Torch, Fall 1988

' I An interview with Dr. DuaneWood, Academic Vice President of Cedarville College . He also serves as a consultant to leading corporations and hospitals. Q • What are some risks of leadership? A. One of the obvious ones is increased visibility. Much more of a leader' s total performance is open to public scrutiny, and leaders occasionally make mistakes. They are much more visible, so there is the risk of disclosing one 's weaknesses. Another risk involves the weight of decisions that a leader makes. Since a leader' s decisions are more long-range in nature and more strategic, they have a greater impact on more people. The conse– quences of his decisions determine whether the total organization survives or fails. There are also the risks associated with the amount of time he has to devote to these decisions , the tradeoffs between his personal and professional time, and his own health. A leader needs a lot of support from his family . Q• Anything leaders ought to know about managing the risks of leadership? A• One of the ways of managing the risks is to gain input from others in helping define the problem, the ramifications, and alternative ways of handling it. Then when a final decision is necessary it is up to the leader to decide. Other decisions are pushed to the lowest level of the organization at which they can be made effectively. I think this is really the heart of Jethro ' s advice to Moses in Exodus 18:6. Q• Do you believe that a leader is more accountable than others are? Is there a higher standard associated with leader– ship? A. Yes, to both. There is a greater accountability to God and to the people who are affected by the leadership. The Bible says that unto whom much is given, much is expected. In general, the public does not tolerate a misjudgement in an ethical area. The public is even more intolerant of a leader' s sin. That's part of the territory that comes with leadership--a higher set of expectations with a greater degree of responsibility. Q• How important is a leader's sense of security in the midst of risks? A. Ultimately, the security of everyone, no matter what his calling, should rest not in skills, authority, or fame , but in God. The leader is not exempt, for he, as well as others, receives God 's enablement and has that security. " Faithful is he that calleth you , who also will do it" (I Thessalonians 5:24). "And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening : knowing that neither is there respect ofpersons with Him." Ephesians 6:9 9