LEADERSHIP – Inherent or Imbibed
‘It’s a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you re trying to Lead and find there is Nobody there..’ – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Leadership is influence. He who thinks he is a leader and has no one following him is only taking a walk. Leadership is the ability to obtain followers. The bible is replete with accounts of individuals who stood in the forefront and guided a group of people on a path. These people were leaders, and each of them left a trail, but just a few of them, left behind a ‘Legacy’.
Before we look into the virtues that constitute effective leadership…, I would like to define my audience. Now when there is a reference on leadership, the thought that immediately springs out in most minds is .. ‘that’s not for me.. cause I am just a normal church going Christian’. Frankly though the term ‘normal Christian’, is commonly used, to date I am confused as to how people justify defining themselves as such. It probably parallels, inactive, just me and my family (selfish), or to Biblically put it… ‘lukewarm’. The fact is we are all leaders, just as we are all called to be Ambassadors of Christ. We all have someone looking up to us, and we all serve as examples… be it as a church leader, cell leader, praise & worship, or just among friends, family or even to the point as being a role model for our children. Moreover we don’t know what tomorrow God has in store for each of us. I am sure David never aspired to be a leader, neither did Moses or any of the 12 fishermen. The Bible says ‘no eye has seen, no ear has heard … what God has .. for those that love Him’. This message is for each of you. Due to the constraint of space most aspects will be just mentioned without much explanation.
Its all about TRUST….
The one thing that is common to every relationship, family and organization, the one thing if removed will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the greatest friendship, the strongest and the deepest love. On the other hand if developed it can create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life. Contrary to most beliefs ‘trust’ is not an illusive quality that you either have or don’t have, rather trust is a pragmatic, tangible, asset ‘that you can create’.
Trust is one of the most powerful forms of motivation and inspiration. People want to be trusted. They respond to trust. They thrive on trust. Whatever be your situation we need to get good at establishing, extending and restoring trust; not as a manipulative technique, but as the most effective way of relating to and working with others toward a common goal.
‘Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him,
… is to let him know that you trust him’ – Booker Washington
Now consider this provocative question .. ‘How many people you know Trusts You.??’… your family..??, your colleagues.?, friends ..??
Trust means confidence; ‘to believe’. The opposite of trust is distrust or suspicion. When you trust people you are confident of them; in their integrity and ability. On the contrary when you distrust; you are suspicious of them, their integrity and capability. Now consider a relationship you have; spouse, colleague, parent, friend, or a ‘brother’… How does the relationship feel..??, How well do you communicate..??, Does it flow quickly and freely … or do you feel like you are constantly walking on land mines..??, Do you enjoy this relation … or do you find this tedious, cumbersome and draining…??. In a high trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing and the meaning will still go through right. In a low trust relationship you can be measured, very precise, and you’ll still be misinterpreted.
The moment there is suspicion about a persons motives, everything he does becomes tainted.
Trust is a function of two things; Character and Competence. Character includes your Integrity, and your Intent with people. Competence includes your Talent and Skill. Integrity is about walking the talk. Its about having the courage to act in accordance with your values and beliefs. Intent reflects motives. Trust grows when motives are straightforward and based on a mutual benefit – when you genuinely care for the people you lead and serve. If you suspect a hidden motive you loose confidence that the person is acting in your best interest, and suspicion creeps into the relation. For leadership to be effective, you’ve got to build credibility… make sure you do what you say.
Points to Ponder – It begins with yourself, to stay focused, to keep commitments – to walk the talk, and to inspire trust in others. The whole idea is to become both to ourselves and to others a person worthy of trust.
– It’s the little things we ‘do’ and ‘say’ that count – a day at a time, a weak, dishonest or selfish act at a time – that gradually weakens or corrodes credibility.
Remember – Building Trust takes effort, .. a tremendous one ..!!
Trusting involves Risk.
To generate trust you have to be ‘Willing to Listen’. Be Open to yourself and to others..!!
Look in the Mirror constantly. Evaluate yourself every moment ..not just daily.
To gain Respect You have to gain Trust.
A Reflection of YOU… is the people around You
You have a mental list of the kind of people you would like to have with you… believe it or not, who you get or have is not determined by what you want, rather by who you are..!!. The people drawn to you probably have more similarities with your tastes, nature etc than differences. If you think the people you attract could be better, then its time for you to improve yourself.
WHO ARE YOU REALLY..??
- How others see you
- How you want others to see you
- How you see yourself
- Who you really are
Reflect on this … How well do my perception of myself, others perception of me, and my true self match up..??
Points to Ponder – To influence, you have to first ‘connect’, intellectually and emotionally. A leaders ‘magnetism’ (ability to attract), can be cultivated, shaped and matured. None of us are perfect, neither are any of us ‘complete’. We all have lacunae’s or we all fall short in our character and skill. You have to acknowledge and accept your weakness and strength. Its wise to have people who are strong in areas where you are weak. This will complement your ministry and make the team more efficient and complete.
– People will follow a Leader who knows where he is going. They will respect you, when they respect your vision. The vision should be imparted. You should also know the expectations of the people with you… You have to know where they want to go, in order to lead them… People will follow when they believe that their leader can take them where they want to go.
– Leaders loose ground when they put their desire for ‘results’ before their willingness to develop themselves in areas of competence and character.
Remember – Each of us should seek to discover how God has made us. We must seek to accept both our assets and deficits, then grow to reach our potential. When we do this, our image of ourselves will align with our real identity, and people will discover us to be who we are – genuine but flawed… doing the best we can.
The Fine Line – Sometimes I feel, its better to work with machines or electronics, than to deal with humans. Whether we like it or not the Bible is all about relationships; with God and with our fellow beings, Christians and non-Christians. Its about giving our self for another. That is the hard part, but that is the ‘calling’, that is part of the ‘cost’.
Jesus raised the standard … from the era of the law … to the period of grace. The scale moved from the hands (work, deeds) to the thought (heart). In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics, he is guilty even if he thinks of doing so….!!
You can never have everyone to love you. Most of it is based on your principles, beliefs, values and attitude.. But its up to you to maintain your integrity, and the people who believe and share common values, beliefs and principles will be with you.
If you desire to do great things with your life, then seek to become a better person and a better leader. Nothing great can be achieved alone. Any task worth doing requires the help of others. If you want to have good people with you, you’ve got to become a better person. There is not point in blaming your situation or circumstances. If you continue to harden yourself based on your past experiences, your past in ‘repeat’ or worsen. Your attitude will carry your circumstance with you wherever you go. The only thing in life you can change and control is your Attitude and your Perspective. Its never too late. The past is gone, we don’t know the future, but we have to present to act… it’s the ‘now’ we can change… and influence the tomorrow…. If you are willing to do that leave the rest to God.
(by Aby. M)