The Key To Developing Greatness in Others: Choosing to Share Power Pt 1 of 3

Video Link Below:

Inn0-Versity Presents: “Greatness” by David Marquet

Most Monday’s I am right back at work because I normally take Friday’s as my day off. The weekend had been filled with allot of activity with our new church campus and so much of it was incredible. At our campus we stress the power of “Team” and leading as a team and it has been a difficult course for many of our new team members because of their prior experience with leadership being framed in a hierarchical model that approaches the use of power primarily from a top-down praxis. It is simply easier when someone like “me” who is the Primus Leader for our campus can just be the “answer” person. My thirty-five plus years of leadership experience has taught me (quite Painfully) that this approach to leadership though it can garner “quick results” can quickly fatigue the leader as well as it is not sustainable in an organization that relies on a volunteer base for its core leadership. I have led larger organizations and even in a paid environment if power is never shared the persistency of leadership to remain in your organization will be shortened and the Primus Leader will develop a system in which people are dependent on the leader to make most strategic and tactical decisions. It is my personal conviction that most churches do not grow because the leadership in their approach in stewarding power keep people small in their capacity to develop competency as well as taking ownership of the weight and responsibility of their of their sphere of influence in their leadership.

As most church leaders often do I was reflecting on how I can attempt to teach this better while I sat on my easy chair with a bad B- rated science fiction movie playing on the television and then it happened! I began to read an email from one of the members of our Pastoral Team, Betsy Vanderpool, and she simply started that she found this video on Perry Nobles blog site and it clearly articulates where we have been attempting to train our team to go! I have watched this video about ten times today and now I am writing this blog post at nine-o-clock in the evening because it inspired me to process why “I as a leader believe in the Greatness that has been placed by God in people.”  Theologically it is one of the foundational outcomes of “Imago Dei” that man has been given a “moral imagination” to learn and to grow as well as to exercise power “dominion” in a God-Honoring way.

This is what I am doing in this blog-article. I would like to invite you to watch this video and process how you as a leader steward power. I have included an abstract in this blog post for David Marquet’s book entitled, Turn the Ship Around,[1] in order that you could decide whether or not you would desire to explore this matrix of leadership in greater depth. I would only offer one other concept that I would add as to the David Marquet’s two pillars of Competency and Ownership and that would be emotional maturity as defined by Peter Scazzero in his book, Emotionally Healthy Church.[2] I will cover this concept in my next blog post.

It is my honest assessment that leadership in the church uses terms that are attractive to people to respond to and at the same time the terms that are presented can be dangerous because we often times do not live it out in our leadership praxis. When I use the terms “Power” I am using this in the context of “team” which denotes partnership. The greatest two challenges leadership in the church face is: believing in the collective genius of the team as well as allowing for the uniqueness of each person (who by the way are God’s Masterpiece – Ephesians 2:10) to have their part in organizational outcomes. How a leader answers these three questions will always impact how we approach our stewardship of power in one’s leadership:

How do you view God?

How do you view yourself?

How do you view people?

I encourage you to reflect on these questions after you watch this video.






[1] L. David Marquet, Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders(Austin, TX: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2013).

[2] Peter Scazzero with Warren Bird, The Emotionally Healthy Church(Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan, 2003).

Book Summary for David Marquest, Turn the Ship Around: A True Story Turning Followers into Leaders. 


How would you like to work in a place where everyone around you is totally engaged and contributing their full intellectual capacity — a place where people are healthier and happier because they have more control over their work – a place where everyone is a leader?

A nuclear powered submarine would seem an unlikely place for such a thing to happen. Especially the USS Santa Fe – dogged by poor morale, poor performance, and the worst retention in the fleet, until David Marquet took command.

Turn the Ship Around! is the gripping story of what happened next – where he took the ship from worst to first by challenging the U.S. Navy’s traditional leader-follower approach and instead implementing his own framework of leader-leader. In doing so, he struggled against his own instincts to “take control, attract followers” in order to achieve the vastly more powerful “give control, create leaders.”

The results revolutionized the field of leadership – as each member of his crew became a leader and assumed responsibility for everything they did, from clerical tasks to crucial combat decisions. By embedding goodness in the practices and the people, Santa Fe continued to win awards and promoted a highly disproportionate number of officers to submarine command.

Turn the Ship Around! presents clear mechanisms to help you apply this winning model in your organization. Follow Marquet’s practical steps, for example:

Releasing proactivity with “I intend to…”
Reversing a demoralized culture
Using deliberate action to enhance teamwork and minimize errors
Eliminating top-down monitoring systems
Embedding learning in everything the organization does
No matter what your business, and no matter where you are in the organizational chart, you will benefit from the leadership approach developed onboard the USS Santa Fe and detailed in this book.

About PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”
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5 Responses to The Key To Developing Greatness in Others: Choosing to Share Power Pt 1 of 3

  1. Brian says:

    Pastor Al – thank you for this post and link to the video. It validates how I am trying to set up my team (a squadron of highly motivated Airmen – every one of them smarter than me). That video is so powerful that I am going to share it with my leadership team.

    • PastorAl says:

      Brian thank you so much for your feedback. Can you reply back detailing how your men responded to the video? I sure would appreciate it.

      • Brian says:

        It went really well! I shared it with my full-time leadership team yesterday afternoon. I didn’t speak all that much, but I did explain this is the exact type of culture we are building in this squadron. I let them know that I am not as eloquent as this speaker, and this was the message I have been trying to deliver. Some of them were excited. Some were confused. At least one is skeptical (but we’ll prove it to him). I started this process a few months ago, and we are already seeing change – but I can see why this process doesn’t happen overnight. After the video, I acknowledged that even though I carry this banner every day, I still accidentally violate this process occasionally – the times I do, I usually catch myself. But I asked my team to keep me on track as well. I am excited to see my Airmen grow as leaders and achieve greatness over the coming months.

        • pastoralsoto says:

          Once again Brian I would like to commend you on your courageous leadership. Let’s plan on getting together and talking about the principles of leadership soon.

          • Brian says:

            Pastor – I would be honored. I am trying to lead with patience and grace – not always successful I am afraid. I am still growing, and I have a long ways to go still.

We are all here because we are not all there!