LEADING IN SUBORDINATE ROLES
Often church leaders, though seemingly in positions of significant influence, actually wield that influence more through moral authority than positional authority. They must work through boards, multiple staffs, and other structures that when properly managed improve the consensual and team-oriented quality of congregational leadership, but when improperly managed become constraining, limiting, and controlling. This is especially true for associate staff roles and for women in ministry.
Fortunately, there is help. Some of the materials below are specifically addressed to associate staff roles, while others are more generic. I have listed them in alphabetical order and hope that the descriptions and summaries will help readers select the volume(s) that will be more helpful to them. If you do not find what you need here, consult the sections on difficult relationships and conversations, leading with questions and ministry teams/staff for more help.
- Geoffrey M. Bellman, Getting Things Done When You are Not in Charge — Excellent “how-to” on wielding influence from a subordinate position, written from a business perspective.
- Katherine Crowley and Kathie Elster, Working for You Isn’t Working for Me: The Ultimate Guide for Managing Your Boss — Directed specifically at how to deal with a difficult superior.
- Phyllis Beck Kritek, Negotiating at an Uneven Table: Developing Moral Courage in Resolving Our Conflicts — Sound advice on how to grow in self-respect, moral strength, and clear communication in situations where one feels powerless.
- John Maxwell, The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization — The leadership guru, John Maxwell, offers specific principles for leading down, leading up, and leading across.
- John Maxwell, Becoming a Person of Influence: How to Positively Impact the Lives of Others — Equips leaders to exercise influence regardless of position.
- Harrison Monarth, Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO – Equips leaders to “present the best version of themselves,” or behave publicly in a way that commands respect and gains and maintains trust. Highlights social intelligence, reading people, managing interpersonal conflict, etc. Written with business executives in mind, but still packs a lot of wisdom for church leaders. A similar volume by Monarth is 360 Degrees of Influence.
- Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything – A very popular text on how to motivate others to change through optimizing six sources of influence.
Special Focus on Associate Staff Roles
- Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson, Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Dreams — Excellent way of conceiving and executing the second chair role in a way that is both respectful of others and personally fulfilling.
- Martin E. Hawkins and Kelli Sallman, Associate Pastor: Second Chair, not Second Best — Good on the role of job descriptions, team building, self-care, and stress management.
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