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The Leadership Pyramid

In order to be an effective leader there is a vital lesson we must learn about where we build our leadership from, writes 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 - Part 4
The Private World of Leadership - Part 5

Last time we looked at the challenge of leading our private, inner world. The next arena of leadership is--

Leadership pyramid250
Photo: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

The Personal

This is our outer-world, but it is our outer-world. It is how we live our own life, but under the gaze of others. It includes such things as

-Our Family Relationships: what kind of husband, wife, son, daughter, brother or sister we are.

-Our Close Relationships: what kind of friend we are to others

-Our Discipline: what sort of worker, boss or student we are, what we are like with our money, our time, our leisure pursuits.

Paul's “Pastoral Epistles”, are his letters to two, younger, emerging leaders, Timothy and Titus. Interestingly, nearly 50 pe rcent of the commands Paul gives to his young protégées are about their own personal lives and their example to others. Fifty per cent!! In other words, he or she who would lead others, must first learn to lead by personal example.

The Public

This is the area we normally think of first in connection with leadership. It is the being 'up-front', organising things, leading meetings, making decisions, and so on. And yet here is the crucial truth: leadership is like a pyramid, where the foundation is not our public leadership, but our private.


If we are to be effective leaders, we must learn this important lesson, and build from the bottom-up, not the top down. Bottom-up works, top-down (sadly) does not.

The Christian leadership scene, and the secular one too for that matter, is littered with the wreckage of people who had their pyramid up-side down. These were people of great public gifting, but whose personal and private worlds lacked the very leadership that they sought to give to others. One can lead like that in the short-term, but not in the long. In the end the results are painful and destructive, both for the leader and those they lead.

Application: Write the 3P Leadership Pyramid on a card. As with the 4C Formula, carry it around with you this week. Look at it often. Reflect on it in your prayers before the Lord. Find someone to share it with.

The Revd Darren Blaney is Pastor of Herne Bay Baptist Church

Baptist Times, 02/02/2015
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