Is it possible to lead others without knowing them? Leadership requires an awareness of the dreams, aspirations, hopes, desires, and personal goals of others in order to lead them well.
Then, leaders can look out for their well-being. It has been said, “If you take care of those under you, they will take care of you.”
Needs are categorized by physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual areas, and leaders know the necessity of each.
Godly leaders know it is essential to prioritize with a focus on the greatest need. Think Souls!
Moving beyond the “here and now” presents its challenges. Visionary leadership is rare. Hanz Finzel said, “The higher one is in leadership, the more their work is about the future.”
Our work involves seeing the future and preparing others to reach the goal(s). This requires us to consider a few questions.
Do we know where we are going?
What are our plans to reach the destination?
Are resources available to help us?
Have we assessed the abilities of everyone involved?
Leaders need an awareness of the present, but point towards a greater future.
At some point, we all face the challenge of leaving one position for another. Imagine the difference when we do so with the mindset of not stepping down, but stepping aside.
We all get older. As we do, we need an awareness of what we are able and unable to accomplish as leaders.
One of the best ways to help the work continue is not by stepping down, but stepping aside.
Stepping down brings an element of finality and completion.
Stepping aside offers a way to help as the work continues. It brings a powerful element of mentorship for the one who follows.
Leadership awareness involves a knowledge or perception of the situation or fact.
Leaders need to have a self-awareness, i.e. an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, an awareness of who they are, where they are going, and how they plan to reach the destination.
Leaders also need an awareness of others, i.e. an awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of those who follow, an awareness of how to help others reach their greatest potential and achieve the goals of the organization.
Leaders should also be aware of the environment, i.e. an awareness of available resources, an awareness of the obstacles, the reality of progress, and open doors of opportunity.
Having a knowledge of each situation benefits leaders in developing themselves, guiding others in developing the qualities of success, and preparing to face every obstacle with the strength needed to seize opportunities.
Spiritual leaders are leading from a dual-world mindset: physical and spiritual. The desire is to help meet the needs of the present with a focus on achieving the bigger picture of eternal magnitude.
Leadership requires an awareness of the future, a vision that points on in the proper direction. Napoleon Hill said, “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”
If we assigned one word to describe the power behind this statement, it would be “confidence.”
However, this level of confidence connects both the words and actions of the individual described. Thus, there must also be a strong consistency in the character of the individual.
The lesson for leaders is nothing new.
For leaders to build the type of relationship with followers where trust exists, their character must be defined by consistency, which lays the foundation for their confidence to lead.
This may be one of the truest measures for defining integrity as it relates to spiritual leadership.
The take away is an encouragement to position our words and actions in such a way that where we lead portrays the confidence of someone whose life is consistent.
Ultimately, both should be guided by the teachings of God’s word.
We do not need to drag this thought out to the point it loses the significance needed for leaders to make a change. What is more important is the need to raise an awareness within leadership to address an area where much good can be done.
Success in leading the most unlikely begins with identifying who the most unlikely are we are trying to lead.
Identifying the unlikely can be very subjective to each individual. However we identify the unlikely, the need is evident when it comes to our leadership.
Where should we start?
They live everywhere, but often have nowhere to live.
They have nothing to give, yet often give all they have to help someone else.
They scrape by with little hope, yet hope is often all they have to scrape by.
Leading the unlikely will involve an effort to provide a combination of all three ideas. We must look for ways to give hope of a life that is better now and in the future. We must provide genuine friendship without ulterior motives, where we develop an intimacy that goes beyond the surface.