Five leadership principles that promote dialogue versus monologue

Unlike the many cultural changes in the 1960s what we see going on today is probably more significant in terms of the pace of change. Perhaps we live in a frog-in-the-kettle world where everyone wears blue jeans, listens to rock music and supposedly is against the “system” or some system. All of these exterior, atmospheric indicators hide the fact that the next generations really have a value difference in some core cultural expectations. For instance, in leadership there is a desire for dialogue versus monologue.

What younger people seem to be saying is that they want to critique, deconstruct and immerse themselves in their places of work rather than simply be a drone that pragmatically works his or her way up the ladder. The work has to have meaning, not just be a means. Working to live is different than living to work.

What this means is that those of us in leadership–even at churches such as I am–must be willing to dialogue about not just what we do but why we do it. It’s easy in the business world to close out conversation and pull the paycheck card or pull rank. In my line of work I deal with volunteers so I for the most part lead my peers. It is vital to promote, create and personally engage in conversation. Five leadership principles that promote dialogue versus monologue:

  • The reason your organization exists has to be a story you can talk about.
  • The way you do things is better served when shaped by those you choose to do the work.
  • Goals become more clarified when discussed rather than delineated.
  • Morale is about appreciation and challenge which cannot happen in a vacuum of dialogue.
  • Transparency is the open door to authenticity and authenticity just works!

Your thoughts? Anything to add or delete?

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

20 comments

  1. I would add (although I know you probably have this in mind with some of your points already), that the goal is not the product, but the people. Especially true as Christian leaders…
    Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves! It is not so much having big vision, as imparting to someone else the ability to dream big! (And to dream differently than us, I might add!)

    How is SoCal? You gonna be there a while?

    1. BINGO Steve! “Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves” YES
      Things are great down here… a bit hot this week though. 🙂

  2. I would add (although I know you probably have this in mind with some of your points already), that the goal is not the product, but the people. Especially true as Christian leaders…
    Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves! It is not so much having big vision, as imparting to someone else the ability to dream big! (And to dream differently than us, I might add!)

    How is SoCal? You gonna be there a while?

    1. BINGO Steve! “Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves” YES
      Things are great down here… a bit hot this week though. 🙂

  3. I would add (although I know you probably have this in mind with some of your points already), that the goal is not the product, but the people. Especially true as Christian leaders…
    Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves! It is not so much having big vision, as imparting to someone else the ability to dream big! (And to dream differently than us, I might add!)

    How is SoCal? You gonna be there a while?

    1. BINGO Steve! “Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves” YES
      Things are great down here… a bit hot this week though. 🙂

  4. I would add (although I know you probably have this in mind with some of your points already), that the goal is not the product, but the people. Especially true as Christian leaders…
    Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves! It is not so much having big vision, as imparting to someone else the ability to dream big! (And to dream differently than us, I might add!)

    How is SoCal? You gonna be there a while?

    1. BINGO Steve! “Our role as leaders is not so much taking people somewhere, but equipping them to get there themselves” YES
      Things are great down here… a bit hot this week though. 🙂

  5. It’s interesting to hear (or read) “What younger people seem to be saying is that they want to critique, deconstruct and immerse themselves in their places of work . . .” that is how I feel. Although as one from that generation and also a church leader I realize that sometimes results are needed and that doing what must be done is also necessary. It’s nice to have your opinion listened to, but there is a right time and place for it.

    1. Its not just about opinions, its about results. Without dialogue the results will be low morale, fatigue and misunderstanding. So, really this is necessary. And, its not just about opinions, its about your story. An organization that does not understand the resource of its own people–their stories and strengths–will surely have poor results. In fact, if you do not dialogue about goals and results then you are not really about goals or results. So, you see, Matt. It is about results and recognizing that people get those results not machines. If a leader makes everything a monologue then he really is making the results about himself not the goals. If he desires the actual goals to be accomplished, he then is willing to listen. Of course, you have to not be a snot head and demand input just because you feel entitled. You give input to serve….hmm…results.

  6. It’s interesting to hear (or read) “What younger people seem to be saying is that they want to critique, deconstruct and immerse themselves in their places of work . . .” that is how I feel. Although as one from that generation and also a church leader I realize that sometimes results are needed and that doing what must be done is also necessary. It’s nice to have your opinion listened to, but there is a right time and place for it.

    1. Its not just about opinions, its about results. Without dialogue the results will be low morale, fatigue and misunderstanding. So, really this is necessary. And, its not just about opinions, its about your story. An organization that does not understand the resource of its own people–their stories and strengths–will surely have poor results. In fact, if you do not dialogue about goals and results then you are not really about goals or results. So, you see, Matt. It is about results and recognizing that people get those results not machines. If a leader makes everything a monologue then he really is making the results about himself not the goals. If he desires the actual goals to be accomplished, he then is willing to listen. Of course, you have to not be a snot head and demand input just because you feel entitled. You give input to serve….hmm…results.

  7. It’s interesting to hear (or read) “What younger people seem to be saying is that they want to critique, deconstruct and immerse themselves in their places of work . . .” that is how I feel. Although as one from that generation and also a church leader I realize that sometimes results are needed and that doing what must be done is also necessary. It’s nice to have your opinion listened to, but there is a right time and place for it.

    1. Its not just about opinions, its about results. Without dialogue the results will be low morale, fatigue and misunderstanding. So, really this is necessary. And, its not just about opinions, its about your story. An organization that does not understand the resource of its own people–their stories and strengths–will surely have poor results. In fact, if you do not dialogue about goals and results then you are not really about goals or results. So, you see, Matt. It is about results and recognizing that people get those results not machines. If a leader makes everything a monologue then he really is making the results about himself not the goals. If he desires the actual goals to be accomplished, he then is willing to listen. Of course, you have to not be a snot head and demand input just because you feel entitled. You give input to serve….hmm…results.

  8. It’s interesting to hear (or read) “What younger people seem to be saying is that they want to critique, deconstruct and immerse themselves in their places of work . . .” that is how I feel. Although as one from that generation and also a church leader I realize that sometimes results are needed and that doing what must be done is also necessary. It’s nice to have your opinion listened to, but there is a right time and place for it.

    1. Its not just about opinions, its about results. Without dialogue the results will be low morale, fatigue and misunderstanding. So, really this is necessary. And, its not just about opinions, its about your story. An organization that does not understand the resource of its own people–their stories and strengths–will surely have poor results. In fact, if you do not dialogue about goals and results then you are not really about goals or results. So, you see, Matt. It is about results and recognizing that people get those results not machines. If a leader makes everything a monologue then he really is making the results about himself not the goals. If he desires the actual goals to be accomplished, he then is willing to listen. Of course, you have to not be a snot head and demand input just because you feel entitled. You give input to serve….hmm…results.

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