Do You Want To Be A Good Leader?This reminds me of the scene in that 21st century Wizard of Oz movie where James Franco [playing the part of the wizard] says, “I don’t want to be a good man; I want to be a GREAT one.”
So how exactly do we transition from being good to GREAT men and women of God?
And in turn, live a life that leads LOUDLY by our example, rather than just our quiet words.
This is the probing question we are all pining for a perfect answer to…. and although I don't have the perfect answer, I’d love to share what works for me in my own life and the lives of people I’m inspired by.
1. Serve people: Leading is Following
“Leading is following.” — such an anomaly, right? It seems so backwards, but it’s that old cliche that’s actually been right the whole time. In order to lead people you have to serve them. You have to be whatever version of Jesus they need at any given moment. Since you are a unique expression of Christ walking on this planet, and because you share his heart, it is your duty to love on people the same way he would. That’s why you were created, so that you could be a living, breathing ambassador for the heart of God. That means seeing a need and meeting it, or feeling a hurt and helping heal it. This, above all else, is your purpose in life. Whether it be from a platform, in a workspace, at home, in a church community, etc. Your greatest mission in life, [other than spreading the gospel,] is to love and serve people.
I picked up this major key from The Master himself. [No, not DJ Kahled…] JESUS.
John 13:15-17 reads, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”
While everyone else was aiming to avoid humble and menial tasks, Jesus specialized in them.
Undertakings such as: helping children, cooking breakfast, serving lepers, and washing feet. Because he came on an assignment to serve humanity, there was not one thing beneath him. It wasn’t in spite of his greatness that he did these things, but because of it. And he expects us to follow that example. Mic Drop.
2. Repent OFTEN: There’s Grace for that
There is no single person that gets it right ALL the time. The sinful nature of our humanity forces us to miss the mark, and the Bible proves that to us in Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The Bible also says explicitly, “NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.” When you fall short, and you WILL fall short, you need to acknowledge it quickly. Do not be dominated by your sinful nature; do not let a device of the enemy— like GUILT— separate you. Throw it off. Fall on your face at the feet of Jesus, acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a savior, and tell him how you desire to be a man or a woman after his own heart. Whatever you have done is no matter to him. Whatever you’ve done, there’s GRACE for that. In fact there is enough grace to cover you 100 times over. Jesus loves you BIG time, and he knows your heart. He forgives you. Forgive yourself and TRY to be better tomorrow. And when you miss the mark tomorrow, he’s got you then too.
“Sphere of Grace” is a term I’ve picked up from one of my fav leaders of all time, Pastor Brian Houston. The book “Live Love Lead” has undoubtedly changed my life for the better. Pastor Brian assures us that this life throws curve balls, and the enemy of your soul is waiting for you to strike out — but when you know who you are and who’s you are, then you can handle those hurdles with the help of a God who hardwired you for your struggle and your story.
Come to know your sphere of grace.
Operate in it.
And pass it on because it was given to you first.
3. Balance: Work Hard, Play Hard, Rest Hard
One of the biggest game changers for me was learning that you have to fill yourself before you can pour into others. All my life I thought by sacrificing my “me time” and giving it to others was going to help me be a better leader. FALSE. How can you pour out what you don’t have stored up? its impossible. Take time to work on you.
When you have your hand in something do it with excellence. Even if you don’t have any earthly idea what you're doing. Fake it until you make it. You are not the sum total of what you produce, but the fruit of what you produce can provide you with more influence. Get excited about the opportunities that come your way, and blow people’s minds with your awesomeness.
Sabbath. it’s totally real. Take one day of your week just to recharge. Even after creating everything in existence God took the 7th day to rest. You’re not better than God. Take the day off. Come back tomorrow with high expectations, great energy, and a peaceful mind.
HAVE FUN. Let your hair down sometimes. Enjoy this life. It is the most wonderful gift.
4. Perspective: Try A New Lens on that bad boy
Perspective and attitude are so vital to the makeup of a great leader. Sorry if I’m being too redundant, but The Bible says in Romans “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Try having a positive attitude based on the simple fact that God delights in the plans that he has for you. I mean, they’re His plans after all. And if for some reason he saw you fit to be a vessel for the advancement of his kingdom, that should bring you a bright and constant optimism. In every situation act like God is on your side, because He is.
Another two qualities connoted to perspective that can't go unmentioned are teachability and generosity. To be a good leader you must be teachable. You do not know everything, you just don’t. Every single moment of life has the potential to be a learning opportunity. Whether that looks like trying something new and failing miserably, or trying something new that catapults you straight into your destiny — learn something new everyday. Also, with a teachable spirit you’ll learn to love when people challenge you, instead of being offended by it. See it as an opportunity to grow, rather than as a judgment about who you are.
Treat everybody like they are a somebody.
The world of the generous gets larger and larger.
The weight of these words is immeasurable.
5. Vision: Be All In.
Andy Stanley has a 7 day devotional called “Visioneering" that is out of this world. A direct excerpt from his devotional reads:
“God does not compartmentalize our lives. From Gods perspective, there are no spiritual vs non spiritual components of your life. He makes no distinction. There is no secular division of your life. You are a spiritual being. Therefore, everything you are involved in has spiritual overtones. He sees you holistically. When Christ purchased you at Calvary, he purchased ALL OF YOU: body, soul, and spirit. You are to glorify God through your actions, regardless of where they take place and what role you are in at the time. — Your vision does not exist apart from your responsibility to glorify God.”
If God sees you holistically, then he expects you to operate holistically. Don’t try and compartmentalize life.
Vision tends to have a snowball effect, if you'll let it. God will place you right where you need to be to gain momentum for the vision He’s given you. Follow him where he leads you. Even if you are facilitating the vision of someone else — all vision comes from God.
In everything you do be ALL in. It’s attractive when you care about where you are, and what you're doing. Plus, passion is mad contagious.
These are some primary tools that I find valuable to my life and leadership.
Like I mentioned, these are not the perfect answers, but adopting these characteristics into my normal have given me great joy in my journey. I can only hope that once applied, they will serve you as they have done me.
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
haha totally kidding.
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