DRIVE: Mission First

In Books, Church Leadership, Pastors by Daniel Blakeslee0 Comments

This is a continuation of the discussion from Monday’s blog post, What Drives Us? Yesterday we talked about the second drive, People First.

The third drive is episkopos. This is the drive to influence people to accomplish the mission. The episkopos drive is an intrinsic drive to put the mission first.

Thoughts of the episkopos drive include, thinking about:

  • Taking strong and forceful actions
  • Giving help, advice, support – many times unsolicited
  • Strategizing about how to influence people
  • Directing or controlling a situation
  • Considering the impact of their actions and how coworkers will feel or be influenced
  • Maintaining status, reputation, and position

These thoughts will lead to behaviors like:

  • Being active in organizational politics
  • Frequently seeking positions of leadership
  • Influencing people through control or persuasion, or offers of help or assistance
  • Training subordinates and help them improve their task performance
  • Seeking, withholding, using information to influence people
  • Spending time with people who get things done

Leaders who are driven by the episkopos drive are what Maxwell calls level three leaders.[1] They have proven themselves by producing results and therefore people will follow them.

Maxwell explains that the five levels are like a building—all the higher levels rest on the lower ones.[2] He also explains that a leader must pass through every level to get to the next one. Level two builds on level one and, therefore, you cannot be a level three leader until you have mastered level two, which is permission. Once you have built a relationship with your people, you are ready to focus on producing results. Level three is the production level. This is where leadership really takes off and goes to another level.[3]

Level three qualifies and separates true leaders from people who merely occupy leadership positions. Good leaders always make things happen. They get results. They accomplish the organization’s mission. Just as poimen was task first and presbuteros was people first, leaders who are driven by episkopos put the mission first.

These leaders can make a significant impact on an organization. Not only are they productive individually, but because they are in charge, they are able to help the team produce. This ability gives leaders who are driven by episkopos confidence, credibility and increased influence. Maxwell says that no one can fake level three.[4] Either you are producing for the organization and getting something done or you are not.

[1] Ibid.

[2] Ibid. p. 11.

[3] Ibid. p. 133.

[4] Ibid. p. 133-34.