Interdependence Day

It may seem odd to discuss interdependence when many people are celebrating independence this week on July 4. In leadership, however, independence may be inadvisable. The reality is interdependent leaders are the ones enabling happiness in their organizations, teams, and communities.

Leading with interdependence means two or more people or things are mutually dependent upon each other. Interdependent leaders are stronger than independent ones because of the relationships built and maintained.

Here are four interdependent relationships to enable leaders to succeed more fully and purposefully.

1 – Learning Interdependence.

Good leaders learn. There is a mutual dependency on books, mentors, and other leaders to stretch our minds, our attitudes, our motivations, and our approaches. Leaders who do not have an interdependent learning relationship become stale and outdated, stuck in old ways and inadequate traditions.

It is more than the taking in of information and ideas though. It also is in the giving. Leaders who teach and share lift up all leaders within their circle of influence. It is a give-and-take relationship in learning, which energizes strong, interdependent leaders.

2 – Team Interdependence.

Teams contain all sorts of characters. The best teams are the ones where everyone brings their strengths along with their humility, best listening skills, and finest ideas. Teams that are self-managing are the most interdependent group of leaders possible. Nonetheless, even if there is a single leader designated for a team, the leader can only be successful if the team works well together.

Interdependence of human skills and insights is what will bring out the best in all team leaders.

A team of independents will lead to an entanglement of egos and a frustration of efforts. A team of interdependent leaders will lead to empowered achievement.

3 – Community Interdependence.

Interdependent leaders know community is where the next generation of leaders will spring. Leave our communities alone and the talent will slip backwards rather than upwards. Communities feed off of solid leaders, and leaders feed off of solid community. The tighter the interdependence, the higher the potential for long term advancement. The advancements come in the form of:

  • Greater involvement in activities
  • More commitment to people
  • More conversations on how to lead
  • Higher learning, raising the standards in knowledge and insights

4 – Integrity Interdependence.

Integrity translates into leadership and life values; it is the way to lead and live in a non-harmful and inspired way. Our leadership values need to be defined and then fully practiced in everyday situations. Integrity and values need to be our high standard of conduct – something to strive to and be held accountable for. Herein is the crux of integrity interdependence.

A leader without integrity is an independent, soulless one. Integrity without leaders is just a concept.

For integrity to come alive, leaders need to embrace it. For leaders to lead effectively, integrity needs to be upheld. More than the relationship between leader and integrity is the need for both to be demonstrated actively in our teams, organizations, communities, and families.

Leadership interdependence…

  • Are you ready to celebrate it and see the true joy in leadership?
  • Are you ready to embrace your leadership interdependencies?

 

I hope so. Happy Leadership Interdependence!

Read more from  Jon here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jon Mertz

Jon is a vice president of marketing in the healthcare software industry. His background consists of an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and working for companies like Deloitte, IBM, and BMC Software. Outside of his professional life, Jon explores how life choices really define who we are. Our choices define us more than words spoken or written. After all, choices lead to actions. Connect with Jon on Twitter @ThinDifference or on Facebook.

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Recent Comments
I love Ed's writings and heart. I am frustrated by these articles, however. Much of the missiological basis of the Church Growth Movement are not mentioned, and the origination of the formulas are not substantiated. Also, the Movement via Wagner, started mentioning the importance of health over 3o years ago. I wish these articles were better researched and less sweeping in their generalizations. Things like E1, E2, E3 evangelism, group multiplication, relational networks, faith, health, and the care to measure the right things are largely missing here. Perhaps Ed has earned the right to generalize, but I still was disappointed. But keep researching Ed! Ed and Thom have continued on in the spirit of the movement by doing quality research, and for that I am deeply grateful.
 
— Gary Westra
 
This discussion will continue, for sure. I am tasked with the online worship ministry do our church at FBC Trussville and it is proving to be an important piece of the overall ministry. As in most things In life and technology, balance is in order. Many of our older adults prefer the "live" service online rather than a week or even day-later DVD or downloaded service. They tell me it is important for them to be a part while the service occurs. This is key because if a person simply wanted the message or music or to see the pastor because they "like" him, then it would not need to be live. There is a sense with our people that they need to experience the worship with their church family in real time. Theologically, folks will have issues. This is a disruptive technology for church. But I would hope that before we toss it all away we would approach it with wisdom and humility. Personally, I would like to see the Church grow through small, cost-effective ways like this and not just brick-and-mortar.
 
— Robby
 
It seems this was written awhile ago but I would like to respond. Mr. Surratt makes great points. Points that should be taken seriously by all churches. I just do not think these points are the main reason people are not coming back to churches. Who knows the exact reason why anyone does not come back unless they tell you, but I can say with certainty the reasons I do not return are usually the same. 1. Love, tolerance, and acceptance. (unbelievers, baby Christians) Church members seem to want their guests or potential members to behave a certain way. They want them to conform to the system that is already in place. In some ways this is understandable. In other ways, it is isolating to the guest. They want to feel loved and accepted the way they are. They want to be told everything is ok no matter their past. They want to be given time to work out their immediate more pressing issues without having to worry about what to wear and how to talk (church speak). 2. Love, tolerance, and acceptance (believers, unchurched) Many times, these people are looking for what fits their already preconceived ideas of what "good churches" are. These preconceived notions are difficult to overcome and some of them were addressed in Mr. Surratt's article. But I can tell you that a truly loving, a truly tolerant, and a truly accepting church can overcome most of these things. You may never be able to overcome a taste in music, or a theological difference, but most everything else can be healed with Love. 3. People can see the business aspect of the church. I see it almost immediately when I walk into certain churches for the first time. I think people understand that a church has many aspects of itself that are business oriented. I just believe they dont want to experience these aspects when they visit. How many churches are so focused on growth, in numbers of bodies, that they forget the growth of the heart? The American church is now fully Americanized. Its a show and a numbers game. People come to church, especially new comers, CRAVING to fill a void in their life. If you are offering the same thing they can get in the real world, how are you any different? There are plenty of other reasons people do not return and many may not be avoidable. However, the church as a whole needs to reevaluate the arena in which they are playing. The simplicity of the Gospel is good enough to fulfill the hearts of the unbelievers and restore the prodigal's to a relationship with Christ. Love thy neighbor as thyself and love thy God with all your heart.
 
— Shay Wallace
 

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