Pastor Eric Geiger on His New Book ‘Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development’

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Ed Stetzer: Recently, I invited my friend Eric Geiger, Senior Pastor of Mariners Church in Irvine, CA, to join our Wheaton College Every Nation Graduate Cohort to talk about both leadership in the church and his book, Designed to Lead, co-authored with Kevin Peck. Our interview is below.


Ed: Could you give us a brief overview of the book?

Eric: There’s one chart in the book that’s my go-to chart that I use if I’m ever asked to speak about leadership in a non-Christian environment. It’s from Dave Ulrich and all the research he did about the common characteristics among leaders in the book The Leadership Code.

It’s a chart later in the book where there’s a circle in the middle, and it’s four different domains, and he says all leaders have to be a strategist, executor, talent manager, and then human capital developer. The higher you go in leadership, the more you have to be great at all of these things. Really, my book is essentially a deeper dive into human capital developer.

Ed: Out of these four things a leader needs to be, what is the least developed among leaders?

Eric: After having spoken several times at leadership events, I noticed that the most common one that leaders said they struggled with is human capital developer. What I was seeing and hearing prompted me to reach out to Ulrich and see which element he had found in his coaching and research to be the lowest of all the leaders he coached. His response was human capital developer.

Ed: What is a grid or framework that leaders can use to develop others?

Eric: In the book, Kevin and I talk about the 3 Cs: Conviction, Culture and Constructs. Conviction is first because without a shared conviction, you will have systemic chaos. Conviction brings people together under one banner of what the organization cannot live without. Everything that follows revolves around conviction.

Culture is the shared beliefs and values—things like character and competencies—that guide an organization in everything it does. Constructs are the systems and structures that house the culture that facilitates the conviction.

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Source: Christianity Today