Generative Leadership for the New Expedition
Nowhere in all of history is there a greater leader than Jesus. But being a great leader in his time, to a select group of people, was not where his leadership ended. The proof of his leadership is in the continuous, generation-to-generation, culture-to-culture expansion of his teachings.
By contrast, we hear so often the stories of organizations led by heroic solo leaders that decline when the lead persons depart. Or worse, the organization blows apart from a stress induced moral failure of leaders without honest accountability partners. These are leaders whose impact is only felt during their time in leadership because ego constrains their ability to share leadership. Their time ends, (as does every leader’s) and the organization begins a gradual or rapid decline directly related to the amount of leadership they shared. Generative Leaders, Jesus-like leaders, have a sustained impact beyond their time in leadership through the leaders they developed as they led.
The normal practice, whether in business, sports or the church, has been to identify those with “natural” leadership skills, then placing them in leadership positions and HOPE they perform. In contrast, Generative Leaders are intentional in developing leaders, constantly preparing the organization for the future by focusing on the development of leaders. That is the form of leadership needed by the American Christian church in this season. We do not need superstar heroic solo leaders but rather effective clergy and laity who lead from a paradigm of developing leaders in creative, faithful and reproductive environments. Simply put, shared leadership leads to life; solo leadership, no matter how heroic, leads to death.Generative Leadership is a challenging, patient and long-term process. Culture change and lasting transformation take time. Without a strong commitment to personal discipleship and spiritual development leaders will not have the energy and perseverance to work through this challenging task.
Dan Jackson’s book begins with understanding how the aligned life comes into being, to identifying and developing servant leaders, to understanding financial stewardship as a spiritual issue.Generative Leadership for the Expedition is a resource of The Greatest Expedition (greatestexpedition.com).
In a disruptive world, we need leaders who are dedicated to developing even more leaders. It is not enough to help my congregation or organization thrive. We need those who will contribute to the goal of helping every congregation or organization thrive. Dan Jackson calls these unique, intentional, and generous leaders “Generative Leadership.” In this book, Jackson not only describes generative leaders but – in true generative fashion – offers all of us real-time wisdom and coaching on how to become a generative leader.
Rev. Dan Jackson invites us to respond boldly to God’s call to develop creative,nimble, and future-oriented leaders. Drawing on his decades of experience in churchand corporate leadership, Jackson brings fresh wisdom that helps give us a blueprint for growing leaders whose impact outlives their service. This book is a must-readfor all who care about working to create a future filled with hope.
Leah Gunning Francis
Dan Jackson’s Generative Leadership reminds us not to leave leadership development to chance in the local church. Dan identifies the qualities of fruitful generative leaders and offers a step-by-step guide for a local churchleadership academy. May this book challenge you to look beyond your immediate accomplishments, calling you to ponder the long-term impact of your work by how you are investing in the next generation of leaders.
In this book, which is the fruit of strategic thinking and engaged mentoring, Dan Jackson not only makes the case for why generative leadership is essential, he offers a pathway for how it can become a reality.
Bishop Ken Carter