Knowledge and Creativity do not a Leader Make


While knowledge and creativity are important in leadership, both flounder without the key of effectiveness. I have known many knowledgeable men and women in leadership positions. Fewer were effective at moving his/her organization forward than those who were unable to. Knowledge does not equate to effective leadership. Knowledge does not move some person or organization forward. Likewise, I have known some brilliantly creative minds, who were not able to effectively implement their creativity into positive, forward moving action.

You can have all the degrees possible to attain in your lifetime and gain all the knowledge of each degree. Yet, without the skills to produce effective results in moving your church (organization) forward in fulfilling its mission, your knowledge will be found floundering. In the same manner, you can have the greatest creative brain that God ever designed, but without the leaned skills of effective implementation your creativity will be nothing more than post-it notes stuck on a wall.

Too often people with knowledge are considered to be great leaders. I contend, knowledge does not a leader make. Also in our culture today, we have all known people promoted to leadership positions due to their ability to be creative thinkers and designers. There is a place in leadership for all of these yet often the person with these (knowledge and creativity) traits is not also gifted with effectiveness in fulfillment to move the organization forward. Believe it or not, we see this often in the church.

Churches do a disservice to their pastor and congregation when they assume their pastor is an effective implementor. Not one of us (no-one in your congregation) has all the gifts and skills for the church to be successful. God has placed in the church each person for a specific reason and purpose. While the pastor may be the key creative mind, there is likely another person(s) on staff or in the congregation whom God has gifted to be the effective implementor(s).

A truly gifted creative mind will seek other creative minds to produce the best (God’s) plan of moving the organization to fulfilling its purpose. As a man with knowledge seeks to surround himself with others knowledgeable in the areas of need. After all ideas have been fleshed out and God’s will is revealed then it is time to engage those who are gifted in effective implementation. The pastor or leader does not turn lose of his/her creative ideas but joins in with promoting and implementing the plans for positive, effective forward movement of the organization to fulfill its God-given purpose.

Who in your church or organization has been gifted with the abilities of effectiveness? Remember, if you consider yourself to always be the most knowledgeable and capable person in the room – you’re probably not. Find those complementary personalities whom God has placed around you and your organization will move forward.

Next week, we’ll look at five practices that anyone can use to improve your effectiveness. These five practices come from one of the twentieth century’s greatest leadership minds.

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