Learning about myself (1)

When I came on interview to be vicar of Blockley and Bourton on the Hill 18 months ago, I was completely stymied by one question that a member of the panel posed. “What is your leadership style?” I simply did not know.

What the archdeacon told me that I was offered the job, I asked about that question. Should I be worried that I don’t know? He assured me that, because this was my first incumbency, it was something the diocese expected me to learn ‘on the job’ and as I went along.

So that question has been significant to me over the last year, niggling at the back of my mind off and on, occasionally coming to the fore when things are going well or badly. And now they are beginning to distil.

I know myself to be passionate and enthusiastic; I like to play; I like to find a middle way, but if I can’t carry everyone with me, I make a decision based on the opinions of those I trust. I am not afraid of conflict. I love to start projects and then hand them over to someone else. When I am leading, life is never boring, because I make things happen. And I am deeply fallible and vulnerable. I make mistakes, and I’m sorry. I am proud to be a human being made in the image of God.

One of my role models of leadership is Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy. Even though she is stuck in Oz, disorientated and alone, it isn’t long before she finds companions for the journey, friends who are in need, in this case of courage, intelligence and emotion. Dorothy can’t protect them from the dangers of the journey, but she maintains her passion, her hope, her faith that the end is attainable. (Brian McLaren, Dorothy on Leadership).

So I am not the Wizard of Oz. I am interested in sharing your company on the journey. I want to laugh and play. I want to acknowledge my weakness, my vulnerability and my joy in finding myself forgiven and transformed by Jesus. I want to be like the man who promised, “I no longer call you servants, but friends.”

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