The third principle of Leadership Courage is this: Promote healthy differentiation within the church or system you lead.

Differentiation simply means “differentness.” Your uniqueness. Your sovereignty as an independent human being. A well-differentiated person takes full responsibility for her own being and destiny.

So, this third principle is an invitation to stand in relationship with your congregants, co-workers, and employees as if they were fully and capably responsible for their own well-being.

Which, before God, of course, they are.


–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,” more at

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