Friday, 18 December 2009

7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership

We've all heard of the 7 deadly sins. But now the organisation W'men in Leadership, designed for Christian women in ministry or the marketplace who influence others, has devised the '7 deadly sins of women in leadership'.

You can find out more about them - or how to avoid them - at a series of day conferences. The first of the series is being held in London on Saturday 27th February - follow links on the website to find a booking form.

The deadly sins are:

  1. Limiting self-perceptions

  2. Failure to draw the line (boundary issues)

  3. Inadequate personal vision

  4. Too little life in the work

  5. Everybody's friend, nobody's leader

  6. Colluding and not confronting

  7. Neglect in family matters
I am always reluctant to stereotype. But I do think there is truth in each of the 'sins' they have identified. Regarding 'Limiting Self-Perceptions', for example, I know many women who 'cultivate a limited and unrealistic view of themselves.'

'Women are particularly susceptible to inadequate personal vision.' If your new year resolution is going to include better self-development as a leader, this series of events might be one place to start. Another resolution might be to read Growing Leaders (esp chapter 5) by James Lawrence, Living on Purpose by Tom and Christine Sine or To be Told by Dan Allender.

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Bishop Eve - a child bishop

The subject of women bishops is controversial. But amid all the controversy, and endless debate about how to accommodate those who disagree with women's episcopal ministry, I was struck by a lovely news story I heard about today: a thirteen-year-old, Eve Johnson, inaugurated as a child bishop at a church in Wellingborough.

In this revival of an ancient tradition, Eve will serve until December 28th, Holy Innocents Day, during which time 'she will preside at services and pray for and bless the parish congregation'.

So for this congregation at least, it seems that having a female bishop is not out of the question.
Eve: her name reminds me that God created a team of two when he gave human beings instructions on how to look after the world.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Still a man's world?

'It's still a man's world on screen', laments Mirren.

That was one headline in the papers on Saturday. She went on to say, 'I'm looking forward to the time that at least there's a balance. Women represent half the population and I want to see as many female roles as there are male roles, because at the moment the balance is very unfair.'

TV and film is dominated by men, and it sounded from the article as though actresses still suffer sexism. Reading my Church newspaper, I am reminded that sadly the Church is no better. It's one thing to disagree on the basis of theological conviction, but I was disturbed to read a letter about sexist jokes in the pulpit. She makes the point that sexist jokes are a form of violence.

I must admit I've been surprised by the use of sexist jokes, by preachers who should know better. A few years ago I heard a well-known evangelist tell a joke which I thought completely inappropriate. What was almost more worrying was the fact that so few people found it disturbing (or perhaps they just didn't let on). What was he doing? Assuming that a male audience found it funny to make a sexually loaded joke?

I could rant on, but that's probably not very constructive. On a more positive note, but still reflecting the 'man's world' of the church, I've just been reading a blog post by Lucy Moore on the Share site. She laments the lack of women blogging on the subject, and whether that reflects a lack of women involved in Fresh Expressions (of course it could just reflect a lack of women blogging generally).

But since this is something I've noticed before. Why are there so few women involved in Fresh Expressions? or is it the fact that lots of women are involved, but they are not speaking or writing about it?

Perhaps it's time we generated a bit more thinking about this issue and ensured women's voices are heard in the world of Fresh Expressions....

Friday, 4 December 2009

A woman's place is in the boardroom?

If you recognise the title of this book, you may have read it a couple of years ago.

But you may not have read the sequel, which has the addional subtitle: The Roadmap. This is now reviewed on the CPAS website. Book reviews are in a slightly different location from previously, but the whole site is much more colourful and easy to use, with better access to resources.

The idea behind this second book is to give more of the how-to for women aspiring to senior posts.
Why am I reviewing it? The 'senior' part of the Church is not a boardroom. But there are distinct similarities and connections.

Christian leadership is very different in many ways from leadership in the corporate world. But I believe there are things that Christian women leaders can learn from the corporate world which will help us to negotiate an alien leadership arena.