[Fourth post in a series on the book Introverts in the Church.]
From chapter 6, The Ability to Lead.
Page 124: We gain character by opening ourselves up to God's transforming power through prayer, through solidifying our most important relationships and by practicing the good habits that enable us to become the kind of people we want to be. True leaders don't lead out of who others want them to be; therefore, introverts with character will lead as introverts. We do not try to be extroverts or contort ourselves in ways our personalities are not able to go...People desperately want to know that it's possible to live, act and work as they are, and introverted leaders who model authenticity will give others freedom to be themselves.I really, really needed to read this as I struggle with what my "role" is at home, at work, and in the church. It makes it clear, for one, that "introverted leader" is not an oxymoron.
Page 125: Wilfred Drath and Chales Palus, at the Center for Creative Leadership, explain that "most existing theories, models, and definitions of leadership proceed from the assumption that somehow leadership is about getting people to do something." Instead, Drath and Palus reimagine leadership as "the process for making sense of what people are doing together so that people will understand and be committed. Leadership, in this view, is a matter of interpretation. Leaders give people a lens and a language for understanding their work and experiences in light of larger purposes. They help shape the mental frameworks of others so that those people see themselves as making contributions to the mission and direction of their organization, working in community for a common purpose.You don't make people go where you want them to go, or where they "should go," but instead you simply help them see and understand the story of which they are a part, and the rest will happen as it should.
Page 126-127: God's gifts are not conditional on our worthiness for receiving them or our fitness for using them, and they are certainly not conditional on personality type. God does not make sure someone is an extrovert before he bestows a gift of leadership, nor does he give gifts by mistake. And he sees his gifts, and their recipients, through to the end - granting the ability to embrace the gift and to use it for the blessing of his church.The example of Moses gets used a lot in the book. Someone who did not have the natural gifts of eloquent speech or leadership and yet got thrust into being a speaker and a leader and having to rely on God for all of it. The idea that "God does not make sure someone is an extrovert before he bestows a gift of leadership" is a scary one - at least, it's scary to me!