Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Leadership

Leadership is not about people following. A great leader knows when to blaze a path, but also knows when to sit side by side with those who will follow. Numerous times in the ministry of Jesus we see him sit down and talk. Yes there are the miracles, calming the storms, healings and amazing acts of God, but there are also the times where he sits down in the grass, talks and listens. Some leaders like to stomp on the gas and go go go. Others will take massive risks with great reward or consequence before them. Truly great leaders care about people. It's not about building big companies or churches, it's not about self aggrandizing of self, it's about leading people in a direction that is beneficial to all, not just the leader. If someone has honest and heartfelt questions about direction, they should talk to the person leading. If the person leading will not listen, then are they really leading. Leaders cast a vision, but also need to hear the concerns and struggles of the community. If the vision is just about the bottom line or budgets, very few will follow. Leaders help inspire those around them to do more than they think possible. Leaders bring about positive change for the greater and future good. Leaders build strong and healthy relationships with others. If you feel like no one is listening, that you are miles in front of those you lead, then are you really leading. Is it all about you? Sometimes we need others to help us lead. The story is told of a old Native American Chief who is passing the mantle of leadership to his son, the next Chief. The old Chief knew his son was not ready, but he was tired and ready to hand it over. He had talked with the tribal elders and they had expressed similar concerns. The day of the ceremony had come and the young Chief was excited and full of joy. As the handing over and taking of power ceremony came to an end, the young Chief began to walk north as was the custom and the whole tribe was to follow him to a hill to listen to him speak. No one moved. He walked carrying with him all the trappings of leadership, walking stick, full headdress, feathers, etc, but no one moved. Not until the old Chief nodded his head did the tribal elders move, and the rest of the tribe. As leadership is passed from generation to generation, many of us need a nod. Have you held on to something too long? Have you been waiting for the nod? Or have you been unwilling to give a nod? Think about those in your life right now who need a nod, an attaboy, good job, high five, a cheer! Great leaders not only lead, but they serve.

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