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In whatever organizational context—a small business, a corporation, an educational institution, or a congregation, for change initiatives to begin, the organization needs leaders.
After that, the organization needs effective managers for the changes to succeed.
Organizations tend not to respond to necessary changes without the leader’s initiative.
While organizations can often go far on momentum, eventually momentum wanes.
And as conditions change, whatever activities hum along on momentum will cease to be effective, and often, counterproductive.
A leader’s job is often a constant push against inertia.
You Need Both Leadership Functions
Organizations that want to succeed need both functions in critical positions, leaders and managers.
Strong first chair and second chair leaders who are on the same page, respect, and work well with each other, can bring about necessary sustainable changes.
Failing those, they become an impediment to change.
Change is relatively easy to initiate, more so than most tend to realize.
But change is difficult to grow, and hard to sustain over the long haul.
A strong leader can initiate change, but it will take an effective manager to carry it through over time.
A dilemma for organizations is that a good leader can choose the second chair manager they need, but can the organization choose the leader it (really) needs?
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Program at Columbia seminary. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer & Don Reagan, and Leadership in Ministry: Bowen Theory in the Congregational Context.
His books on education include Academic Leadership: Practical Wisdom for Deans and Administartors, Mastering the Art of Instruction,The Craft of Christian Teaching (Judson), How to be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson), and Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice Press).