what is perceived as personal. I believe we discredit every true leader, past and present, when we irresponsibly use the term when referring to a mere manager. This loose adaptation of the term leader has fooled us to believe we are in the midst of a leadership crisis because so many “leaders” actions are inconsistent with good morals. I would argue that those who have made these poor choices are not leaders…they are managers.

  49. Beggarscanyon says:

    Being a leader is a choice. We all have a leadership responsibility and some people are in positions of more responsibility. One challenge of leadership is combating pride and leveraging the expertise that surrounds the person in charge. I think there is a morality crisis. Anyone can be a leader, we only hear about the issues of the leaders who are in prominent positions.
    In looking at the root of why leaders fall, struggle, and compromise, I think it has to do with which master they are serving. When there is a tug in different directions, the tendency is to find a way to please all. An old boss once told me that the definition of compromise is “Everyone loses.” I think he is right. As decisions get watered down and convictions begin to slip, poor decisions are made. I also think stress plays a large role in compromise. Leaders who are overworked and haven’t taken care of themselves tend to reach a limit where a little apathy slips in and they look for a short cut to get rid of the pain.
    Every leader needs to ask the question, “What and to whom am I a steward?”

  50. SLS0901 says:

    I do believe there is a leadership crisis because there is a lack of judgment and accountability. The leaders of today have lost their focus on working for God and continue to work for themselves and others. Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Not only are the leaders of today losing their focus, greed seems to have taken over. Greed is the number one ethical issue that leads to the problems and downfalls of companies. The top executives are willing to falsify numbers for their own financial gain. The mortgage companies wanted more and were willing to make poor decisions to allow more individuals to purchase homes. It is unfortunate that so many employees were affected by the poor decisions of management. The executives were arrogant and almost felt a sense of entitlement for the money that they received through the poor decision making. The poor accounting by companies has also created a leadership crisis, the individuals should be held accountable for their actions or lack of oversight.
    The Bible states in 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” The leaders of today should be setting examples by performing their job with the highest ethical and moral standards. We need to pray for individuals who are in leadership roles, that they work with honesty and integrity, and allow God to continue to guide them.

  51. Stephanie H says:

    Is there a leadership crisis? Being a leader is a challenge in today’s market. There is so much pressure to make gains and improve the bottom line. However, the ethical way may not be the easy way or the most profitable way. As a leader, you must be able to make ethical decisions and stand up for your decisions when they are not popular. The leader must clearly define the values of the company and create a ethical culture. We are given the greatest example of leadership through Jesus. He was a servant leader who was the ultimate example of perfection. He had many chances to take the easy road but instead he offered his life to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world. As a leader, your choices may be hard and painful.

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