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The Private World of Leadership

The first person you must learn to lead is... you! The latest in the leadership blog from Darren Blaney


Part 1: Do Baptist churches need leaders?
What is Leadership? Part 2
What is Leadership? Part 3
The Four C Formula for Leadership

Where do I exercise leadership?

As we have seen, leadership is

Influencing Others Onto God's Agenda

Remembering that the essence of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less. And that the goal of leadership is to see people move on to God's agenda for their lives and/or organisation. In order to do this, we need to be credible as leaders. As we discussed last time, this requires us to be people of compassion, competence, and character.

Human Brain With Key

That being said, where will we exercise this leadership? This is not such a daft question as it sounds, for we actually exercise leadership in three distinct arenas. We exercise leadership in: the Private, the Personal, and the Public.


The first person you must learn to lead is...you! And you will always be your biggest leadership challenge. As the old saying goes, if you could find the person responsible for most of your problems and give them a huge kick up the backside...you would be too sore to sit down for a week!

This struggle to lead oneself is first of all fought in the Private, or inner world. For me it is the struggle to:

  • Respond to situations based upon my deeply held values, not the impulse or emotion of the moment.
  • Make my moods the servant of my decisions, and not the other way round. Good leaders do what they have decided to do, not what they “feel” like doing.
  • Carve-out quality time to be alone with the Lord.
  • Make space to think and plan, to read and reflect, and so not give-in to the 'fleshly desire' to run around looking busy all day.

We must have the firm conviction that these inner, private world battles are the real fights.

Why? Because they are!

These are the true battles that we must win. In the long run they will prove to be of far more importance than the apparently bigger battles of the public world.

Next time, we will look at the Personal, and the Public.


If you can find the time (!) get hold of a copy of Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. Make it an unhurried reading project. It remains the best book by far on this subject. Is there a friend you could read it with, and so discuss together what you learn?

The Revd Darren Blaney is Pastor of Herne Bay Baptist Church


Baptist Times, 08/12/2014
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