Leadership has been on my heart for many years. I want to grow in it, learn more about it and see how I can push others to grow in it. The more I read, test myself in leadership and feel like I am growing to another level in it, I learn it’s all about people. If you understand that leadership is influence then you know that it has to deal with people. It’s also deeper than that. It is a sacrifice and ridding of all our selfishness. It’s making everyone else more important than yourself. It’s not about you, but think about it, you really like yourself.
When you take a group photo and then review the photo that was taken, who is the first person you look at? How do you decide if it was a good photo or not? Is it all based on you and really no one else in the photo? This is why the number one hashtag these days is #selfie. We have created a word around taking pictures of ourselves. You are most likely in the majority of photos on your phone. It’s okay to love and like ourselves, that is a good thing, but we need to realize how selfish we all really are.
I am going to break down two main areas on how to become a great leader and grow in leadership.
I try to keep a life full of the word of God and rely on its principles and rely on the Holy Spirit to speak to me as I read the text, what I believe to be the words of God. When it comes to leadership a lot of people think the Bible doesn’t have much to say, especially since it doesn’t use that word, but I would say Jesus’ life is the perfect example of leadership. If you follow his life you can gain some great principles that will help you grow in your leadership.
One of the ways Jesus showed us his perfect leadership was that he gave power away. When Jesus was out walking on water he let Peter come out. He didn’t condemn Peter for asking to do it. Jesus was basically saying, “Peter, if I can do it then you can do it too.” There was no power hunger in Jesus at all. He had nothing to do with what I like to call the POWER TRIP. What Jesus did was not just for the anointed but for every person who wanted to receive it. Jesus never made his power known or ask other people, “Have you fasted for 40 days? Did the heaven’s open for you when you were baptized?”
So let me ask you this. What is your motivation behind leadership? Is it your own success? What is your definition of success? Is it money, a house, a family or being comfortable? Something I know God has spoken to me is, “You will not find the definition of success until you help the people I have placed around you succeed.”
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. – John 14:12
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:3
The object of Christ’s leadership was for everyone to do more than he even did. You should be able to show the promise of life change for those who follow you. If you are caught up in your own gain then you will miss it for you and everyone around you. Jesus crushed all power between men and women, adults and children, leaders and their followers.
I have had this power trip and time of not really understanding what it means to be a great leader. I have shared this before in earlier blogs but I was eighteen as a manager at a Cici’s Pizza and was growing rapidly in the company. By the time I turned nineteen I was the general manager. I was on track to own my own store by age twenty-one and take on a million dollar loan making six figures. Why do I tell you this? Because I was a good manager, actually I would say I was great. I was on a fast track to success all for myself but I wasn’t a good leader. I didn’t care about how I got there and didn’t take people into consideration.
Then God rocked my world and pulled me into a job raising support full-time at a church making less than 18K a year. I went from buying everyone’s meal when we went out to eat to not being able to go out at all, eating sandwiches for almost every meal. I had to learn to be a good leader and earn the benefits from that. I was put over volunteers. Volunteers didn’t get paid anything so they had to trust me and want to follow me for anything to get done. I had to shift my focus on others. I had to learn to not just be a good manager but a great leader. People were it. They were what made life great.
Now when it comes to yourself, you need to get uncomfortable and be willing to step into more. Regardless of where you think you are in leadership you can always grow and do more. Most people associate leadership with a person or role of high standing. For instance, relating to my main job working at a church, people think leadership comes from only the ones on the platform speaking to thousands of people on the weekend. They don’t realize leadership is also found in those in a small group of ten or those working on a team at work of three. It applies anywhere and you can always grow more as a leader, but it takes work and the risk of putting yourself out there.
I recently had a second son. He is now almost four weeks old. I thought before we had him it was going to be hard to love this kid as good as my first. I can’t explain it, but I love them the same and God has given me not only the capacity to love them well but to do more for the family. Just like the way God our Father loves us all the same regardless of who we are and what we have done, he has the capacity to love us all the same and in the same way and he can help us grow in our capacity to lead and do more.
I’d like you to imagine that you are about to attend one of the most important occasions of your life. It will be held in a room sufficiently large to seat all of your friends, your family, your business associates—anyone and everyone to whom you are important and who is important to you. Can you see it? The walls are draped with deep golden tapestries. The lighting is subdued, soft, casting a warm glow on the faces of your expectant guests. Their chairs are handsomely upholstered in a golden fabric that matches the tapestries. The golden carpeting is deeply piled. At the front of the room is a dais, and on the dais a large, beautifully decorated table, with candles burning at either end. On the table, in the center, is the object of everyone’s attention. A large, shining, ornate box. And in the box is…you! Stiff as the proverbial board.
Do you see yourself lying in the box, not a dry eye in the room? Now, listen. From the four corners of the room comes a tape recording of your voice. Can you hear it? You’re addressing your guests. You’re telling them the story of your life. How would you like that story to go?
That’s your Primary Aim. What would you like to be able to say about your life after it’s too late to do anything about it? That’s your Primary Aim. If you were to write a script for the tape to be played for the mourners at your funeral, how would you like it to read? That’s your Primary Aim. And once you’ve created the script, all you need to do is make it come true. All you need to do is begin living your life as if it were important. All you need to do is take your life seriously. To create it intentionally. To actively make your life into the life you wish it to be. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. But absolutely essential. - Excerpt From: Michael E. Gerber. “The E-Myth Revisited.”
How do you define yourself? By what others think of you, or by what you think of you? By who you were in the past or by who you could be in the future? You know, that person you imagine yourself being but you never really tell anybody? You never show anybody: Bold. Capable. Worthy. Not afraid to be your true self. I have a secret. That person you are imagining is you. In fact, it’s the very best version of you. It’s time for you to decide who you are before someone else does. If others label you for long enough, you just might begin to believe it and you just might begin to buy into it.
Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you love? What do you hate? What are you good at? What makes you uniquely you?
You can do more and there is greatness in you. It just may take some work. Get out there and be who you are called to be, love people in the process and step out into more every day.