Junior deSouza

Leadership Archive, 2018


On Mirror-Hunger & Ideal-Hunger

Do you see the group or individuals you lead as real and felt extensions of yourself, as your Mini-Me? Do you invest superfluous happiness in their success, and superfluous sorrow in their failure or struggle? We should care sincerely and invest our hearts in our leadership cause, but we cannot overinvest and try to create a Mini-Me. Beware this "hunger for a mirror" to reaffirm your self-esteem or medicate broken places inside you.
     Adding to the temptation, some or many of your followers "hunger for an ideal", propping you up as a transcendent figure or exemplar of whatever they feel they lack (power, beauty, intelligence, privilege, etc.). When ideal-hunger and mirror-hunger meet unmitigated, dangerous movements form and hubris-nemesis leaders emerge. You cannot control people's ideal-hunger, but you can control and be sanctified of your mirror-hunger. Keep cleansing and maturing your internal world, and maintain clear limits of what your followers can expect of you.


On Resultant vs Emergent Phenomena:

As a leader, from time to time, you will have to figure out what is resultant versus what is emergent in your sphere. Resultant phenomena are outcomes that rise or "result" from the constituent parts of what you are doing or not doing. Emergent phenomena are outcomes that appear or "emerge" independently of what you are doing or not doing. Why is this distinction so critical? Resultant phenomena assign responsibility to your system or process, and therefore, the solutions are also found therein. Emergent phenomena are outcomes with an independent or standalone quality, more or less beyond your control, and therefore the solutions are found in a deeper prayer dependence on the Holy Spirit and frontier ideating by multiple creativists.


On Leadership Motives:

The issue of motive is perhaps the most important in leadership. Why do you want to be out front? Why do you want decision-making power? Ministerially, when I probe motives, the programmed responses are all the right Sunday School answers. You would think everyone was the virgin Mary. But motives are rarely 100% noble and rarely 100% solipsistic. Our motives are a multiplex of percentages, determined by spiritual maturity, emotional wholeness, understanding of leadership, and other factors. We must commit and submit to daily, lifelong transformation in Christ, getting our noble motives out of the 30th and 40th percentiles (which implies quite a bit of solipsism and unhealthy leadership modes) and into the 80th and 90th percentiles, where the Lord can trust us with greater stewardships of authority and reconfiguring power.


On Needs & Frames in Leadership Teams:

All leadership teams are a simmering cauldron of needs and frames. How the apex leader ropes in, puts vocabulary to, and functionalizes these dynamics toward an end-goal will determine most outcomes. Learn to lead, therefore, on dual, imbricating tracks. Perceive and conscientiously shepherd the distinct need-frame of each member; do not bayonet-charge into transactional goalmania. Then, imbricate that need-frame into a compatible organizational activity and role. Not perceiving, embracing, or including their need-frame in your leader calculus and behavior is your sword of Damocles.