Intuitive Leadership by Tim Keel – Part I
In his book Intuitive Leadership, near the end of the book Tim Keel talks about leadership as posture.
He says, “When we use the word posture it often refers to the way a person holds himself or herself. But posture has another meaning. It refers to a person’s bearing or attitude. People can have a defensive posture, and such a claim means more than that they have positioned themselves to repel an attack, thought hat might be the case. It means they carry themselves in a way that interprets the world around them as hostile. As a result, such a posture toward life bleeds out into everything they do. They might be suspicious, passive/aggressive. They might misinterpret simple gestures as hostile, and thus they are easily offended or wounded. We all have ways that we posture ourselves in life based on how we interpret our environment” (226).
Tim states that our postures “reveal something of who we are at the core of our identities and influence what we communicate, verbally and nonverbally, and conversely what we are able to hear…Our postures reveal what we believe about God, the Bible, the world, and ourselves…” (226). Keel then proposes nine postures that might help us to engage God and our communities creatively. I absolutely love these postures. It is important to remember that they overlap and inform one another. Here are the first two.
1. A Posture of Learning: From Answers to Questions
Jesus often responded to a question with a question. “It takes a lot more depth, presence, and creativity on the part of the leader to ask a well-informed, sensitive, and sincere question that engages the person on the other end of the relationship. We have to ask in order to learn.”
2. A Posture of Vulnerability: From the Head to the Heart
Keel maintains that while cognitive abilities are important skills to possess, there is also a need to engage and live life with a heart that is fully alive. He says, “The emotional aspects of faith in many quarters have either been totally marginalized or expressed in an unqualified and restrained way as a reaction to such marginalization. We cannot afford to do this any longer… The heart is not engaged or satisfied in the same ways that mind is. It cannot be domesticated, or at least if it can, it is only at great cost and is often the result of violence. To engage the heart, your own and others’, you must be present, and that can be incredibly hard for many of us because it means engaging in pain.” Leaders must be conversant in the language of the heart.
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