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Leader's Insight: Managing Up

Achieving your vision—and your boss'—at the same time.

Learning to adapt to and get a better grasp on your leader's style is difficult, but vital if you want to maintain a healthy working relationship and a fully functioning ministry. Roger Patterson and Mike Bonem are associate pastors at West University Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, and authors of Leading from the Second Chair (Jossey-Bass 2005). Both have extensive experience leading individual ministries within the church, as well as working within the leadership style and vision of their senior pastor. Leadership editorial resident Abram Book asked Patterson and Bonem about the difficulties and rewards of "managing up."

What clues do you look for to get a better grasp on your leader's style?

Patterson: Our senior pastor has been in ministry for over 40 years, and he always maintains a strong, healthy, steady pace, but sometimes he is hurried. It is critical that I understand his pace, because then I can discern his stress level and what he may be struggling with.

Bonem: I think another ...

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