I met with a new friend over coffee this morning for the third or fourth time. Each time we meet, I tell her she is a leader of leaders. I’m not sure she’s ever entertained that thought until now, but I love to speak life into people and call it like I see it. I enjoy seeing people realize their strengths and take off with what God’s given them for His glory.
As we sipped coffee, we briefly tossed our ideas around about leadership. ALL of us have succumbed to authority in some capacity, whether at home, school, church, or business. And I would venture to say most of us have been under poor leadership at some points. In these cases, I resolve that God has us there to teach us what NOT to be!
So what does it look like to be a leader others desire to follow?
Well we could start by taking a look at the primary quality of the Leader of all leaders, Jesus!
In EVERY way Jesus was humble. The fact that He lowered Himself to humanity and walked this dirty, sin-infiltrated sod is a picture of His humility. Another was when He got down on His knees in the dirt and washed his friends, the disciple’s, nasty feet! What? Yes, Jesus led by serving! The Son of God, in His outrageous love and leadership, got in the filthy dirt and hung on a torturous cross for you and me! I’m blown away every time I think of the reality of that!!
So what sets leaders with extreme influence apart? How do they prosper? It’s been my observation, especially in ministry, that influential, humble leaders…
Let God be their leader. They seek and follow Him and His Word…always! They make prayer a priority, listening for God’s answer and doing what He says without hesitation! Willing to go against popular opinion, great leaders seek to please God above people.
Demonstrate God-confidence. Knowing their identity and who they are in relation to God, they never forget that apart from Him they can do nothing. Great leaders depend on God rather than proceeding in their own strength.
Own their God-given strengths. They realize their calling and giftedness, who God created them to be, and they walk in it confidently.
Don’t lead out of fear or insecurity. They aren’t afraid to teach and raise up new leaders for fear that someone might be or become better at it than they are. They are encouraging and releasing. They see others strengths and desire to help them soar in them.
Illustrate transparency. Even the best leaders are human and make mistakes. They are willing to show their flaws and weaknesses, quick to forgive and quick to ask for forgiveness.
Have a teachable spirit. They always seek to grow, learn, and become better. Humble leaders are willing to listen and heed wise counsel.
Consider others above themselves. The best leaders are also great followers. They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. They have a heart for people and love serving them. Basically, they just have a heart. Period.
Evidence trustworthiness. People will follow a leader they can trust, plain and simple.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. ~Psalm 1:1-3
**Congratulations to Laurie Whin, the winner of Monday’s giveaway!