July 10, 2008

Leadership and Authority: Why We May Have It All Wrong What gives you the authority to lead others? Whether you're a CEO or a middle manager, your perceived source of authority is crucial. Anyone who has ever read anything on leadership understands that there are basically two sources of leadership authority: positional authority and relational authority. Positional authority is the authority we gain because of the position we hold. It is a delegated authority. It comes from the top down. The boss says you're in charge of all marketing decisions, so you're in charge of all marketing decisions. Whether the people under you in the marketing department like you or not, they know you're in charge. But, of course, since you're not a Neanderthal, you know that to be effective and productive you need to have your team on board; you need them to buy in; you need the chemistry to be strong. You know positional authority is not enough; you have to win their relational authority. Relational authority is the authority you earn from individuals because of their trust in you.(That explains why Michael Scott from "The Office" tries so hard to impress his subordinates, win their admiration, and gain their friendship.) Nevertheless, in almost every corporate environment, positional authority is granted first; relational authority is earned later. We learn early on that positional authority precedes relational authority. And without even questioning this, we take it as a law of life, a veritable "irrefutable law of leadership." In the Church world, we apply it to our leaders, citing Jesus' declaration that "all authority in heaven and on earth" had been given to him, and therefore our authority as leaders comes from God. In essence, we are making the "positional authority" argument with God as the ultimate authority who delegates his authority down to certain leaders. This is harmless enough,...
Farewell, Desperation Band It's hard to believe I'm writing this. Tonight, I will get on stage with the Desperation Band for the last time. The band isn't breaking up. This isn't a VH1 "Behind the Music" thing about secret conflict or scandal. It's just that after this conference, my involvement with the band will officially be over. A season is coming to an end. It was 6 years ago that we had the very first Desperation Conference in the World Prayer Center at New Life Church. I was walking in the chapel there yesterday, remembering how it felt. We were younger, full of passion and nervous energy. David Perkins had a vision burning in his heart for a generation to live in desperate pursuit of God. Jared, Jon and I had been friends all through college. By some work of divine providence, we all ended out here together. I had graduated two years before them and had been out at New Life for a year longer. As the first conference in the summer of 2002 approached, David and I thought it would be cool to round up all the folks that played for our different youth and college services and form a team that would lead worship for the conference, and record an album. As Jared, Jon, and I started to throw out some songs we'd been writing, we thought we might have enough for an album, though we weren't sure that they were any good. Nevertheless, we decided to roll tape on the worship that weekend, and with the help and amazing talent of producer, Don Harris, the first Desperation Band album emerged. Integrity Music was impressed enough with a few of the songs-- most notably, "Rescue"-- to take a risk on us and release it. Fast forward. This will be our...

Glenn Packiam

Lead Pastor, new life DOWNTOWN, New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO. Author and songwriter.

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