At various times in life we need to do a little soul searching.
We challenge the core of who we are, why we are here, and what we are supposed to do.
In these times, the need for leadership is more prevalent than any other. It may be we need to find someone to help, guide, or listen with a sympathetic ear. It may be someone else needs the same from us.
Regardless, the search for leaders is more needed today than ever. I pray God will help us sort through those times and lead, as well as, be led.
Electronic communication has taken front seat on nearly every level. The idea of sending or receiving something “hard copy” is almost obsolete.
From a leadership perspective, the electronic era has created a new dynamic in relationships.
Jeremy Roberts’ book Disconnect does a great job digging into areas that relate to the electronic phenomena of our culture, the advantages and disadvantages, and relationships connected to it.
We need each other! The human race was created in relationship, a relationship involving God and each other.
Leading in this electronic age has its challenges and the need for relationships to go beyond the screen has never been greater.
An average is reached when we put a group of numbers or items together and divide by two.
When used to describe someone’s ability, we refer to what is typical, common, or ordinary.
When it comes to spiritual leadership, we need to strive for more than average.
Paul urged the church to “excel still more.” Peter encouraged Christians to “keep their behavior excellent.”
How much more should spiritual leaders exemplify the same?
We are not trying to earn anything. We follow the example of Christ and encourage others to follow. Such leadership points to our Savior.
The Ascent of a Leader addresses how ordinary relationships develop character and influence as leaders. Two ladders are described.
The first is the capacity ladder where leaders strive to get ahead regardless of the cost. Relationships serve to benefit the leader ascend to a greater position.
The second is the character ladder where an environment of grace exists. It is a ladder where character is developed and emphasized in leadership. Relationships thrive because people feel safe to express their views, even when mistakes are made.
The book provides a number of powerful suggestions to assist in leadership development.
Leaders tend to think the job only gets done if they oversee it. Another thought is if you want to get the job done right, you have to do it yourself.
Is this true leadership?
Patrick Lencioni said, “As a leader, you’re probably not doing a good job unless your employees can do a good impression of you when you’re not around.”
As leaders, we must be reproduced by the continuation of the work when we are no longer around.
A leader’s legacy is the goal. John Maxwell said it this way, “Legacy comes when we put leaders in positions to do great things without us.”
When we boil it all down, what really matters?
We often make life complicated. We get caught up in trivial pursuits and do not focus on what is most important.
Please do not misunderstand. We must work to provide for our families. We need time for rest and recreation. There are also family responsibilities.
If, however, we believe that spiritual and eternal matters are the priority, then why do we often spend our lives focused on areas that are temporary in nature?
Let us lead with our priorities firmly established and influence the major areas of life in ways to make heaven that much sweeter.
Our world is filled with all kinds of shapes. Some are round. Some are square. Shapes take the form of an octagon or triangle. There are shapes that are long and short, deep and wide.
What is the shape of our leadership? Leaders can take the shape of…
…dictatorship, leadership by force of arms.
…representation, leadership that represents others.
…the status quo, leadership that does little or nothing different.
…paternalism, leadership that is fatherly.
…sacrifice, leadership that seeks the greatest good for all.
Each area can play a part in what shapes us as a leader. May our leadership be sacrificial, one that shapes eternity.
Where is our place? Do we have a place?
Does leadership have a place? When we evaluate all the people and activities that fill the places in our lives, where does leadership fit, or does it?
Regarding our influence, we need to consider the following.
Should immoral activities have a place in our life?
Do we allow inappropriate language to have a place?
Will we welcome questionable conduct into its own place?
Is there a place for hypocrisy in our lives?
There is no place for worldly behavior in the life of God’s spiritual leaders. We need to exemplify the place of spiritual leadership.
If we are going to lead, we must learn to follow. Without an understanding of following the leadership of others, our own leadership is hindered.
Sam Rayburn said it this way, “You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.”
Consider the necessity of following Christ. We strive to lead others to Him. The success of our efforts are affected by our following Him. Learning to submit to the authority of Jesus and follow Him makes us a great vessel in spiritual leadership.
Character is foundational to the success of leadership. We know this to be true, but what is the substance of our character.
Psalm 15:2 contributes three key elements: a way of life, work ethic, and manner of speech. Character is defined by the three phrases.
We must walk with integrity.
We must work righteousness.
Speak truth in our heart.
When the whole of our life and leadership are developed on the foundation of these three areas, our character is being defined as God would define it.