Worldview Determines Leadership Style (LwL #20)

You might think that discussing the topic of worldview to be completely disconnected from that of leadership. However, I believe that if a leader describes his or her worldview, then one quickly will be able to determine what type of leader he or she is.

Chris Lowney wrote in his book Heroic Leadership, that a leader’s worldview shapes his or her leadership style. Lowney skillfully contrasted Machiavelli and Loyola and the impact each leader’s style had on those he led.

I believe your worldview to be foundational to how you answer the following four questions:

1) Who am I (i.e., what am I worth)?
2) Where did I come from?
3) Why am I here?
4) Where am I going when I die?

Your answers to these questions will determine how you view yourself and those you’re privileged to lead within your organization.

Those with a non-biblical worldview likely will answer with one of the following answers or a combination thereof:

1) People just evolved from a lower life form.
2) When people die, they just go back into the ground.
3) It doesn’t matter how you treat those whom you lead.
4) Leadership is all about the leader and not those being led.
5) People are just meant to be used and stepped on so that the leader may advance.

However, those with a biblical worldview likely will answer with one or more of the following statements:

1) People were created.
2) When people die, their souls—the real person—continue to live.
3) It does matter how you treat those whom you lead.
4) Leadership is all about those who are led, not the leader.
5) People are meant to be served and cared for by the leader—as seen in the example of a shepherd caring for his flock.

Also I believe it would prove helpful to consider how those who are led look at a leader who subscribes to one of the two different worldviews.

If you had a leader who had no objections to trampling on those he or she led, would you want to be trampled, misused, micromanaged, coerced, or mistreated by such a leader? For in this worldview, since you really have no value, it doesn’t matter how you’re treated. Thus, employee turnover doesn’t matter, for the employees don’t matter—just get another worker to get the job completed.

Or, if you were the one being led, would you rather know that your leader truly had your best interest in mind (even when it came to discipline), was determined to discover how best to serve and equip you to do your job, and trained and mentored you to improve over time? That he or she recognized that you’re not just a number but that you have incredible value as a one-of-a-kind person with skill and talents no one else has?

Perhaps, then it’s not too strange to examine a leader’s worldview to determine how he or she will treat the people assigned to their part of the organization. Maybe even making it part of the interview process. Something to consider as a CEO takes a long term, strategic view of his or her company.

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