01 December 2007

What Christianity Brings to Leadership

In the same week that I read in the British Army Review a statistic that shows that a much higher proportion of the miltary than of British society as a whole is prepared to declare itself as Christian, I came across the transcript of a speech on leadership given by General Sir Richard Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff, to a conference.

There are one or two errors in the transcript (one of which I've corrected below), and it is a transcript of the speech as delivered rather than of the text, so it reads a little oddly at times, but if you like what follows, you'll enjoy the rest.

"I’ve already suggested that the flip side of leadership is followership, and that the real trick of being a successful leader is to make people out of their own free choice, their own free will, follow. Not out of curiosity but out of a belief and confidence that the direction of travel is right, and the objective is worth the cost along the way. Following his father’s plan and doing what he had to do cost Jesus Christ his life. But his belief and confidence in his father’s plan led to him opening up the way to life after death for those who are also prepared to put their trust in him.

In my business asking people to risk their lives is part of the job. But doing so without giving them the chance to understand that there is life after death is perhaps something of a betrayal. Therefore I think there is very much an obligation on the leader, certainly on a Christian leader, or a leader who purports to be a Christian, to include a spiritual dimension into his people’s preparation for operations and the general conduct for their lives. So qualities and core values are fine as a universally acceptable moral baseline for leadership. But I think the unique life, death, resurrection and promises of Christ provide that spiritual opportunity that I believe takes the privilege of leadership to a completely different level. "

1 comment:

gemoftheocean said...

There are no atheists in foxholes!