Chapter One inThe Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Makeis: The Top-Down Attitude: The Number One Leadership Hang-up.
According to Hans Finzel the number one leadership mistake is autocratic leadership verses servant leadership. Top down leadership is dictatorial. Here are some marks of autocratic leadership:
1. Abusive authority
2. Deplorable delegation
3. Lack of listening
4. Dictatorship in decision making
5. Lack of letting go
6. Egocentric manner
The older generation of leaders tend to be top-down and the emerging generation are bottom-up servant leaders. Finzel provides an analysis of what turns on and off younger leaders from Lawrence J. Bradford and Claire Raines,Twenty-Something.What turns them on is
1. Recognition and praise
2. Time spent with managers
3. Learning how their current work is making them more marketable
4. Opportunities to learn new things
5. Fun at work` structured play, harmless practical jokes, cartoons, light competition, and surprises
6. Small, unexpected rewards for jobs well done
Even the secular world of business has recognized the importance of servant leadership. Douglas McGregor back in 1960 publishedThe Human Side of Enterprise in which he contrasted Theory X (top-down autocratic leadership) with Theory Y (servant leadership). Fenzel provides a helpful chart that contrasts these two leadership styles.
Finzel calls servant leadership participatory management, facilitator style, democratic leadership and flat organizational characteristics. The leader, instead of being on top of a giant pyramid, he is at the bottom of an inverted pyramid serving those he leads.
The Biblical remedy for the Top Down Attitude is
1. Not abusive authority, but the servitude exemplified by Jesus in John 13 when He washed His disciples feet. He (Jesus) is the only man who has ever walked the face of the earth who has had the right to be an absolute autocrat!But He served His followers.
2. Not deplorable delegation, but freedom for people to be themselves as taught in Ephesians 4:12 when leaders equip other leaders to use their gifts to equip others.
3. Not lack of listening, but a focus on the needs of others as Jesus did in His taking on the form of a servant in Philippians 2:5-11.
4. Not dictatorship, but partners in the process as Peter instructed pastors to not lord over God`s heritage but to be an example in 1 Peter 5:1-4.
5. Not holding on, but letting go with affirmation as Paul taught in the Pastor/People passage in 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14. Pastors labor among, preside over, and admonish their flock so they can serve one another.
6. Not egocentrism, but power for others when we practice compassion, kindness, humbleness, meekness, longsuffering, and forgiveness with our team as prescribed in Colossians 3:12-13.