Power, authority, influence, and leadership

Power, Authority, Influence, and Leadership (PAIL)

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Thoughts on Power, Authority, Influence, and Leadership (PAIL) from Chip Hinds.

Dear Readers,

Peace, joy, love, and hope in Jesus Christ to you is my wish.

A thought has been shaping itself in my mind. I would like to share it with you for the honor and glory of God, the blessing of his children, the disciples of Jesus Christ and encouragement in the Great Commission. Power, Authority, Influence, and Leadership (PAIL); these are words that describe closely related concepts. So, I want to discuss them as a group.

Everyone Has a Degree of Power, Authority, Influence, and Leadership

Everyone has a degree of power, authority, influence, and leadership whether extremely high, very low, or somewhere in between. One’s power, authority, influence, and leadership, PAIL for short, may increase or decrease over time depending upon what one does and does not do or say. Usually, it happens at a gradual rate. Like an open faucet, one’s PAIL is filled as 1) quality decisions are made, 2) stated goals are achieved, 3) one’s character grows, and 4) trust is earned. However, a character flaw can reduce one’s PAIL as quickly as water flows through a hole in a bucket or coins through a rip in a pocket.

Everyone has a degree of power, authority, influence, and leadership whether extremely high, very low, or somewhere in between. - Chip Hinds Click To Tweet

PAIL Can Be Filled or Achieved in One of Two Ways

One’s PAIL can be filled or achieved in one of two ways. It may be grabbed, or it may be granted. For those who grab PAIL, it is finite, often small by comparison to the potential they otherwise could have. Because one has PAIL by one’s own strength, it is usually fleeting and is subject to being lost easily. Either the character flaw that caused one to grab the PAIL will breech the person themselves, or another stronger, more charismatic, or gifted person will usurp the individual’s PAIL, taking it by the same force it was achieved.

However, if one’s PAIL is granted by those being served, who willingly subject themselves to that person’s PAIL because they find value in both the service and person they willingly follow, their ultimate PAIL is limitless, next to Jesus Christ, of course. For someone who has grabbed their PAIL to then lose it, only one person must be defeated by the tempter, their own lusts, or an enemy. However, for someone who has been granted their PAIL, to lose it, the enemy must defeat everyone who granted it. This is a powerful force indeed and nearly insurmountable. One’s own lusts that produce the character flaw is about the only thing that can cause it to be lost quickly.

These concepts are not original with me and are centuries old in their making. They hold their bases in Scripture, especially Jesus’ teaching on servant leadership, plus old law codes of ancient days and traditions. They are being validated every day and documented by modern peoples. One only needs to learn their characteristics to observe them in action day to day and to employ them for effect in one’s personal PAIL.

Proverbs and Principles

Better it is to manage a small group of servant leaders solving many problems and challenges than to show one is strong enough to attempt to solve them all alone. Better still it is to manage a small group of servant leaders knowledgeable, capable, and active in recruiting and building additional small groups of servant leaders for the same common purpose and vision, with related missions and goals.

Better it is to accept solutions that don’t exactly match one’s personal preferences than to insist upon remaining stationary. Don’t become stagnant, waiting until everyone can see the value and expediency of one’s own preferences. Instead, those solutions may move the work and members closer to the common vision and goals.

A Strong Leader

A strong leader with a full PAIL of granted power, authority, influence, and leadership confidently sets forth the project, plan, and provisions for the mission. And, the wise leader shares the purpose and end goal of the mission with all those being led. If someone gets separated from the rest, or an unforeseen obstacle is encountered, this could cause failure. To prevent failure, the leader makes clear the intent of the mission before engaging the plan. In so doing, everyone committed to the mission can contribute to its success.

A strong leader who can unite with other strong leaders in the Kingdom cause of Jesus Christ is unstoppable. Since the mission is the Lord’s, God has already given them the victory.

A strong leader who can unite with other strong leaders in the Kingdom cause of Jesus Christ is unstoppable. - Chip Hinds Click To Tweet

Take-Away Points

  • Be a faithful servant to God and man
  • Build strong teams
  • Teach good leadership principles, acceptable to King Jesus, remembering those who are not against you are for you
  • Do not create compromised territories, while there is a fence that divides those who are for us and those who are against us
    • There is no middle ground unless we insist upon creating it
    • Placing someone into the middle ground makes them nonproductive baggage for which we must provide
      • Let them be friend or foe, not something in between
  • Help those you serve build strong teams and teams of teams with common purpose and vision
  • Reward work and effort that contributes to the common vision and goals, even before the fruit is mature
    • It is the movement towards the vision that is desired rather than the exact steps taken to get there
  • Allow or grant authority to those closest to the situation to make decisions and act decisively
    • Retain veto power only as an absolute necessity to prevent a change in direction away from the vision
  • Do not tolerate immoral behavior
  • Insist on continuity for unity rather than conformity for comfort
    • The comfort of the slave does not take priority over the slave’s productivity
  • Finally, know whom you follow and know for whom you are responsible – the King of kings and Lord of lords

Kingdom of Heaven

Remember, according to Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven is expected to grow faster and larger than humanly imaginable. It is a Divinely inspired and empowered kingdom. Let our weaknesses reveal the power of God in the work we do in the cause of King Jesus. Let the PAIL of Jesus Christ serve through you as light into a dark world and salt for a tasteless society.

Be strong and courageous under the banner of our King, my dear and close friends.

Chip Hinds

Chip Hinds is the Southwest District Superintendent of the General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day).