Everyone talks about leadership, but what does it really mean? These days it seems that leadership in the world is more about position and prestige than about the organization or the people being led. Dictionary.com provides the following definition:
Leadership (noun): The position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group.
Some people seem to be “natural” leaders who can—through personality, style, and other factors—get anyone to follow them. But they often exhibit little or no concern for the followers.
Other leaders are humble, compassionate, strong, and decisive. They too acquire followers who will often do anything for them that they are asked. But they have the “human touch” and show at least outward care for their followers.
Then there are Godly leaders: By following God in all that they do, they lead from the strength of the Lord. They rely on Him for wisdom, purpose, and guidance. These leaders can get input and ideas from followers, and then decide what is right to do and convince followers to act wholeheartedly.
In the book of Joshua Chapter 1, verse 10, Joshua takes charge and commands his people to do what God has directed. In verses 16–19, his people commit to following him and his direction without question.
Joshua 1:7–9 (NKJV)
7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Leaders often make mistakes. They are, after all human, but many of these mistakes are avoidable with awareness and humility, knowing that everything you have is God’s blessing on you. Here are seven mistakes leaders often make:
- Becoming so wrapped up in the role or the “occupation” that they fail to tend to the business of leading according to God’s will
- Not setting expectations, evaluating and correcting behavior, counseling, and rebuking behaviors that are not acceptable
Proverbs 15:31–33 (NKJV)
31 The ear that hears the rebukes of life
Will abide among the wise.
32 He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
- Failing to recognize the severity of issues
- Ignoring the warnings, council and observations of others about what is going on
Ecclesiastes 7:5 (NKJV)
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise
Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
- Passively accepting bad behavior, rationalizing the behavior, or procrastinating in dealing with it
Job 37:13 (NKJV)
13 He causes it to come,
Whether for correction,
Or for His land,
Or for mercy.
- Exhibiting inauthentic perfection, “knowing everything”
- Lacking in discipline (personal or otherwise
Proverbs 19:18 (NKJV)
18 Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.
True leaders are concerned with not only the visible aspects of leadership, but also the nuts and bolts, “roll up your sleeves and get done” aspects of leadership. True leaders are not afraid to get in the trenches.
It is all too easy for leaders to get caught up in the façade of leadership. True leaders:
- Invest time and effort early and often in their team and organization;
- Build relationships not personas;
- Listen to the hard things and ask the tough questions;
- Accept failure as a step in learning; they don’t reward mistakes and bad decisions, but support the process of learning to make better decisions through practice and acceptance of responsibility;
- Accept accountability for outcomes and/or behaviors;
- Love those they lead as God calls us to do ,even when they aren’t particularly lovable;
- Correct and guide;
- Praise and reward results;
- Seek God in all that they do.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved