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Openness, Humility Key to Leading in Uncertain Times

Many institutions, including local churches, have heard that they need to change their internal culture in order to stay current with the changing world around them, but the nature of change is now itself changing. It used to be that technical knowledge could drive changes to resolve essentially technical issues. (In a church that might be: How do we draw more visitors? Or, how do we accomplish all of the refurbishments our sanctuary needs on the limited financial resources at our disposal?) 

According to Pete Gerend, a director at Duke Corporate Education, Duke University, the context within which leaders drive change, itself, is changing. In an edited interview posted on Faith & Leadership, an online offering of Duke Divinity School, Gerend says there are more stakeholders today who want a say in how a project is implemented, each with their own concerns about both method and goal. 

Faced with uncertainty, people lead in different ways and it is important to learn how you tend to lead in a crisis or confusing situation, he writes.

For more on essential faith community leadership skills, see our feature article  “Ten Essential Skills the Next Generation of Religious Leaders Will Need.” Also explore our resource article, “Best Resources on Leadership,” for links to leadership development theory and best practices.

Also, don’t miss the reflection by Duke Divinity School vice president L. Gregory Jones on three  key leadership challenges faith community leaders need to address to build faith. 

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