The world is looking for leadership that is effective in articulating clear direction, strategies, transparency in character, discipline and integrity. As Christians it is vitally important for us to exemplify the leadership principles and character of Jesus Christ our Lord everywhere.
Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. In short leadership is influence. Some of the synonyms that expound upon the meaning of leadership are guidance, direction, control, management, superintendence, supervision, organization, firm leadership and government. Leadership also includes:
Whether you know it or not, there is a leader on the inside of you, and we want to awaken the power of your potential so that you can actively use it to influence your community, church, industry and field of expertise for the glory of God.
Leadership consists of creating a vision, developing strategies, aligning, motivating, inspiring, and energizing people, as well as establishing direction. Leaders are difference makers who motivate people to a conscious awareness of righteous standards and godliness, which is precisely what is desperately needed throughout our communities in America and around the world.
Many people make the mistake of confusing management with being the same as leadership, but they are not the same. Traditionally, management consists of planning, budgeting, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling; whereas even though leadership encompasses management it is much greater than management alone.
A leader is someone who is willing to take a stand regardless of how difficult things may be. A leader also has a conscious awareness of what is at stake at any given time and exhibits the character, commitment and passion to deal with the issues and challenges at hand. While not everyone is the leader of a country or organization, everyone can embrace and uphold the characteristics of leadership in their perspective field, industry, and place of responsibility.
There are several characteristics of leadership which can be embraced and implemented by anyone regardless of the role they fill. These are characteristics that you can employ during your involvement and role anywhere you are.
• Leaders are visionaries who dare to dream and see beyond that which is obvious. This is a very important characteristic, because a leader is one who is motivated to move forward progressively with a clearly defined vision. Those who interact and work with leaders need to be able to see as well, and be willing to take the initiative to fulfill the vision of the leader of their organization. In doing so, those who are assigned to the main leader can help ensure that the vision is communicated and followed in harmony and alignment which culminates with its fulfillment. (Ref. Habakkuk 2:1-2)
• Leaders grow through being challenged. When a leader is challenged they respond with mature character and meet the challenge head on with a clear strategy that takes the possibilities into consideration. When a leader is challenged they understand that withdrawing their commitment and responsibility to leadership is not the answer or solution. Leaders work it out, assess the challenges, consider the possibilities and respond favorably and appropriately. Jesus was committed to His leadership responsibility to the end. Even though His disciples, all except John the Beloved, deserted him, Jesus was fully committed in spite of the extremely challenging situation that He faced. It is important to note that instead of the disciples abandoning the Lord, they should have stayed by His side and maintained their commitment along with Him until the very end. (Ref. Matthew 26:36-56; Matthew 27:33-56)
• Great leaders identify and develop other leaders. They encourage the development of skills, talents and abilities in others to achieve great results through mentorship. They also engage in sharpening the leadership characteristics in individuals to form a cohesive winning team through knowledge, demonstration, implementation, observation, feedback, and inspiration. "Jesus said, "Come follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Mark 1:17; Luke 11:1-13; John 14:12)
• A great leader uses their power and influence to encourage and empower others. Leaders empower and encourage people to contribute their expertise and best efforts with the understanding that more can be accomplished with the efforts and contributions of others. The importance of enlisting the assistance and help of capable people who have the gifting, skill and expertise to be an asset in accomplishing the goal of an organization is invaluable. Every good leader realizes that a vision and mission cannot be accomplished without the value added principle of people who believe in the vision set forth and are willing to commit and contribute in a meaningful way to its fulfillment.
• Leaders set high goals and understand how they can be achieved while others may only see them as impossible. A true leader knows how to successfully integrate their goals with their vision on order to achieve and accomplish them. This is an extremely powerful characteristic of leadership, because leaders don't make excuses. They know how to get things done seemingly effortlessly with wisdom and understanding of the overall benefit to everyone involved in fulfilling goals while working with multiple facets and responsibilities congruently. (Philippians 4:13)
• Leaders communicate effectively. A leader is not only capable of clearly articulating their message to others, but they are also good listeners knowing that other people will help get things done. Those who work directly with main leaders should be able to articulate and convey the leaders message with clarity exactly as it was communicated with them. These are individuals who become owners of the vision and get things done as leaders in their respective positions of responsibility. (Acts 2:14-17)
• Leaders are individuals who set high standards and live according to them. They are dedicated to their calling, and reach beyond the average daily lifestyle that others settle for, because leaders believe in God's calling upon their lives and are willing to make the sacrifices required to fulfill it with excellence and grace as unto the Lord. (Psalm 8:1; Philippians 3:12-14)
• Leaders understand timeliness, and are not procrastinators. Effective leaders understand that leadership is action not position. They are aware and knowledgeable about what needs to be done, and they take the initiative to execute getting the job done with haste and timeliness. When working in assistance with other leaders, they carry out the requests of their supervisor or senior leader with diligence understanding that timeliness and proper execution of tasks and responsibilities is of great importance to the overall success and mission of the organization. People who are slow to respond and take action are a liability to any group, organization, or company. Those who are of excellence on the other hand take initiative and respond quickly, which creates momentum in the organization. If you want to see your organization rise to the highest level increase the degree of timeliness in which you take action, especially in regards to directives that are given by your leader. (Ref. 1 Samuel 21:8) "David asked Ahimelek, "Don't you have a spear or a sword here? ... because the king's business demands haste."
Let me encourage you to embrace the leader inside of you, and exemplify the strength, courage and character that is essential to being the best leader possible. Whether you are a leader privately in your home, or a leader in your community, church, government, in education or otherwise; be an example that others can follow and glean from as you carry out the responsibilities entrusted to you faithfully. An important note is that leaders are those who serve first, and have given of their time, energy, strength, gifts, skills and abilities to help build, sustain and carry out the vision of someone else prior to obtaining their own. The world is looking for the leader in you. You can make a difference! (Ref. 1 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:7-9)
His Lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.' (Matthew 25:23, NKJV)
We truly hope that you have benefited by reading this blog. Please share your comments with us and share it with your friends and associates. We are looking forward to reading your thoughts. Thank you.