3-6 Part I: Concept and Spirituality of Servant Leadership
well armored for the unexpected, and unless one's view of the future is more sharply defined than that of most? Also, one's confidence in a leader rests, in part, on the assurance that stability and poise and resilience under stress give adequate strength for the rigors of leadership. All of the above stand on a base of intensity and dedication to service that support faith as trust.
One needs to have a sense for the unknowable, to be prepared for the unexpected, and to be able to foresee the unforeseeable. The leader knows some things and foresees some things which those one is presuming to lead do not know or foresee as clearly. This is partly what gives the leader his "lead," that puts him out ahead and qualifies him or her to show the way.
Sense of the unknowablebeyond conscious rationality. As a practical matter, on most important decisions there is an information gap. There usually is a gap between the solid information in hand and what is needed. The art of leadership rests, in part, on the ability to bridge that gap by intuition, that is by a judgment from the unconscious process. The person who is better at this than most is likely to emerge the leader because he contributes something of great value. Others will depend on him to go out ahead and show the way because his judgment will be better than most. Leaders, therefore, must be more creative than most; and creativity is largely discovery, a push into the uncharted and the unknown.
Contingency thinking. Foresight is anticipating what is likely to happen and taking precautionary steps. Contingency thinking relates to things that might happen but rarely do. Sometimes the latter appear as emergencies to which there is a preset response. Part of the confidence of followers in a leader rests on the belief that the leader will not be surprised by the unusual and will act promptly in response to it.
Foresightthe central ethic of leadership. One takes the rough and tumble of going out ahead to show the way in the belief that, if one enters a situation prepared with the necessary experience and knowledge at the conscious level, in the situation, the intuitive insight necessary for one's optimal performance will be forthcoming. One follows the steps of the creative process which require that one stay with conscious analysis as far as it will carry one, and then withdraws, releases the analytical pressure, if only for a moment, in full confidence that a resolving insight will come. The concern with the past and future is gradually attenuated as this span of concern goes forward or backward from the instant moment. The ability to do this is the essential structural dynamic of leadership.
Application to Congregations
Servant leadership is applicable to all types of enterprises, none more so than church congregations. Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight. (Isaiah 42:1) In this Old Testament book, God