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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Covenant Leadership

"26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves." Lk. 22:26-27

When Admiral Vern Clark was Chief of Naval Operations he instituted a formal Navy program called “Covenant Leadership”. The premise is Biblical in nature and applicable because of the oath that every service member makes upon enlistment. He believed that they promised to obey those appointed over them and in return the Navy’s leadership was required to enter into a contractual understanding in which they promised to serve their subordinates. He formalized the program through written guidance, establishing a clear mandate and expectation on behalf of both parties that strengthened the Naval service through a foundation of objectively defined terms and trust. He then ingrained the covenant into the core values, his guiding principles, and the organization’s culture. To further encourage the adoption and exercise of the covenant by both followers and leaders alike he linked it with an area of rating on performance evaluations. The Admiral knew how to implement his ideas. Do you serve as one promised to serve those who have promised to serve the organization? Jesus served us before we agreed to enter into covenant with Him (He was the initiator). Jesus serves us, even now, when we have some understanding of the covenant we have been called to, but continually break it/fail to honor it. How does understanding the Covenant aspect of the Gospel (God as pursuer, covenant maker, promise keeper, and servant-King) influence the way in which you functionally lead?

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