There has been great discussion and debate regarding the word leadership for centuries and I’m sure it will continue for centuries to come. My intent here is not to debate any further but to give you my birds-eye view of my perspective on leadership.
I believe a leader is more than what a person does, but more-so what a person is. There is a difference between someone who has the knowledge of leadership (which is just a list of things to know) but it’s about the person having the spirit of leadership that makes him/her a great leader.
The spirit of leadership is about being a person of leadership which goes beyond the act or motions of leadership. Those who lead with the spirit of leadership understand that they have been endowed with great purpose in their life and are responsible for their actions in private and public. They’ve come to the realization that leadership requires more than knowledge – It also includes a good dose of discernment, understanding and wisdom. They must know thyself intimately and expect nothing than the best of themselves.
Contrary to popular opinion, being a leader is not always about serving others. It’s also about leading oneself in a manner to position himself to do his job effectively and in-turn help others to do the same. Just as we need to eat and sleep, leaders must take care of themselves mentally and physically to perform their job with excellence. For if leaders are constantly pouring themselves out to others and never take time to replenish themselves for their own growth, knowledge, study, physical rest, and time of reflection and planning, they will find themselves ineffective to influence anyone and will produce less than satisfactory results.
Leaders should be people of excellence. To be an effective leader, it requires that you give yourself permission to be a leader. In other words, you must be willing to step out of the box of mediocrity and challenge yourself to make something happen for you and for others. Leaders have a tendency to step up to the plate believing they can do a job based upon their experience, gifting and preparation.
Leadership also requires that you grow by surrounding yourself with other leaders. It requires that you read and challenge yourself to become better at what you do. It also requires that you self-analyze your intentions and expectations before stepping into this role and lifestyle of responsibility.
Some people are elevated into leadership positions based upon tenure, but I think this is the wrong way to promote anyone. Leadership promotion should come to those who have demonstrated confidence, applied wisdom to their decision-making, lived an experiential life and have demonstrated the ability to influence others with passion, expectation and inspiration. If a person does not have these qualities they will be ineffective and the people that they desire to serve will not follow.
Too many of our leaders today do not carry the spirit of leadership and therefore fail the leadership tests in becoming effective and respected in our society. They are looked upon as money hungry, self gratifying, prideful, and refuse to remember that leadership is an element of servitude. I’m convinced that many “so called” leaders take their position lightly. They do not respect it, honor it, embrace it, love it, nurture it, or grow with it. Leaders should always be growing and most importantly should be growing the people he/she works with on a frequent basis.
There are millions of leaders in our world. Some lead by being great examples and we honor them and use their life as a reference to teach others. However, on the flip side, we’ve seen leaders abuse their position and cause havoc on every side. Leadership is a great responsibility. It requires certainty of oneself, knowledge, understanding, wisdom and the ability to communicate effectively with a genuine heart. Most importantly, leadership is about being the person. It requires purpose, conviction, vision, passion, inspiration and influence.
If you are not already the leader you desire to be, I encourage you to begin by being a leader of purpose. Leading with purpose is everything. Prepare yourself for the task and seek guidance along the way.. You have the ability to be a great leader. It’s already inside you. Your convictions will keep you honest, your vision will guide you, your passion will ignite you, your inspiration will nurture you and your influence will uplift you.
So the questions I have for you are, “What kind of leader are you and are you leading well?