by Bill Hybels

It concerns me that there is a certain amount of "gift envy" among church leaders these days. God gave each of us our gift

mix for a reason. When leaders adopt someone else's style, they miss the unique opportunities God has given them.
I celebrate when I look around the world and see flourishing churches of all kinds, with many different types of leaders,
because it's going to take a variety of churches led by a variety of leaders to reach our world with the love of Christ.
Whatever your style, recognize it, celebrate it, and step up to the plate and lead.


Team-building leaders have supernatural insight into people. They find or develop leaders with the right abilities,
character, and chemistry with other team members. They place people in the right positions for the right reasons who will
then produce the right results. When the team-building leader gets everyone in place, he or she then says to the team, "You know what we're trying to do.You know what part of the mission you're responsible for. You know what part of the vision the rest of us are responsible
for. So head out. Work hard. Achieve your objectives. Communicate with your co-laborers, but lead."

The team-building leader might not nurture or manage people well. He or she reasons that shouldn't be necessary. If the

right people are in the right slots doing the right things for the right reasons, they'll get the work done without the
leader looking over their shoulder. Few things are as exciting to me as drawing together the right people, putting them in
the right positions, then letting that team play hard and have fun.


These leaders possess insight into who needs a fresh challenge or additional training. They can sense who needs public
recognition, an encouraging word, or a day off. They know when a pay increase, office change, title change, or sabbatical is
needed. Unfortunately, some view the motivational style as a lightweight style of leadership. Well, just ask team members
how important it is to receive ongoing inspiration!
I will follow a leader who will fire me up, call out the best in me, celebrate my accomplishments, and cheer my progress,

even if it means a lower-voltage vision, an occasional bad call at a crossroads, or a periodic lapse of managerial
Motivational leaders know that teammates get tired, lose focus, and experience mission drift. Workers wonder if what
they're doing really matters to anyone -- or to God. Motivational leaders don't get bitter or vengeful when morale
sinks. They see it as an opportunity to inspire and lift the spirits of everyone on the team.
Jesus was a consistent motivator of the disciples. He changed Peter's name. He promised his followers a hundred-fold reward
in this life and in the next. Often, Jesus would take the disciples away and say, "Let's not take a hill. Let's sleep at
the bottom of one. Let's go fishing, eat, and hang out."

Some of our teammates would love more than anything else a day with their leader around a campfire in an unrushed setting,
instead of always being under our command.
Remember the time Jesus said, "I call you friends"? He always promised them, "In my Father's house are many mansions. I

can't imagine spending eternity without you people around me. You'll be with me forever."
Don't ever look down on yourself if God has given you the motivational style.


This leader brings a wide variety of constituencies together under a single umbrella of leadership so that a complex
organization can achieve its mission. This feat requires enormous flexibility in a leader -- the ability to compromise and negotiate, to listen, understand, and think outside of the box. It requires not only the ability to be diplomatic; it requires also the gift of being able to
relate to diverse people.
In a start-up venture, a leader is surrounded by those who share his or her vision. Contrast that with a church or
parachurch organization made up of scores of well-defined constituencies, many of whom care little about the overall
vision of the ministry anymore. They just want to make sure their interests are served.
I talked to a pastor who said, "I'm dying. The choir wants new designer robes. The youth want a new gymnasium. The missions

department wants to give more money away. The Sunday school department wants more classrooms. The production people want
more equipment. The seniors want large-print hymnals, and the Gen X-ers want to turn the boardroom into a cappuccino bar."
The variety and velocity of those requests had him imagining each of those sub-ministries as the enemy. But that situation

fires up a bridge-building leader. A bridge builder becomes the best friend and advocate of all the constituent groups. He
or she seeks to unite them and focus their efforts.


There's always discussion in leadership circles about the differences between management and leadership. You've heard,
"Managers do things right; leaders do the right things," and other delineations. Those may be helpful, but I'm convinced
certain leaders possess the unique ability to establish mile markers on the road to the destination, then organize and
monitor people, processes, systems, and resources for mission achievement. Old Testament examples include Joseph and
What's most amazing to those who don't have this style is that managing leaders derive enormous satisfaction from doing all
this managing!
You'd be surprised how many visionary leaders are inept at managing people, processes, and systems. Many directional and

strategic leaders are incapable of actually putting the players, resources, and systems in place for the goals of the
organization to be achieved.

I've often said around our church, "Sooner or later someone's going to have to manage all of this stuff." We've always had

an abundance of visionary, directional, and strategic leaders, but we've always had a shortage of managing leaders. That has
hurt us all along the way.

Managing leaders often aren't as popular as the leader who can give the big vision talk or make the big decision around the

boardroom table or put the big plan in place. But in the day-to-day world, someone has to manage the process to make sure
we get where we want to go.


Bill Hybels is pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. He is also the author of
Courageous Leadership (Zondervan 2002), in which he expounds on these and more leadership styles. For more, see Hybels'
article "Finding Your Leadership Style" (from Leadership journal --