Jesus described the characteristics of hireling-type leaders as leaders who:
- Do not care for their staff (Joh 10:13)
- Run when predators come and the competition gets stiff (Joh 10:12)
- Embezzle company funds (Luk 16:1-2)
- Forge alliances with company clients to secure their own future (Luk 16:3-7)
- Slack off work unless supervised (Luk 12:46-47)
- Do only what is required (Luk 17:9-10).
Bill Hybles referred to them as short term ladder climbers fuelled by self-aggrandisement without enduring value. These leaders are looking for the next opportunity and are easily head-hunted, e.g. they are for sale.
Legacy leaders think and work like owners and keep their hand on the helm in time of trouble (Luk 12:42-49). They are leaders who:
- Have a good character, do not give or receive bribes (Tit 1:7; Luk 16:13)
- Care for the well-being of their staff and have long term plans to do them good (Joh 10:15-18)
- Keep at the task without needing supervision (Luk 12:42)
- Will not share confidential and new product strategy with outsiders (1 Cor 4:1-2)
- Realise that their gift of leadership is for the benefit of others (1Pet 4:10)
- Emerge in the most dire circumstances and lead even when no reward is forthcoming (Gen 39:21-23).
- Based on the attitudes and behaviours described above, which type of leader do you identify more with: the hireling-type or the legacy-owner-type leader?
- Think about the type of leader you want to be and the legacy you want to leave behind. Take 5-10 minutes to journal your thoughts.
- Now fast forward to your funeral. What is the one thing above all others you want people to say about you? Identify what behaviour and attitudes you need to shift to ensure this becomes reality.
This is the last leadership thought for 2014. Best wishes for the South African summer holiday and Christmas season. As you relax and turn that steak on the braai, be intentional in thinking about the legacy you want to leave behind – at home, at work and in your community.