Friday, 6 February 2009

A leadership of protest and resistance

On my way back from my management course today I've been thinking about the preposition "of". A leadership of protest and resistance means not only developing leadership skills that can harness the positive forces of protest and resistance in society, help to shape them peacefully and give them focus on justice, it also means looking at what causes protest and resistance within our organisations when faced with change.
When leadership teams can identify the roots of the resistance they are encountering then it can often be helpful for them to look within their own teams to see the presence of that resistance there too.
Very often organisations get leadership which embodies the same contradictions and inertia the organisation claims to want (in part at least) to break out of.
We also had a very interesting time thinking about the problem of moving from mandate to application, from mission to action. Often we may feel that the mandate or mission is not strong enough, or that there is a lack of commitment to getting things done whereas, as Christine Anderson pointed out to us, there is a real need for robust processes to support the mission and it realisation. We Reformed tend to be process people so this made a lot of sense to me and I rather like the phrase "robust processes".

2 Comments:

Dr B. said...

"As Christians, we presumably have to find ways of practising real repentance about the involvement of the churches as institutions with power stuctures and "the powers that be". It is almost certainly a mistake to want any church which has power in these structures to use it as a power and pressure group. This is simply to play the power game. Repentance probably does not mean going over from being a "power" on the side of the government to becoming a similar sort of "power" on the side of the poor and oppressed. It probably means finding the creative and costly way of becoming powerless."

- David Jenkins (later bishop of Durham), 1969, at the WCC/Vatican consultation near Geneva at which Gustavo Guttierez presented to an international audience his notes "on a theology of liberation".

Jane said...

Very interesting. One of the things I'm feeling my way towards is trying to develop models of leadership which can embody some theology I feel happy with. Not easy ...