Episode 18 show notes
One of the greatest challenges Christian military officers continually face is how to integrate biblical truths into their professional lives as leaders. This tremendous stewardship responsibility requires a skillful and courageous leadership style that emboldens and guides others toward accomplishing goals in ways that honor God—transformational leadership.
Transformational leaders help people understand the purpose, objectives and values of an organization by articulating a clear and appealing vision. From both a practical and biblical perspective, transformational leadership inspires, develops and empowers followers; it also hones our leadership skills so we become better leaders.
There is no greater example of a transformational leader than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this episode, LTC Gil Jacobs, PhD, USA (Ret.), walks us through six ways to be a transformational leader like Jesus. The conversation is based on an article he wrote for Command magazine back in 2016.
- [1:18] Introducing LTC Gil Jacobs, PhD, USA (Ret.)
- [3:54] What is transformational leadership?
Six ways we can follow Jesus’ example and become transformational leaders.
- [4:52] 1. Articulate a clear and appealing vision.
- [6:39] 2. Explain how the vision can be attained.
- [7:50] 3. Act confidently and optimistically.
- [9:27] Make sure confidence doesn’t become arrogance or overconfidence. A leader has to have a character that is founded on a relationship with God.
- [11:05] 4. Express confidence in followers.
- [12:37] 5. Lead by example. A vision is reinforced by leadership behavior that is consistent with it.
- [14:29] Leading by example extends beyond time at work “on the clock” or on the battlefield. Others are watching how you conduct yourself at all times.
- [16:01] 6. Empower people to achieve the vision.
- [17:46] A discussion of which of the 6 items tends to be the most difficult for leaders to execute.
- [20:22] Practical applications to get started on becoming a transformational leader today. LTC Jacobs outlines four ways to get started: develop godly character; formerly learn about leadership; seek out leadership experiences, and look for a godly mentor; be a self-directed learner, and continue to grow.
- [25:46] LTC Jacobs offers advice for younger leaders.
- [28:11] LTC Jacobs chats about those who have influenced him at various points of his life and career.
- [31:22] Resources
Try to work for and be around exemplary leaders who are willing to provide feedback and encourage you. As it says in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” LTC Jacobs suggests the following resources:
1. Character development
- “Life Application Study Bible (NIV)” by Tyndale Publishing
- “Lead Like Jesus” book and weekly free email devotionals
- “The Case for Servant Leadership” by Kent Keith
2. Leadership Theories and Practice
- “Leadership: Theory and Practice” by Peter G. Northouse
- “Leadership in Organizations” by Gary Yukl
- “Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner
- A variety of resources at the Center for Creative Leadership
3. Learning from Experience
“Learning Agility” by George Hallenbeck
“The Power of Failure” by Charles Manz
If you an idea for a guest or topic you’d like us to consider on a future episode, send an email to email@example.com.
Our closing verse: “…The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
About our guest
LTC Jacobs, a 1968 USMA graduate, served in Vietnam as a rifle and reconnaissance platoon leader and as a rifle company commander, 4th Infantry Division. He was also an Army Ranger School instructor and later held numerous command and staff positions. After retiring in 1992, Gil was a vice president and controller for a steel construction and related companies, earned an organizational leadership doctorate degree at Regent University, and was an organizational leadership graduate program professor and director at Mercyhurst University until his 2015 retirement.