When I was at Redcliffe on the leadership course, we studied a lot about toxic leadership. (If you haven’t come across the concept, read this now and then come back.) One of the reasons why it’s called “toxic” is because bad leadership permeates the whole organisation to create a twisted, self-serving, unhealthy culture. Read more about A little yeast affects the whole dough
Well, my dissertation is now submitted and can’t be changed, so I am happy to publish it here as well. (Facebook readers will have to click through to my blog to read the paper.) Read more about Leadership in the Japanese house church
Everyone wants to talk about leadership in churches. You can find hundreds of books and seminars and magazines all dedicated to the subject. I have heard hardly anyone talking about power in churches. But the two are so intimately linked… Read more about Power
Bobby Clinton talks about the need for leaders to finish well. His research suggests that very few - one in three or four - leaders manage to get to the end of their life in leadership without becoming irrelevant or disqualifying themselves by doing irreperable damage to their integrity.
So when I heard the news that Helen Thomas, the dean of the White House Press Corps, decided to “retire effective immediately” after some unguarded and unwise remarks about Jewish legitimacy, my first reaction was one of sympathy. After all, the odds are good that I’ll do something similar at some point. Read more about Helen Thomas and finishing well
Photo by aleksi
When I was a teenager, I loved climbing; I went about three times a week. Well, with the Brecon Beacons on your doorstep, you would. Now we’re living near one of the UK’s best indoor climbing centers, I’ve been giving it a go again.
I’ve also been doing a bit of work on the role of clergy in the church and particularly leadership in the house churches. I’ve found that climbing gives me a great metaphor for what I think that role ought to be: leadership is belaying. Read more about Leadership is belaying
Tribal Leadership is an interesting and intriguing leadership book which provides a taxonomy of intra-organisational cultures, based on a view of culture as ‘a self-correcting system of language.’ (p. 265) By restricting their investigation to culture, and relating culture so closely to language, the authors show a preference towards linguistic determinism. While this hypothesis is by no means universally accepted, (see Pinker, 2007) and certainly not in the original Sapir-Whorfian breadth, it seems reasonable to accept the idea that language can be indicative of tribal culture—although it seems hardly earth-shattering that a study concentrated purely on language and culture would conclude that “leadership constructs are born out of language and culture.” (p. 273) Read more about Book Review: "Tribal Leadership"
Karel van Wolferen’s book deals with the sociopolitical dynamics of power in Japan. His core concept for interpreting the society is ‘The System’, the complex of ministry officials, bureaucrats, business and political leaders and other state and pseudo-state actors which make up the nexus of public power in Japan–depicted in chilly and often totalitarian terms. van Wolferen’s thesis is that these power groups form Read more about Book Review: "The Enigma of Japanese Power"
So as I’ve mentioned, I’m doing this dissertation on house church leadership, and a fairly natural place to start is “What does ‘leadership’ mean in the context of a house church?” The answer is, as far as I can tell: Nobody knows. Read more about Nobody understands house church leadership
So I’m here at Redcliffe doing a dissertation on leadership in the Japanese house churches, and evaluating their leadership development strategies on the basis of theories of Japanese leadership.
In fact, precisely what I’m doing is this:
Just a quick few thoughts this morning:
- One of the big problems I had in my BA dissertation was reconciling Japan’s consensus culture with its hierarchical structure.
- You’ll be hard pushed to find “leadership” (as exercised elsewhere) within Japanese society or history. Autocratic leadership is disparaged. (see the word ワンマン)
- Instead the exercise of power in Japan is incredibly diffuse. (van Wolferen)
- People’s lives are determined less by externally imposed leadership structures than by complex webs of relationships. (Nakane)