Identifying the Mandate

MAX DE PREE, FORMER CEO AND AUTHOR of Leadership Jazz, once said, "The number one responsibility of top management is to define reality."

That's true whether we're leading a corporation or a church, and establishing a mandate helps us to define that reality and to lead with integrity. Leaders need to ask, "Why are we operating? What are we about? What are we dedicated to?" Once these questions have been addressed and a consensus around their answers developed, a leader has a mandate, a foundation out of which to determine programs, recruit leadership, establish organizational culture, and figure out what and what not to do.

One critical function of a mandate is that it separates loyalty to the leader from loyalty to the cause. The leader has to say, "I am subservient to this mandate. You don't serve me. You don't make me happy. And don't keep me in charge unless I fulfill the mandate."

I was talking to ten pastors who all have Ph.D. degrees. One asked, "How can I get my church to do my program?" ...

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